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Religious speech limited for public school teacher

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a lower court decision that allowed a teacher to display banners with the word “God” in the classroom.

Recent case: Since 1982, Bradley Johnson has taught mathematics. When he transferred to a new school, he put up posters with statements like “God Bless America” and “One Nation Under God” in his classroom.

When Johnson was told to remove them, he sued, alleging the school district was interfering with his right to free speech.

A lower court agreed, but the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed. It concluded that a mathematics teacher does not have a right to free speech that interferes with his educational mission, but should keep such free speech for other places and times. (Johnson v. Poway Unified School District, et al., No. 10-55445, 9th Cir., 2011)

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