Student Constitutional Rights

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
MON, TUE, WED, THU 3:45 - 6:15 pm CCJ 2.310
FRI 9:30 am - 12:00 pm CCJ 2.310

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location
Early exam (administered by Exam4 in Take Home mode) March 31, 2023


The Constitution Goes to School.  This seminar will examine how the Supreme Court’s constitutional opinions have both shaped and misshaped the nation’s public schools. In 1969, the Supreme Court famously declared that “[i]t can hardly be argued that … students … shed their constitutional rights … at the schoolhouse gate.” Not surprisingly, though, Supreme Court Justices both before and since have bitterly contested the precise scope of students’ constitutional rights in the elementary and secondary school contexts. Some Justices, moreover, have concluded that it is typically unwise for the judiciary to enter the educational realm, lest the Supreme Court turn into a school board for the entire nation. Even if such fears are overblown, there can be no doubt that the Court’s constitutional interpretations have had significant consequences for schools charged with transforming students into citizens. Constitutional topics will include: freedom of speech, establishment of religion, free exercise of religion, searches and seizures, cruel and unusual punishment, due process, and equal protection. Educational topics will include: homeschooling, zero tolerance policies, corporal punishment, school funding, school uniforms, racial desegregation, strip searches, single-sex schools, off-campus speech, drug testing, unauthorized immigration, the school-to-prison pipeline, and book banning.

Textbooks ( * denotes required )

The Schoolhouse Gate : Public Education, the Supreme Court, and the Battle for the American Mind *
Driver, Justin
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
ISBN: 978-0-525-56696-0


Headshot of Driver, Justin Driver, Justin
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Important Class Changes

Date Updated
01/31/2023 Meeting times changed
01/31/2023 Exam information updated
01/20/2023 Meeting times changed
10/17/2022 Meeting times changed
10/11/2022 Meeting times changed
10/11/2022 Meeting times changed
10/11/2022 Meeting times changed
10/11/2022 Instructor(s) updated