Craig v. Rich Township High School Dist.

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
First Amendment
Case Number: 
No. 13-1398
Decision Date: 
December 3, 2013
Federal District: 
N.D. Ill., E. Div.
Dist. Ct. did not err in dismissing with prejudice plaintiff-high school counselor’s section 1983 action alleging that defendant violated his First Amendment rights by terminating him in retaliation for plaintiff’s publishing of his book that discussed sexually provocative themes and used sexually explicit terminology. While Dist. Ct. erred in finding that subject matter of plaintiff’s book that dealt with adult relationship dynamics was not matter of public concern, defendant could reasonably predict that plaintiff’s book would disrupt learning environment in defendant’s high school, where both male and female students would be reluctant to seek out plaintiff’s counseling services after having read his book that made references to his position as high school counselor at defendant‘s high school. As such, defendant’s interest in restricting plaintiff’s speech outweighed his interest in publishing his book.