HAZELWOOD SCHOOL DISTRICT v. KUHLMEIER

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
86-836
Petitioner 
Hazelwood School District
Respondent 
Kuhlmeier
Advocates
(Argued the cause for the respondents)
(Argued the cause for the petitioners)
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

The Spectrum, the school-sponsored newspaper of Hazelwood East High School, was written and edited by students. In May 1983, Robert E. Reynolds, the school principal, received the pages proofs for the May 13 issue. Reynolds found two of the articles in the issue to be inappropriate, and ordered that the pages on which the articles appeared be withheld from publication. Cathy Kuhlmeier and two other former Hazelwood East students brought the case to court.

Question 

Did the principal's deletion of the articles violate the students' rights under the First Amendment?

Conclusion 
Decision: 5 votes for Hazelwood School District, 3 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Amendment 1: Speech, Press, and Assembly

No. In a 5-to-3 decision, the Court held that the First Amendment did not require schools to affirmatively promote particular types of student speech. The Court held that schools must be able to set high standards for student speech disseminated under their auspices, and that schools retained the right to refuse to sponsor speech that was "inconsistent with 'the shared values of a civilized social order.'" Educators did not offend the First Amendment by exercising editorial control over the content of student speech so long as their actions were "reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns." The actions of principal Reynolds, the Court held, met this test.

Cite this Page
HAZELWOOD SCHOOL DISTRICT v. KUHLMEIER. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 21 December 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1987/1987_86_836>.
HAZELWOOD SCHOOL DISTRICT v. KUHLMEIER, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1987/1987_86_836 (last visited December 21, 2014).
"HAZELWOOD SCHOOL DISTRICT v. KUHLMEIER," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed December 21, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1987/1987_86_836.