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The Evolving Constitutional Rights Of Students

Connecticut Law Tribune

September 7, 2009

Authors: Anne H. Littlefield

Forty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court first recognized the constitutional rights of students in public schools in its watershed decision of Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District. Prior to Tinker, courts viewed school officials as acting in loco parentis — literally, “in the place of a parent” — and, with limited exceptions, recognized the broad authority of school officials to enact and enforce rules to maintain order in the schools.

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