Educator Rights


Dear Member,

With several key dates for national actions on gun violence fast approaching, and the number of students and educators participating in such actions growing each week, many educators have questions about their rights when they engage in activism and protest on social justice issues.

In a national call with NEA members last week, attorneys with NEA’s Office of General Counsel addressed many of these issues, answering questions we are hearing most often about legal and free speech protections for educators who participate in actions in support of gun safety, DACA, Black Lives Matter@School, and more.

Below are a number of the key questions they addressed… read the answers here.

  1. Do educators have First Amendment rights to speak up at school? What about outside of school?
  2. What other laws might protect educators?
  3. Can my school fire me for participating in a rally or walkout?
  4. What should educators do if there’s a student walkout?
  5. What are educators’ rights when posting on social media?
  6. Can my school discipline or fire me for participating in a march on my free time?
  7. Can my school discipline or fire me for wearing orange to support students and common-sense gun laws? What about wearing a shirt or button to school with an overt political message, for example in support of DACA or Black Lives Matter?


Read more about the questions educators like you are asking about speaking up on the social justice issues you care about. Taking action with your students? Tag your photos #NEA #EdJustice

In solidarity,
The NEA Ed Justice Team

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