Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Crawford, Jon G.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations


Facebook (Electronic resource); Facebook (Firm); United States Constitution 1st Amendment; Educational administration; Educational leadership; Law; Teachers--Social networks--Legal status; laws; etc--Research; Freedom of speech--Research; Computer networks--Law and legislation--Research


There have been many recent instances of teachers being disciplined or terminated due to their activity on social networking sites. School administrators will likely be confronted with a growing number of reports of alleged inappropriate online teacher speech and required to make determinations regarding disciplinary action. This study researched the relevant history of judicial application of the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment free speech rights for public employees; investigated how the Supreme Court applied, modified and refined the judicial test outlined in Pickering v. Board of Educ. in public employee free speech cases and; examined how the United States federal Circuit Courts of Appeals applied Pickering and its progeny to public employee speech cases. The study concludes by providing public school administrators with a framework for investigating alleged inappropriate teacher cyber speech. This framework is designed to assist public school administrators in asking pertinent questions that will eventually aid school board attorneys in examining whether the alleged inappropriate teacher cyber speech in question is protected by the First Amendment.


Advisors: Jon Crawford.||Committee members: Christine Kiracofe; Kelly H. Summers.


163 pages




Northern Illinois University

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Media Type