New York City can prohibit public school teachers from wearing political buttons in the classroom, a federal judge ruled Friday. However, teachers can place campaign material into colleagues’ mailboxes and hang posters on union bulletin boards that are in areas off-limits to students.
The split decision came after the union, the United Federation of Teachers, sued over a city rule that requires teachers to remain neutral about politics while on duty to avoid any sense of pressure among students to echo their views. The union, which has endorsed Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee for president, argued that the longstanding regulation had never been enforced and that it curtailed teachers’ right of free speech.
See Gotham Schools for more on the ruling.