School district employee speech is protected under the First Amendment if the employee is speaking as a private citizen on a matter of public concern and the employee’s interest in commenting on matters of public concern outweighs the interests of the school district in promoting the efficiency of its operations or services.
No. The Supreme Court’s framework for government employee free speech rights applies to all public employees.
Is the employee speaking as a private citizen or in her capacity as a school district employee, pursuant to her official duties? If she is speaking as an employee, there is more authority to regulate the speech.
Is the employee speaking about a matter of public concern or a matter of personal interest? (Note: Not all employee speech about his/her employment is unprotected “employee speech.”) If she is speaking on a matter of personal interest, there is more authority to regulate the speech.
Does the employee’s speech interfere with the district’s orderly operations? (i.e., Does the speech impair workplace discipline? Affect harmony among co workers? Result in loss of confidence/loyalty?) If so, there is more authority to regulate the speech.” (p. 12.)