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Perry Education Assn. v. Perry Local Educator’s Assn

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Brief Fact Summary. A teachers union was denied access to school district mailboxes to distribute informational brochures.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. The government may reserve a forum for its purpose as long as the regulation is reasonable and not an effort to suppress views of its opponents.

Points of Law - Legal Principles in this Case for Law Students.

Moreover, even if we assume that by granting access to the Cub Scouts, YMCA's, and parochial schools, the School District has created a limited public forum, the constitutional right of access would in any event extend only to other entities of similar character.

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Facts. Perry Education Assn. (Petitioner) is the union for teachers in Perry Township. An agreement limited access to district mailboxes to Petitioner only. Perry Local Educator’s Assn. (Respondent) as a competitor was denied access to the mailboxes

Issue. Is school district required to provide access to internal mailboxes to Respondent?

Held. No. The mailboxes are not a public forum. The school district has no constitutional obligation to allow Respondent to access the mailboxes.

Discussion. A public forum includes such public places as parks and sidewalks. All communication may not be prohibited in such areas. The regulation must be necessary to serve a compelling interest and narrowly drawn to be constitutional. On the other hand, content neutral regulations (time, place, manner restrictions) must be narrowly tailored to achieve a significant governmental interest while leaving alternative channels of communication available.

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