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The First Amendment guarantees significant rights to free speech and expression for students of all ages. These rights have been limited, however, by the U.S. Supreme Court's 1988 decision in Hazelwood School District v. KuNattier that school officials can regulate the style and content of school-sponsored student speech in ways that are "reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns." Since then, lower courts have relied on Hazelwood to uphold censorship of student speech in elementary and secondary school, including restrictions based on the speaker's viewpoint. Recent cases have extended this analysis to the university context by upholding acts of censorship under Hazelwood's reasonableness standard. This Note argues that university officials should not be given the same level of deference as secondary school officials when regulating student speech. The "material and substantial disruption" test currently provides the most appropriate framework for balancing the competing interests in favor of protecting university students' speech rights.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
6 Sep 2022
1.63 MB



  • Subject
    • Education Law

    • First Amendment

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Law Review

  • Volume
    • 45

  • Issue
    • 1

  • Pagination
    • 173

  • Date submitted

    6 September 2022