The United States Constitution guarantees equal protection under the law to all citizens regardless of race, color, religion, and gender. However, there are special circumstances when constitutional rights can be restricted. The First Amendment rights of public school students fall under one of these special circumstances. While parents have a responsibility to care for, protect, and discipline their child, the responsibility transfers to the school’s in loco parentis authority when the child becomes a student under their supervision. The salient issue then becomes how to determine when the school’s authority begins and ends. The Ninth Circuit’s decision in C.R. ex rel. Rainville v. Eugene School District 4J addressed one incident where the First Amendment rights of a public school student were restricted even though the speech occurred off-campus and after school hours.
Mary R. Loung,
C.R. Ex Rel. Rainville v. Eugene School District 4J: Slowly Expanding a School’s Ability to Reach Off-Campus Speech, 47 Golden Gate U. L. Rev. 97