The Book: The Oldest Rule
“That’s not a regular rule: you invented it just now.”
“It’s the oldest rule in the book,” said the King.
“Then it ought to be Number One,” said Alice.
– Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass
OK, maybe not – but some school districts have spent that much defending themselves (and not always successfully) in First Amendment lawsuits brought by students and their parents. First Amendment litigation is on the rise across the nation, and as any principal who has sat through a deposition in one of those cases can tell you, the raw emotions and zealous anger that fuels such disputes can become a massive distraction from your real job of running a school.
The Oldest Rule is a comprehensive examination of the different First Amendment issues involving students that public school administrators and attorneys are increasingly facing on daily basis. We will look at such topics as school prayer, dress codes, student threats and cyberbullying, the distribution of literature, the use of public facilities by outside groups, the celebration of religious holidays, and the rise of esoteric religions and their impact in the public schools. Written by Chris Gilbert, an attorney with over twenty-one years’ experience advising and representing school districts – big and small, urban and rural — this book combines discussions of the legal standards and key case decisions with practical advice and hypotheticals.