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date: 11 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In the U.S. Supreme Court’s cases addressing students’ constitutional rights in school, the focus is near exclusively on the special constraints imposed on rights by the school context. Largely missing is any consideration of the special opportunities created by students as actively developing rights holders, despite the increasing attention to the significance of children’s ongoing development to their constitutional rights in other contexts. This chapter calls for similar attention to children’s development in the school context, and considers how that attention, generated by courts and then addressed by educators, might alter the scope and nature of children’s rights of expression, due process, privacy, and religious freedom in school. While educators will necessarily take the lead in preparing children to assume adult roles, it falls on courts to help define those adult roles to ensure that students’ experiences in school are designed to produce citizens with the inclination and competence to exercise the rights required to preserve our most basic constitutional values.

Keywords: Children’s development, Citizenship, Free expression, Free speech, Due process, Privacy, Free exercise, Students’ rights, School context

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