WMU-Cooley professors discuss free speech in public schools, universities

More than 100 students attended a Constitution Day event on Western Michigan University (WMU)-Cooley Law School’s Tampa Bay campus to participate in a discussion on free speech in public schools and universities on Sept. 25. The discussion was led by WMU-Cooley professors Renalia DuBose and Brendan Beery.

The professors addressed various First Amendment rights regarding public K-12 schools and higher education settings, including the rights of students to assemble or to not pledge the flag. They also discussed the rights of outsiders who want to use school facilities or speak on school campuses.

“We must realize that First Amendment rights are not absolute in an educational environment based on rulings by the United States Supreme Court,” said DuBose. “The primary purpose of public education is the education of students, and their learning environment must be protected, especially from ‘substantial disturbance and material interference.’”

About the speakers
Before becoming a member of the faculty at WMU-Cooley, DuBose was an adjunct professor at St. Leo University, the University of South Florida and Hillsborough County Community College.

DuBose also served as the assistant superintendent for administration for Pasco County Public Schools. She teaches Contracts I and II, Personal and Professional Responsibility, Education Law and Employment Law.

Beery joined the WMU-Cooley faculty in 2002 after working with the law school as an adjunct professor Beery has taught Introduction to Law, Research & Writing, Advanced Writing, Constitutional Law I & II, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and Interviewing & Counseling.


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