Rebecca Tanglen


In its decision in Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, the Supreme Court determined that in the public school context, government restriction on speech must be related to "legitimate pedagogical concerns." However, the question remains open whether that standard requires such restrictions to be viewpoint neutral; the circuit courts are split on this question. This Comment explores the issue in the context of the public school textbook selection process, concluding that the process should be viewpoint neutral. As an initial matter, it argues that the selection of textbooks for use in the public schools should be analyzed under the public forum doctrine of Hazelwood. It then analyzes conflicting circuit court opinions, concluding that Hazelwood requires viewpoint neutrality when the government restricts speech in public schools.