JACKSON (AP) — Mississippi’s second-largest faculty district had “vague, overbroad and unconstitutional” restrictions on educators’ freedom of speech, a decide dominated.
Circuit Judge Jess Dickinson on Tuesday ordered Jackson Public Schools to completely cease implementing insurance policies that banned workers from contacting mother and father, the general public, the media, legislation enforcement or anybody else about points within the faculties, the Clarion Ledger reported.
“By silencing its teachers, staff, employees and their organizational advocate, JPS deprives its students, their parents and other interested parties such as legislators and taxpayers, of important information necessary to fully understand and take part in their public education system, and meaningfully call for its improvement where and when needed,” Dickinson wrote.
Jackson Federation of Teachers, a union representing lecturers, paraprofessionals and different faculty workers, filed a grievance towards the district final 12 months. Policies talked about within the court docket submitting have been about confidential info, workers ethics and use of social media.
WAPT-TV reported that the college district had stated staff, college and workers might be disciplined and even fired if the superintendent decided they used social media to put up “data, documents, photos or inappropriate information … that might result in a disruption of classroom activity.”
The district’s insurance policies blocked free speech and adversely affected the union’s capacity to draw potential members, wrote Dickinson, a retired Mississippi Supreme Court justice who was appointed in 2020 to assist with a backlog of Hinds County court docket circumstances.
The JPS board revised the district’s insurance policies in early April, after hearings in Hinds County Circuit Court, in keeping with court docket paperwork. The revision made the court docket case irrelevant, stated officers of the district that has about 19,350 college students.
Dickinson wrote the court docket nonetheless had considerations JPS may reinstate the challenged insurance policies and proceed to inform staff they’ll’t communicate out in sure methods or expose info that’s “not in the best interest of the district.”