Teachers & Students Speech Rights

The Issue

Teachers and students have limited rights to freedom of expression. The restrictions on teachers are unique in that they apply not only in their work at school but also in their personal lives. Limiting the right to speak, to express their views, and to question conventional wisdom and popular ideology implicitly teaches about society’s lack of commitment to civil liberties.

Why It Matters

Two basic purposes of education are the development of critical thinking skills and preparation for being an active citizen in democratic society. Our schools undermine these objectives when they offer instruction but fail to be models of democratic values. 

Our Work

The Centre for Free Expression is exploring the extent of restrictions on speech rights of teachers and students in Canadian schools. It is fostering discussions with educators and the public about how schools can better achieve their educational objectives through enhanced freedom of expression rights for teachers and students.


Upcoming Event

Anti-Black Racism and Inequality: What Is to Be Done?

Adolph Reed, Jr. - In Conversation with Umair Muhammad

Blog Post

The Kids Are Not All Right: Freedom of Expression and the Online Classroom

I don’t want to read one more piece that begins, “In these difficult (unprecedented, challenging, etc.)  times,” and neither do you.

By Danielle S. McLaughlin

Blog Post

Educating for Democracy in the Time of COVID-19

For those of us who have young people in our lives, the COVID-19 pandemic can present a unique opportunity to engage them in exercises that focus on democracy.

By Danielle S. McLaughlin

Blog Post

Is Picketing a Teachable Moment?

You may have noticed your kids sleeping in on school days a bit more this academic year.

By Danielle S. McLaughlin

Blog Post

Kids, Criminals, and the Artist in the Classroom

Imagine that your child has a teacher who likes to invite guest musicians, artists, and authors to her classroom.

By Danielle S. McLaughlin