Kameron Dawson


Under the current tests set out in Pickering and its progeny, teachers—particularly LGBT and LGBT allies— are being censored in the classroom with “no promo homo” education policies and laws. Although citizens are granted free speech protections through the First Amendment, public employees such as public school teachers generally receive less protection. The Supreme Court has yet to determine a distinct test for public school teachers, leaving discretion to school districts. Currently, in seven states, legislators explicitly prohibit teachers from positively speaking about or correcting misconceptions on homosexuality. In this current age, these policies negatively impact the teacher’s effectiveness inside of the classroom by distributing sometimes false or misleading information and contributing to a hostile environment for both teachers and students. This article suggests one standard that accounts for the new recognition of same-sex rights as a matter of public policy and prohibits viewpoint discrimination.