The National Coalition Against Censorship and the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression have cowritten a letter to the Pennridge School District in Perkasie, Pennsylvania, demanding changes to a proposed policy that would unconstitutionally restrict the communications that students can distribute both on and off school grounds.
The proposed policy is shockingly broad and impermissibly vague. If implemented it would prevent students from engaging in a vast amount of protected expression by prohibiting the “dissemination” of “nonschool materials” during school hours, at school-sponsored events, inside district facilities, or on district transportation.
Longstanding precedent protects students from “shed[ding] their First Amendment rights at the schoolhouse gate,” Tinker v. Des Moines Index. Cmty. Sch. Diet., 393 U.S. 503, 506 (1969). We encourage the district to avoid inevitable litigation on this policy, and to uphold schools’ “strong interest in ensuring that future generations understand the workings in practice of the well-known aphorism, ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,’” Mahanoy Area Sch. Dist. v. B.L., 141 S. Ct. 2038, 2046 (2021).
Please read our full letter below. Click here for a full screen view: