Court Case May Protect Students That Wish to Secretly Record Their Teachers
A court case in Maine might protect public school students that secretly record their teachers during class.
Pollack v. Regional School Unit 75 looks at a Maine school district that “refused an autistic student’s desire to record his teachers during class”. The suit claims that the student came home from school crying after school officials told him he was not allowed. The student’s “very limited expressive abilities” mean the student would reportedly benefit from being allowed to record his classes.
Student Press Law Center Executive Director Frank LoMonte argued that the case could provide an opportunity for student journalists, but cites concerns that teachers and professors could waive the right to record as a prerequisite to taking the class.
“The college classroom is arguably a little different because taking any particular class is optional – nobody’s compelled to be there – so if a professor were to say that waiving the right to record is a required prerequisite to taking the class, it might hold up,” LoMonte said.
But LoMonte is optimistic about the possibility that Pollack could become the standard. In that case, he argues, students will be able to claim that it is their first amendment right to record public class proceedings.
“If the Pollack case becomes accepted as the standard, you will see students successfully asserting a First Amendment right to record in the college classroom as well,” LoMonte argued.