Assignment #3

Case Study

Freedom of Expression for Teachers/Termination

Fall 2017


Use the scenario presented to answer the questions.  Create a Word (.doc or .docx) file for submission to the Canvas drop box.

Use the following facts to answer the questions below:

The year is 2017.   Dorothy is a teacher in a school district in the state of Nevada.

One of her duties is to administer standardized exams to her students in accordance with the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).   Although she has done everything possible to improve her classes test scores, she is disappointed to see a decrease in achievement from the previous year.  However, in the course of her regular duties, she discovers that the scores, that have been reported to the federal government for her class, show a marked improvement.  It appears that administrators in the district are falsifying and altering test scores.  Concerned about what appears to her to be corruption, she has a discussion with her principal.  Dorothy’s principal informs her that the district officials is pressuring him to increase test scores.  He tells her that she may lose her job or be placed in a sub-standard school if she do not ignore the inconsistences.  He also tells her that the district is offering a $2000.00 bonus to all teachers whose students show improvement in tests scores.  His advice to her is to ignore her concerns. After all, it is her job to administer the exam, not oversee the results.

Despite her principal’s advice, the promise of a bonus, the threat of losing her job, and fear of retaliation, Dorothy reports her concerns to the Nevada State Attorney General, who immediately begins an investigation.  When the local school board discovers Dorothy’s involvement in the case, it fires her for insubordination.  Dorothy initiates a lawsuit based on her First Amendment right to freedom of speech (expression).

Answer the following:

Imagine that you are Dorothy’s attorney.  With your understanding of teachers’ rights to freedom of expression:

  • Write an argument supporting the teacher’s claim to a free speech violation.
  • Include at least three (3) justifications in law for your argument and explain each.  These might include Constitutional Amendments and/or previous U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

Now, imagine that you are an attorney for the local school board, who fired Dorothy.  With your understanding of the school administration’s right to limit freedom of expression and operate the schools:

  • Write an argument supporting the administration’s right to limit expression.
  • Include at least three (3) justifications in law for your argument and explain each.  These might include Constitutional Amendments and/or previous U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

Imagine that this case goes before the U.S. Supreme Court and you are a Supreme Court Justice.  Discuss the following:

  • Whose claim would you support – Dorothy’s or the school board’s?
  • Why?  Explain your rationale for your support of either claim.

Submitting the case study:

Review the rubric on page 3 to be sure that you have answered all questions and successfully completed the assignment.

After you complete your Word document, save it and send it to your

instructor by submitting it to the Canvas drop box for this class.

To access the drop box:

    • Click on “Assignment”
    •       Find the assignment name and  click on it
    • Click on “Submit Assignment”
    • From the “File upload”  tab, click on the “Choose File” button
    • Select the file from where you saved it by clicking on the file  and click the “open” button
    • If you have several files to add, click on “Add another file” and use the “Browse” button to find and upload the file
    • When you have added the file(s), click on the “Submit Assignment” button
    • After you have submitted your assignment, you should be able to view a confirmation that you submitted your assignment












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