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The COSA School Law Seminar Fall provides school lawyers with timely, valuable resources to make informed decisions for their districts. This seminar will include four afternoons of online sessions allowing attendees to customize their professional development by purchasing daily sessions on topics of interest or the entire conference.
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Staff Speech – Kennedy and its Impact on Garcetti, Free Exercise Standards
For decades, school districts have been on the front lines of the cultural divide. Conflicts and disagreements on contentious social issues inevitably find their way into public schools. We need look no further than Mary Beth Tinker’s black armband during the conflict in Vietnam to find speech on a contentious issue and a reconfiguration of First Amendment expression rights by the Supreme Court. In 2022, the Court again reconfigured First Amendment expression rights, this time in the employment context. Its decision in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District set a new standard, essentially “double-protecting” private religious expression, and leading school districts across the country to reexamine employee speech policies tied to “endorsement,” which the Court now disfavors. The presenter will lead a discussion of specific scenarios and policy provisions in the wake of Kennedy.
Presenter: Howard Miller, Bond, Schoeneck & King, Garden City, NY