Students' first amendment rights and school district demographics: Gauging school board responsiveness to student speech policy Academic Article uri icon


  • This study examined the extent to which Texas school boards of education made efforts to locally modify student speech policy. Using online policy manuals provided by the Texas Association of School Boards, speech policies for 91 school districts were gathered using a purposive stratified sampling procedure and examined for local modifications to student speech policies under school-sponsored publications, expression, distribution of non-school literature, use of school facilities, and harassment. The geographical location of the district, district percentage of minority students, and total district student enrollment were employed as explanatory variables. The results of a chi-square statistic indicate geographical location and student enrollment were significantly related to whether school boards made changes to its speech policy. Although not entirely surprising, the more pertinent issue is whether an over reliance on school board associations for policy development curbs meaningful discussion of critical issues such as free speech.

author list (cited authors)

  • Torres, M. S., Collier, V. S., & Tolson, H.

publication date

  • November 2010