The Student News Site of Dakota Ridge High School

The Cord News

The Student News Site of Dakota Ridge High School

The Case Against Homework



According to Stanford research, “56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress.”

Daniel Hampton , Staff Writer March 4, 2022

Homework has been systematically ruining students’ home lives for decades.

Homework is a concept that seems fine on paper; however, in practice, it works to limit the creativity of students and slow their lives down. Students who work jobs or have families to take care of tend to have too much homework that affects other parts of their lives , especially if the volume of homework is quite high. Students already spend 5-8 hours every day in school — adding homework on top of jobs or other outside activities is too much for your average student.

Fundamentally, school is really a full-time job for students. With another job, you’re almost working two full-time jobs or a full-time job and a part-time job at the same time. Imagine working 12 hours almost every day and having extra work on top of that.

Students who have long work-weeks, along with homework, will get overwhelmed extremely quickly, decreasing their performance in school and at work. For instance, with math homework (which can be particularly confusing), students can spend hours trying to do it, only to end up making no further progress. I, myself, have spent hours doing homework, and it is definitely time-consuming when I’m lost.

While homework overwhelms students, it also limits freedom to explore creative arts. Students who have passions such as video creation, singing, or video games have less time to do creative arts because of homework. These same students might already have limited free time, and adding homework on top of this does not help at all.  Students’ hidden passions are often taken away or restrained just because they’re being forced to “practice outside of class,” when there are other parts of life they need to focus on too.

Students can be burned out from homework, and it can affect their performance in school. By that I mean students who spend great amounts of time doing homework often stay up late at night, reducing the amount of sleep they get, and hurting themselves. Homework burns students out, tires them, and reduces their grades the next day due to the inability to finish assignments. Due to the inconsistent length of assignments, it can be quite difficult to plan around homework.

Homework objectively does not improve school performance. A study by Adam Maltese  and reported on by The Huffington Post (the IU School of Education assistant professor) found that “There was no relationship whatsoever between time spent on homework and course grade.”

Stanford research also found that “ 56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress.” This Stanford research paper went on to say, “S tudents said their homework load led to sleep deprivation and other health problems.”

A common argument for homework is that it reduces screen time. This can be refuted, however, because although it might reduce screen time, it also leads to a more sedentary lifestyle. Not to mention, most homework assignments are done on school-provided Chromebooks.

homework restricts a students freedom

Another argument for homework is that it is self-paced learning time, but this argument can be refuted by pointing out that in-class time can also provide self-paced learning. Teachers can provide time for studying or self-paced learning in class.

Note that I am not calling for a universal ban on homework, just a restriction of the amount of homework that we receive. Each day, students should only be provided 1-2 homework assignments per class. Although this may not sound like a lot, in reality, that is actually plenty of outside-of-class practice.

Homework is an example of an old idea that no longer functions as it used to, and in this day and age, it needs to be fixed.

Photo of Daniel Hampton

Daniel is a sophomore and a first-year writer for The Cord News.

  • Polls Archive
  • Dakota Ridge High School 16 Mullen 9 Apr 19 / Men's Varsity Lacrosse
  • Dakota Ridge High School 10 Evergreen 6 Apr 17 / Men's Varsity Lacrosse
  • Dakota Ridge High School 2 Valor Christian 21 Apr 16 / Women's Varsity Lacrosse
  • Dakota Ridge High School 7 Horizon 13 Apr 15 / Women's Varsity Lacrosse
  • Dakota Ridge High School 11 Air Academy 10 Apr 12 / Men's Varsity Lacrosse

My cat Loki, who is a year old and from Foothills Animal Shelter.

Animals Deserve Our All

The United States has left the power of gun control up to the states, so some states have stricter restrictions on guns than others.

Parents Should be Held Responsible for the Actions of Their Children

Photo by No Revisions on Unsplash

It’s Time for Gender Neutral Restrooms in Colorado

homework restricts a students freedom

My Parents Don’t Let Me Use Social Media, and I’m Okay With That

Colorados typical 60 degree weather with melting snow still on the ground.

Summer and Spring Are Just Better Than Winter and Fall

Estes Park, Colorado, home of some of the most beautiful mountains.

We Destroyed Our Planet, Now It’s Time to Fix It

How fast the brain develops has been proven to be related to social experiences during adolescence. The more emotionally burdening experiences a person has, the faster their brain develops.

Why is 18 the Age of Adulthood?

There is currently no maximum age a president can be, but the minimum age is 35 years old.

America Must Step Forward by Implementing a Maximum Age for Presidents

Michelle Buchanan-Lind retires from teaching this year.

Reflecting … and Goodbye

Dakota Ridge High School students celebrating their entry into the IB Diploma program. (Holly Davis)

The IB Diploma Program: A Review

The Student News Site of Dakota Ridge High School

Comments (0)

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Share full article


Supported by

Student Opinion

Should We Get Rid of Homework?

Some educators are pushing to get rid of homework. Would that be a good thing?

homework restricts a students freedom

By Jeremy Engle and Michael Gonchar

Do you like doing homework? Do you think it has benefited you educationally?

Has homework ever helped you practice a difficult skill — in math, for example — until you mastered it? Has it helped you learn new concepts in history or science? Has it helped to teach you life skills, such as independence and responsibility? Or, have you had a more negative experience with homework? Does it stress you out, numb your brain from busywork or actually make you fall behind in your classes?

Should we get rid of homework?

In “ The Movement to End Homework Is Wrong, ” published in July, the Times Opinion writer Jay Caspian Kang argues that homework may be imperfect, but it still serves an important purpose in school. The essay begins:

Do students really need to do their homework? As a parent and a former teacher, I have been pondering this question for quite a long time. The teacher side of me can acknowledge that there were assignments I gave out to my students that probably had little to no academic value. But I also imagine that some of my students never would have done their basic reading if they hadn’t been trained to complete expected assignments, which would have made the task of teaching an English class nearly impossible. As a parent, I would rather my daughter not get stuck doing the sort of pointless homework I would occasionally assign, but I also think there’s a lot of value in saying, “Hey, a lot of work you’re going to end up doing in your life is pointless, so why not just get used to it?” I certainly am not the only person wondering about the value of homework. Recently, the sociologist Jessica McCrory Calarco and the mathematics education scholars Ilana Horn and Grace Chen published a paper, “ You Need to Be More Responsible: The Myth of Meritocracy and Teachers’ Accounts of Homework Inequalities .” They argued that while there’s some evidence that homework might help students learn, it also exacerbates inequalities and reinforces what they call the “meritocratic” narrative that says kids who do well in school do so because of “individual competence, effort and responsibility.” The authors believe this meritocratic narrative is a myth and that homework — math homework in particular — further entrenches the myth in the minds of teachers and their students. Calarco, Horn and Chen write, “Research has highlighted inequalities in students’ homework production and linked those inequalities to differences in students’ home lives and in the support students’ families can provide.”

Mr. Kang argues:

But there’s a defense of homework that doesn’t really have much to do with class mobility, equality or any sense of reinforcing the notion of meritocracy. It’s one that became quite clear to me when I was a teacher: Kids need to learn how to practice things. Homework, in many cases, is the only ritualized thing they have to do every day. Even if we could perfectly equalize opportunity in school and empower all students not to be encumbered by the weight of their socioeconomic status or ethnicity, I’m not sure what good it would do if the kids didn’t know how to do something relentlessly, over and over again, until they perfected it. Most teachers know that type of progress is very difficult to achieve inside the classroom, regardless of a student’s background, which is why, I imagine, Calarco, Horn and Chen found that most teachers weren’t thinking in a structural inequalities frame. Holistic ideas of education, in which learning is emphasized and students can explore concepts and ideas, are largely for the types of kids who don’t need to worry about class mobility. A defense of rote practice through homework might seem revanchist at this moment, but if we truly believe that schools should teach children lessons that fall outside the meritocracy, I can’t think of one that matters more than the simple satisfaction of mastering something that you were once bad at. That takes homework and the acknowledgment that sometimes a student can get a question wrong and, with proper instruction, eventually get it right.

Students, read the entire article, then tell us:

Should we get rid of homework? Why, or why not?

Is homework an outdated, ineffective or counterproductive tool for learning? Do you agree with the authors of the paper that homework is harmful and worsens inequalities that exist between students’ home circumstances?

Or do you agree with Mr. Kang that homework still has real educational value?

When you get home after school, how much homework will you do? Do you think the amount is appropriate, too much or too little? Is homework, including the projects and writing assignments you do at home, an important part of your learning experience? Or, in your opinion, is it not a good use of time? Explain.

In these letters to the editor , one reader makes a distinction between elementary school and high school:

Homework’s value is unclear for younger students. But by high school and college, homework is absolutely essential for any student who wishes to excel. There simply isn’t time to digest Dostoyevsky if you only ever read him in class.

What do you think? How much does grade level matter when discussing the value of homework?

Is there a way to make homework more effective?

If you were a teacher, would you assign homework? What kind of assignments would you give and why?

Want more writing prompts? You can find all of our questions in our Student Opinion column . Teachers, check out this guide to learn how you can incorporate them into your classroom.

Students 13 and older in the United States and Britain, and 16 and older elsewhere, are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public.

Jeremy Engle joined The Learning Network as a staff editor in 2018 after spending more than 20 years as a classroom humanities and documentary-making teacher, professional developer and curriculum designer working with students and teachers across the country. More about Jeremy Engle

Submit to Digest

Student free speech rights on the internet: summary of the recent case law, written by laura fishwick - edited by adam lewin.


The most recent U.S. Supreme Court case to address the legality of school-imposed punishment for student expression was more than forty years ago in Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Cmty. Sch. Dist. , 393 U.S. 503 (1969). In that seminal case , the Supreme Court found that a state’s interest in maintaining its educational system can justify limitations on students’ First Amendment rights to the extent necessary to maintain an effective learning environment. Id. In Tinker , school officials suspended students for wearing black arm bands to protest the Vietnam War. Articulating the standard still used by courts today, [1] the Court held that a school may regulate student speech or expression if school officials can reasonably conclude that such speech caused or is likely to cause a “material and substantial” disruption to school activities. Id. at 513 (finding no substantial disruption because the protests were non-violent and did not interfere with class activities).

Tinker and subsequent Supreme Court cases have not addressed whether a school may regulate student speech that occurs off campus or online and is not connected to a school event, but that nonetheless causes disruption on campus or in the classroom. Further complicating the analysis of on campus, off campus, and online speech are additional factors such as the location where recorded activity takes place before it is posted online, and the location of the computer used to upload data onto the Internet. This comment explores the recent lower court decisions applying the Tinker standard to school-enforced limits on student speech made on the Internet. In cases of off campus or online speech, some courts have responded to the fact that Tinker involved on campus speech by requiring the school to show a substantial nexus between the speech and the school before applying Tinker . Beyond the nexus inquiry, courts move onto Tinker and examine the intensity of on campus discussions surrounding the expression, the burden the expression places on the administration, and whether the expression contains violent content. 

The Threshold Question

Lower courts are divided on the issue of whether to ask a threshold question — is there a sufficient nexus between the off campus speech and the school — before reaching Tinker ’s “material and substantial disruption” test. The majority of district courts have not required this threshold inquiry, but some courts, notably the Second Circuit, have required that a nexus be shown by proving that it was “reasonably foreseeable” that the speech would reach a school’s campus. See J.C. v. Beverly Hills Unified Sch. Dist. , 711 F. Supp. 2d 1094, 1107 (C.D. Cal. 2010) (summarizing the rift among courts on the nexus threshold question). Courts that ask the nexus question are concerned with whether the student, at the time he posted the expression, should have foreseen that the speech would enter and affect activities on campus. This standard is different from the Tinker standard, discussed in the next section, which is concerned with whether the expression has caused or foreseeably will cause substantial disruption on campus, from the perspective of the school officials when they decided to punish the student or prevent the conduct.

Many courts find that schools may regulate any speech which causes or is likely to cause a substantial disruption of school activities whether or not there is a nexus between the speech and the school. See Beverly Hills , 711 F. Supp. 2d at 1107. For example in Harrell , the court did not consider the nexus issue where a school punished a college student for his comments on an online forum as part of the curriculum for an online class. Harrell v. S. Oregon Univ. , No. 08-3037-CL, 2009 WL 3562732, *5–6 (D. Or. 2009), aff’d , 381 Fed. Appx. 731 (9th Cir. 2010). In another case, the Western District of Pennsylvania applied Tinker without regard to the geographic origin of the speech where a student composed a degrading “top-ten” list that he distributed to friends over email, and where one recipient brought the list to campus. See Killion v. Franklin Reg’l Sch. Dist ., 136 F. Supp. 2d 446, 455 (W.D. Pa. 2001); see also , O.Z. v. Bd. of Trustees of Long Beach Unified Sch. Dist. , No. CV 08-5671 ODW, 2008 WL 4396895, *4 (C.D. Cal. 2008) (applying Tinker where a student created a video off campus depicting a graphic dramatization of a teacher’s murder, which he posted online); Beussink v. Woodland R-IV Sch. Dist. , 30 F. Supp. 2d 1175, 1180 (E.D.Mo. 1998) (applying Tinker where a student created a website while he was off campus that criticized school authorities, and another student showed the website to a teacher). Courts that bypass the nexus question generally do not give their reasoning for doing so but simply choose to not consider the issue.

Many other courts choose not to address whether the nexus test should be used when the resolution of the issue is not essential to the outcome of the case. See e.g. , J.S. ex rel. Snyder v. Blue Mountain , 650 F.3d 915, 926 (3d Cir. 2011) cert. denied , 2012 WL 117558 (U.S. Jan. 17, 2011) (No. 11-502); T.V. & M.K. v. Smith-Green Cmty. Sch. Corp. , No. 1:09-CV-290-PPS, 2011 WL 3501698, *11 (N.D. Ind. 2011). In Beverly Hills , the Central District Court of California found that because the threshold question as framed by the Second Circuit would have been easily met, it did not need to decide whether or not a nexus inquiry was necessary before moving to Tinker . 711 F.Supp.2d at 1107–09. The plaintiff in that case, a high school student, posted on YouTube a video of another student making disparaging and defamatory comments of a third student. Id. at 1097–98. The court found that it was foreseeable that the video would reach the school’s campus because the plaintiff posted the video on a weeknight, contacted five to ten students to tell them to watch the video after it was posted, contacted the subject of the video, and made the kind of defamatory and derogatory comments that would compel a parent to bring the video to the attention of school officials. Beverly Hills , 711 F.Supp.2d at 1107–09. Even though students did not have access to the video while on campus due to the school’s restrictive Internet policies, the court still found the “reasonable foreseeability” nexus standard could have been satisfied, were it necessary, because administrators had access to the video while on campus. Id.

However, as mentioned earlier, a minority of courts require a showing of “a sufficient nexus” before they will confront the Tinker standard. These courts though are divided when it comes to defining this term. The requirement that the speech be sufficiently related to the school for Tinker to apply was first articulated by the Second Circuit in Thomas v . Bd. of Educ., Granville Cent. Sch. Dist. , 607 F.2d 1043, 1050 (2d Cir. 1979). In Thomas , the court found that Tinker was inapplicable where students created a satirical newspaper that they deliberately tried to keep off campus because “all but an insignificant amount of relevant activity in this case was deliberately designed to take place beyond the schoolhouse gate.” Similarly in a later case, the Fifth Circuit found Tinker inapplicable where a student brought a violent drawing that his brother had made at home two years earlier to school because the brother did not take any action to increase the chances that the drawing would make its way to campus and the drawing was not “publicized in a way certain to result in its appearance at [the School].” Porter v. Ascension Parish Sch. Bd. , 393 F.3d 608, 615–20 (5th Cir. 2004).

Several decades after Thomas , the Second Circuit addressed online speech in Wisniewski and adopted the “reasonably foreseeable” test to determine whether there was sufficient nexus between the speech and the school. Wisniewski v. Bd. of Educ. of the Weedsport Ctr. Sch. Dist. , 494 F.3d 34, 39–40 (2d Cir. 2007). In Wisniewski, school officials suspended a middle school student for using an AOL Instant Messaging avatar that depicted a pistol firing a bullet at a man’s head above the message “kill [the student’s English teacher].” Id. at 35–36. The court required that the student’s expression reaching school property be reasonably foreseeable before applying Tinker , and found foreseeability because the image was of a violent nature and because the student had transmitted the image to fifteen other students during a three week period. Id. at 39–40.

In another case involving online expression before the Second Circuit, school officials had reprimanded a high school student for emailing students and parents and posting a message on her personal blog that criticized the school for canceling a school event, encouraging students and parents to complain to the school. Doninger v. Niehof , 642 F.3d 334, 345–47 (2nd Cir. 2011), cert denied , 2011 WL 3204853 (2011). Applying the standard found in Wisniewski , the court found that it was reasonably foreseeable that the student’s message would disrupt school activities or administration because it directly encouraged students and parents to contact the school. Id. at 48–50 (holding that “a student may be disciplined for expressive conduct, even conduct occurring off school grounds, when this conduct ‘would foreseeably create a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment,’ at least when it was similarly foreseeable that the off-campus expression might also reach campus”).

Other courts have set more vague standards for finding a sufficient nexus between the expression and the school. For example, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania found a sufficient nexus in Bethlehem where a student had created a website — that he had accessed during class and informed other students about — containing violent, highly threatening, and derogatory comments about school officials. J.S. v. Bethlehem Area Sch. Dist. , 807 A.2d 847, 666 (Pa. 2002) (specifying that purely off campus speech would “arguably be subject to some higher level of First Amendment protection”). Without citing the Second Circuit’s foreseeability test, the court reasoned that such a nexus existed because of the easy access that students and school officials had to the website, and because school officials were subjects of the website. Id. at 667–68.

Despite requiring a threshold showing of a nexus before they will apply the Tinker standard, few courts, if any, have found that a sufficient nexus does not exist between online speech and a school when applying the “reasonably foreseeable” test. As the Beverly Hills court noted, cases requiring this threshold question “more readily find a sufficient nexus where speech over the Internet is involved.” Beverly Hills , 711 F.Supp.2d at 1108. This is most likely due to the uniquely pervasive and widely accessible nature of the Internet, because of which it is foreseeable that almost anything posted online may be viewed in schools by students, teachers, and administrators, thereby satisfying the foreseeability nexus threshold test.

Even though it is nearly always satisfied in cases of online speech, this test shows no signs of disappearing, and courts continue to administer the threshold nexus test before asking whether the expression did in fact or was foreseeably likely to cause substantial disruption. The persistence of the nexus test may be explained by the fact that courts do not undergo different analyses for online speech and off campus speech, and many courts even tend to view online speech as a subset of off campus speech. Unlike cases of online speech, courts do find that some off campus speech cases fail to satisfy the sufficient nexus test. See, e.g. , Porter , 393 F.3d at 615–20; Thomas , 607 F.2d at 1050. In this sense, asking whether there is a sufficient nexus in cases of online speech is a vestigial question of the pre-Internet era.

Despite the absence in the case law of courts finding that online speech did not foreseeably reach campus, one can imagine cases that might fail the nexus test: where the student did not consent to uploading a recording of the speech onto the Internet, or where the student actively tried to keep the expression away from the school. Such cases would be analogous to Thomas and Porter , discussed above, where the courts found that Tinker did not apply because the students involved either did not play a role in bringing the off campus speech onto campus or actively tried to keep the speech off campus. On the other hand, even private online communications can be easily shared, making it unrealistic to expect that most online speech would not reach a school’s campus.

The future utility of the nexus test should not be understated. It may be seen as a way for courts to avoid applying the Tinker substantial disruption test in cases of valuable online speech made by students that is not directed at the school or its students. See Blue Mountain , 650 F.3d at 939 (Smith, J., concurring) (observing that applying Tinker in all cases would allow school officials “to regulate students’ expressive activity no matter where it takes place, when it occurs, or what subject matter it involves — so long as it causes a substantial disruption at school”). The Supreme Court in Tinker could not have intended to allow schools to regulate all student expression that occurs anywhere simply because it happens to disrupt school activities. A student might upload a blog post discussing a sensitive political or social topic that is unrelated to the school or its students but that causes substantial disruption at the school. Allowing a school to punish that student might raise serious constitutional issues. An easy way for courts to avoid this problem would be to use a nexus test and to find that such speech cannot be regulated because it does not have a sufficient nexus with the school.

Tinker ’s Substantial Disruption Standard

Beyond the nexus inquiry, the Tinker substantial disruption test requires a showing that either actual substantial disruption to school activities occurred on campus or that school officials reasonably foresaw substantial disruption and acted to prevent that disruption or deter future disruption. Tinker , 393 U.S. at 513. Though no actual disruption is required for school officials to have reasonably foreseen disruption, Tinker required school officials to at least have evidence of future substantial disruption, more than an “undifferentiated fear or apprehension of disturbance.” Id. at 508. The Court also required something more than “a mere desire to avoid the discomfort and unpleasantness that always accompany an unpopular viewpoint.” Id. For example, in holding that substantial disruption was not foreseeable, the court in Smith-Green rejected the School’s arguments that the principal had experience with similar situations that caused a disturbance and wanted to “get off on the right foot” at the start of the school year, finding that more evidence was required. Smith-Green , 2011 WL 3501698, at *14 . The court in Bowler also found that substantial disruption was not reasonably foreseeable where students would need to go through a complex series of steps to be disturbed by links on a student’s website that the student had advertised on posters hung around the school. Bowler v. Town of Hudson , 514 F. Supp. 2d 168, 177–78 (D. Mass. 2007).

First, in determining the extent of the disruption, courts explore the magnitude of student discussions in classrooms and around campus. The speech at issue must actually or foreseeably disrupt classroom activities, more than merely causing discussion of the speech among students. See Beverly Hills , 711 F. Supp. 2d at 1111. In Harrell , the court found that a university student, who had criticized and put-down his professor and other students many times in two online class forums, had substantially disrupted class activity because his hostility caused many students in the class to stop participating online or to become significantly discouraged from doing so. Harrell , 2009 WL 3562732, at *4, 6 (one teacher commented that the student had “shredd[ed] the other students’ espirit de corps irreparably”). This case is contrasted with Blue Mountain , where the court noted in dicta that no actual disruption had occurred after the plaintiff student created a fake MySpace profile for her school principal, which depicted the principal as a pedophile and sex addict, because only a few students discussed the profile with the plaintiff at school and did not interrupt class time apart from discussions led by a few teachers. 650 F.3d at 928.

Courts also consider whether school administrators are pulled away from their ordinary tasks to respond to the effects of the student’s speech. See Beverly Hills , 711 F. Supp. 2d at 1113–14. In Doninger , for example, the court found substantial disruption where the student’s conduct resulted in “a deluge of calls and emails” for the principal and superintendent “and many upset students.” 642 F.3d at 51. At the other end of the spectrum, in Smith-Green , the court found no evidence of actual substantial disruption because only two parents complained to the administration and there was otherwise no disruption to any school activity. 2011 WL 3501698, at *12–13.

While courts do not normally claim to distinguish between valuable speech in the public interest and speech that serves no public good such as the mean spirited speech at issue in Blue Mountain , 650 F.3d at 940–41 (Smith, J., Concurring), courts may take exception where a student’s speech is violent or threatening. For example, in Bethlehem , the court found that disruption was foreseeable where a student created a website containing violent and highly threatening material targeted at school officials. 807 A.2d at 852; see also Wisniewski , 494 F.3d at 40 (finding foreseeable substantial disruption where a student used an AOL Instant Messaging avatar of a man’s head being shot above the message “kill [the student’s English teacher]”).

To summarize, in determining whether the student’s influence around the school is characterized as “substantial disruption,” courts are concerned with the level of conversations held by other students in class and elsewhere on school grounds, the speech’s effects on the administration, and the violent nature of the speech. However, it is not clear whether any single factor is necessary to establish substantial disruption or dispositive of this issue. For example, after discussing all of these factors and taking them together, the court in Beverly Hills held that no reasonable jury could find that the YouTube video at issue caused substantial disruption because the video was not violent or threatening, there was no verbal or physical confrontation at school and “no widespread whispering campaign,” and no students watched the video at school. 711 F. Supp. 2d at 1117–19. It also found that substantial disruption was not reasonably foreseeable, even though the video had one hundred views by the time it was seen by the school officials, because the officials only had evidence that there would be a general buzz around campus. Id. at 1119–22.

In one of the few cases to address student-on-student bullying online, the Fourth Circuit recently found evidence of actual and foreseeable substantial disruption in Kowalski v. Berkeley Cnty. Sch. , 652 F.3d 565, 575–76 (4th Cir. 2011), cert. denied , 2012 WL 117817 (U.S. Jan. 17, 2012) (No. 11-461). In that case, school officials suspended plaintiff, a high school student, for creating a group MySpace page largely dedicated to ridiculing another student through disparaging comments and photographs about her personality and sexual history. Id. at 566–69. The plaintiff invited approximately 100 of her MySpace “friends” to join the group, some of whom added their own content. Id. The posting induced conversations among some students at school and shamed the target student into missing school for a day. Id. The court was persuaded that the school’s pedagogical interests in preventing and punishing bullying were sufficiently strong to justify the action taken by school officials. Id. at 572.

One can read this case as holding that emotionally disturbing a student into missing a single day of class meets the substantial disruption standard because it disrupts that student’s ability to learn.  This reading of Kowalski could allow school officials to punish students for bullying that occurs off campus or online when it causes the bullied student to miss school, and would thus depend largely on the subjective feelings of the bullied student.

Another potential issue that follows from the Kowalski opinion is whether courts should focus on the nature of the plaintiff’s speech and its typical effects on learning environments, or solely its effects on the school in the particular case at issue. Id. at 572–74 (stating that the plaintiff’s harassing speech was “not the conduct and speech that our educational system is required to tolerate” and that the federal government recognizes student-on-student bullying as a major concern that causes students to be fearful of attending school). Courts already consider the violent or threatening nature of speech when deciding whether it causes substantial disruption, and bullying is a type of negative, low-value speech. But in principle, the Tinker standard is concerned with the actual or foreseeable effects of student speech on the school’s educational environment not the type of speech at issue, and following Kowalski , future courts may need to resolve messy questions about the type of student speech that should be protected.

In addition to finding actual substantial disruption, the court found that there was foreseeable substantial disruption because, had officials not intervened, the page could have had a snowballing effect, potentially resulting in “copycat” efforts by other students. Id. at 576–77. But the court did not find any clear evidence suggesting that future bullying was more likely because of the posting, and therefore this argument does not seem to rise above an  “undifferentiated fear or apprehension of disturbance” that was not sufficient to find foreseeable substantial disruption in Tinker , 393 U.S. at 508.

Lower courts have consistently interpreted Tinker to apply to online speech using its standard of substantial disruption. Before applying the Tinker standard in cases involving off campus or online speech, some courts require a threshold showing of a substantial nexus between the speech and the school, typically requiring the school to prove that a student should have foreseen that his or her expression would reach the school’s campus. Then, in determining whether the substantial disruption standard from Tinker is met, courts inquire into the magnitude of student conversations about the school, the burden on the administration, and the violent nature of the speech. Recently in Kowalski , the Fourth Circuit held that a school could punish a student for online bullying, in part because bullying is a major pedagogical concern in schools, even though the disruption amounted to one student missing a day of school out of embarrassment and some student conversations. The Supreme Court may address the issue of student speech online in the near future if it accepts Kowalski ’s petition for certiorari. However, Kowalski may also not be the best test case for the Court to decide such an important issue. Since the plaintiff in Kowalski is so unsympathetic, the Court will be hard-pressed to protect student First Amendment rights, if it chooses to do so, by deciding in the bullying student’s favor.

  • Our Mission

Freeing Students—and Teachers—From Homework

A second-grade teacher explains how she got rid of mandatory homework—and the surprising results she found when she did.

A father and his two sons do a project together.

I stopped assigning homework to my second-grade students last year, and something surprising happened: They started doing more work at home. This inspiring group of 8-year-olds used their newfound free time to explore subjects and topics of interest to them. Even better, they excitedly reported their findings to their peers—who then became inspired enough to explore their own areas of interest. I wish I could say that this was part of my master plan and that I’m just that good, but my students get all the credit for this one.

These are just a handful of examples of the in-depth learning that occurred at home once my students were given the gift of time:

Student 1: After learning about weather patterns during our science unit, she decided to learn more about the effects of Hurricane Sandy on our local community. She created a cardboard model of the aftermath in Belmar, New Jersey.

Student 2: After learning about Harriet Tubman during social studies, she made a 3D model of the Underground Railroad, complete with a map showing a route from slave state to free state.

Student 3: After learning about the Civil War, he made a 3D model of the Battle of Gettysburg and a trifold display with key figures, a timeline, and interesting facts.

Student 4: After learning about Martin Luther King Jr., she took the initiative to learn more about his famous “I Have a Dream” speech and created a cardboard model of the March on Washington, complete with a book report.

Why did I get rid of homework? It’s become abundantly clear that it’s time to break this habit. The minor academic benefits to assigning mandatory nightly homework simply do not outweigh the substantial drawbacks, which include potentially turning young children against school at the beginning of their academic journey.

A Five-Part Plan to Break the Homework Habit

1. Explain it to parents. Back-to-school night is a perfect opportunity to explain your philosophy on homework to the families in your class. Don’t send your homework policy home in a letter—parents get a ton of paperwork in the first few weeks of school, and it’s nearly impossible to read through it all. Instead, create a presentation backed with research and walk parents through it in person. Most of them will be on board immediately—homework causes a lot of stress and fighting in most families. And you’ll be able to answer the skeptics’ questions on the spot and avoid a drawn-out email exchange.

2. Encourage at-home reading. The key word here is encourage . During your presentation, explain the benefits of reading at home. You can even send home reading logs, but don’t assign a due date. Your students should not have mandatory reading time every night. Reading should be a choice, not a chore. We’re trying to create lifelong readers, and when we make reading a mandatory assignment, we take away from the joy and pleasure of the experience.

3. Send home weekly spelling words and math facts. At the beginning of each week, send home a list of spelling words and math facts that need to be mastered. It will be up to each child to figure out the best way to learn to spell the words correctly or to master the math facts. If you want to send home a choice board for the students to use to help guide their studying, do it. Just don’t make it mandatory.

These spelling words and math facts are covered in class, and if you provide your class with differentiated spelling lists and math facts, it levels the playing field and all students can do their learning in class. And since parents often want to track what their children are learning, at back-to-school night I go over different ways parents can support spelling and math fact mastery—that’s the reason to continue to send the list home, even with no mandatory work.

4. Create voluntary monthly family projects. I send home family projects at the beginning of each month. These projects are designed to inspire a dialogue between the student and his or her family, and they’re meant to be fun. Some examples: Cover a pumpkin with family photos, complete five random acts of kindness, make a bird’s nest out of household materials. The students and their families have the entire month to complete the project. The students bring in their projects on the last day of the month and present them to the class.

I’ve had a few students choose not to complete a monthly project, only to change their mind after they saw their classmates’ presentations and bring one in the following week or even the following month. They’re never penalized for an incomplete or “late” submission.

5. Create voluntary lesson extensions. Some children love homework. I had two students last year who would bring in a binder and ask me to fill it with assignments for them to complete at home. Resist the urge to give such kids busy work. Instead, create lesson extensions and post them on Google Classroom or send them home each week. Point students to outside resources to expand their knowledge on a topic covered in class. Give them the opportunity to report their findings back to their classmates.

Thoreau eloquently said, “It’s not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?” As educators, we need to strive to provide authentic learning opportunities for our students. Busy work is a waste of time for all of us—students and teachers alike.

Not only that, but our youngest learners are losing precious free time that could be used to engage in play and group activities like organized sports, music lessons, and clubs. Eight-year-olds should not feel stressed about getting their math homework done so they can get to soccer practice or piano lessons on time.

Request More Info

Fill out the form below and a member of our team will reach out right away!

" * " indicates required fields

Is Homework Necessary? Education Inequity and Its Impact on Students

homework restricts a students freedom

The Problem with Homework: It Highlights Inequalities

How much homework is too much homework, when does homework actually help, negative effects of homework for students, how teachers can help.

Schools are getting rid of homework from Essex, Mass., to Los Angeles, Calif. Although the no-homework trend may sound alarming, especially to parents dreaming of their child’s acceptance to Harvard, Stanford or Yale, there is mounting evidence that eliminating homework in grade school may actually have great benefits , especially with regard to educational equity.

In fact, while the push to eliminate homework may come as a surprise to many adults, the debate is not new . Parents and educators have been talking about this subject for the last century, so that the educational pendulum continues to swing back and forth between the need for homework and the need to eliminate homework.

One of the most pressing talking points around homework is how it disproportionately affects students from less affluent families. The American Psychological Association (APA) explained:

“Kids from wealthier homes are more likely to have resources such as computers, internet connections, dedicated areas to do schoolwork and parents who tend to be more educated and more available to help them with tricky assignments. Kids from disadvantaged homes are more likely to work at afterschool jobs, or to be home without supervision in the evenings while their parents work multiple jobs.”

[RELATED] How to Advance Your Career: A Guide for Educators >> 

While students growing up in more affluent areas are likely playing sports, participating in other recreational activities after school, or receiving additional tutoring, children in disadvantaged areas are more likely headed to work after school, taking care of siblings while their parents work or dealing with an unstable home life. Adding homework into the mix is one more thing to deal with — and if the student is struggling, the task of completing homework can be too much to consider at the end of an already long school day.

While all students may groan at the mention of homework, it may be more than just a nuisance for poor and disadvantaged children, instead becoming another burden to carry and contend with.

Beyond the logistical issues, homework can negatively impact physical health and stress — and once again this may be a more significant problem among economically disadvantaged youth who typically already have a higher stress level than peers from more financially stable families .

Yet, today, it is not just the disadvantaged who suffer from the stressors that homework inflicts. A 2014 CNN article, “Is Homework Making Your Child Sick?” , covered the issue of extreme pressure placed on children of the affluent. The article looked at the results of a study surveying more than 4,300 students from 10 high-performing public and private high schools in upper-middle-class California communities.

“Their findings were troubling: Research showed that excessive homework is associated with high stress levels, physical health problems and lack of balance in children’s lives; 56% of the students in the study cited homework as a primary stressor in their lives,” according to the CNN story. “That children growing up in poverty are at-risk for a number of ailments is both intuitive and well-supported by research. More difficult to believe is the growing consensus that children on the other end of the spectrum, children raised in affluence, may also be at risk.”

When it comes to health and stress it is clear that excessive homework, for children at both ends of the spectrum, can be damaging. Which begs the question, how much homework is too much?

The National Education Association and the National Parent Teacher Association recommend that students spend 10 minutes per grade level per night on homework . That means that first graders should spend 10 minutes on homework, second graders 20 minutes and so on. But a study published by The American Journal of Family Therapy found that students are getting much more than that.

While 10 minutes per day doesn’t sound like much, that quickly adds up to an hour per night by sixth grade. The National Center for Education Statistics found that high school students get an average of 6.8 hours of homework per week, a figure that is much too high according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It is also to be noted that this figure does not take into consideration the needs of underprivileged student populations.

In a study conducted by the OECD it was found that “after around four hours of homework per week, the additional time invested in homework has a negligible impact on performance .” That means that by asking our children to put in an hour or more per day of dedicated homework time, we are not only not helping them, but — according to the aforementioned studies — we are hurting them, both physically and emotionally.

What’s more is that homework is, as the name implies, to be completed at home, after a full day of learning that is typically six to seven hours long with breaks and lunch included. However, a study by the APA on how people develop expertise found that elite musicians, scientists and athletes do their most productive work for about only four hours per day. Similarly, companies like Tower Paddle Boards are experimenting with a five-hour workday, under the assumption that people are not able to be truly productive for much longer than that. CEO Stephan Aarstol told CNBC that he believes most Americans only get about two to three hours of work done in an eight-hour day.

In the scope of world history, homework is a fairly new construct in the U.S. Students of all ages have been receiving work to complete at home for centuries, but it was educational reformer Horace Mann who first brought the concept to America from Prussia. 

Since then, homework’s popularity has ebbed and flowed in the court of public opinion. In the 1930s, it was considered child labor (as, ironically, it compromised children’s ability to do chores at home). Then, in the 1950s, implementing mandatory homework was hailed as a way to ensure America’s youth were always one step ahead of Soviet children during the Cold War. Homework was formally mandated as a tool for boosting educational quality in 1986 by the U.S. Department of Education, and has remained in common practice ever since.  

School work assigned and completed outside of school hours is not without its benefits. Numerous studies have shown that regular homework has a hand in improving student performance and connecting students to their learning. When reviewing these studies, take them with a grain of salt; there are strong arguments for both sides, and only you will know which solution is best for your students or school. 

Homework improves student achievement.

  • Source: The High School Journal, “ When is Homework Worth the Time?: Evaluating the Association between Homework and Achievement in High School Science and Math ,” 2012. 
  • Source:, “ Does High School Homework Increase Academic Achievement? ,” 2014. **Note: Study sample comprised only high school boys. 

Homework helps reinforce classroom learning.

  • Source: “ Debunk This: People Remember 10 Percent of What They Read ,” 2015.

Homework helps students develop good study habits and life skills.

  • Sources: The Repository @ St. Cloud State, “ Types of Homework and Their Effect on Student Achievement ,” 2017; Journal of Advanced Academics, “ Developing Self-Regulation Skills: The Important Role of Homework ,” 2011.
  • Source: Journal of Advanced Academics, “ Developing Self-Regulation Skills: The Important Role of Homework ,” 2011.

Homework allows parents to be involved with their children’s learning.

  • Parents can see what their children are learning and working on in school every day. 
  • Parents can participate in their children’s learning by guiding them through homework assignments and reinforcing positive study and research habits.
  • Homework observation and participation can help parents understand their children’s academic strengths and weaknesses, and even identify possible learning difficulties.
  • Source:, “ Sociologist Upends Notions about Parental Help with Homework ,” 2018.

While some amount of homework may help students connect to their learning and enhance their in-class performance, too much homework can have damaging effects. 

Students with too much homework have elevated stress levels. 

  • Source: USA Today, “ Is It Time to Get Rid of Homework? Mental Health Experts Weigh In ,” 2021.
  • Source: Stanford University, “ Stanford Research Shows Pitfalls of Homework ,” 2014.

Students with too much homework may be tempted to cheat. 

  • Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education, “ High-Tech Cheating Abounds, and Professors Bear Some Blame ,” 2010.
  • Source: The American Journal of Family Therapy, “ Homework and Family Stress: With Consideration of Parents’ Self Confidence, Educational Level, and Cultural Background ,” 2015.

Homework highlights digital inequity. 

  • Sources:, “ The Homework Gap: The ‘Cruelest Part of the Digital Divide’ ,” 2016;, “ The Digital Divide Has Left Millions of School Kids Behind ,” 2021.
  • Source: Investopedia, “ Digital Divide ,” 2022; International Journal of Education and Social Science, “ Getting the Homework Done: Social Class and Parents’ Relationship to Homework ,” 2015.
  • Source: World Economic Forum, “ COVID-19 exposed the digital divide. Here’s how we can close it ,” 2021.

Homework does not help younger students.

  • Source: Review of Educational Research, “ Does Homework Improve Academic Achievement? A Synthesis of Researcher, 1987-2003 ,” 2006.

To help students find the right balance and succeed, teachers and educators must start the homework conversation, both internally at their school and with parents. But in order to successfully advocate on behalf of students, teachers must be well educated on the subject, fully understanding the research and the outcomes that can be achieved by eliminating or reducing the homework burden. There is a plethora of research and writing on the subject for those interested in self-study.

For teachers looking for a more in-depth approach or for educators with a keen interest in educational equity, formal education may be the best route. If this latter option sounds appealing, there are now many reputable schools offering online master of education degree programs to help educators balance the demands of work and family life while furthering their education in the quest to help others.

YOU’RE INVITED! Watch Free Webinar on USD’s Online MEd Program >>

Be Sure To Share This Article

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on LinkedIn

Top 11 Reasons to get Your Master of Education Degree

Free 22-page Book

homework restricts a students freedom

  • Master of Education

Related Posts

homework restricts a students freedom

You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

  • How it works
  • Homework answers

Programming help

Can Too Much Homework Violate Student’s Rights?

Can Too Much Homework Violate Student's Rights?

Parents take their kids to school from the best motives hoping that it is exactly what they need to become happy, self-assertive and successful in the future. A deplorable fact is that sometimes educational establishments can fail to meet parents’ and child’s expectations. Schools, colleges, and universities nowadays are more likely to be the product of history rather than the result of scrupulous investigation of studying process and desire to improve it since the traditions haven’t changed, only the equipment was improved. The most noticeable and ambiguous issue among the number of pros and cons of contemporary schooling appears to be the amount of homework. Trying to find out how advantageous and useful homework is, we simply stuck between the questions of its size and relevance. Thus, does this activity violate our rights of freedom being troublesome and labor-intensive?

To some extent yes, it does. According to Article 31 of   Convention on the Rights of the Child , states ‘recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts’ and ‘ shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity.’ And after reading all these beautiful moments promising plenty of free time to be spent actively, we still end up doing homework. Besides, it would be nice to know how teacher will react to your “I haven’t done my homework because the Constitution guarantees me leisure and freedom to visit places of interest and develop socially.”


It appears to be too time-consuming task, especially when we cannot put our finger on the matter of subject. It is rarely interesting enough to make a student be enthusiastic about doing it quickly and efficiently. Moreover, if the college doesn’t care about the quality of teaching and fails to provide one with enough knowledge, this can be solved by giving extra explanations to the student by a qualified expert, say, personal tutor, however, it again requires extra time and money. Thus, by stealing free time and expenses it brings lots of harm to our  psyche and provokes stress. Failures with homework or its deadline can lead to mental instability and, eventually, cause the nervous breakdown.

Tackling the aforementioned does not guarantee further absence of problems. Just count how much time a student spends in front of the computer concentrating on its screen during the day socializing and add to this time spent on homework. It is a serious threat to eyes, brain, and posture. It is one more violation since our health is to be secured, but no one will compensate us what we lose while working at the computer. To prevent different physical disorders, it is necessary to change position all the time, to do exercise for eyes and have enough rest (not 6 hours of sleep per night as students tend to have). Socialization with friends and outdoor activities alleviate stress but what if a student simply does not have private time for that.

According to a Norwegian doctor S. Fredricksen, homework is the violation of human rights that destroys the border between school and home, thus it is essential to load the child less and to help him or her with homework no matter how difficult or considerable it seems to be. Normally, students start asking parents for help or use Yahoo and Google searches which are not always useful, so you’re like:

However, instead of wasting time on useless page scrolling, one can try online services aimed at homework help. Our service, in this case, appears to be quite helpful. Experts here are highly qualified tutors ready to help anyone online within the stated time at a reasonable cost. Don’t start to blame it for making children lazy and less motivated. The greatest benefit of Assignment Expert is that our team guarantees to provide detailed explanations concerning each accomplished work and shoot video tutorials for any question. It gives a chance not only to get excellent homework saving time for things of higher priority but also to reduce blind spots in studying.

Researchers all over the world have shown that people of all ages study better when they have their own motivation and gain their achievements that help them to set more and more goals. Consequently, when people start to understand something, they feel happier and begin to explore more within the topic without extra mental and physical efforts because it brings them contentment and satisfaction. So can you!


  • More Networks

Test Your Knowledge: What Rights Do Students Have at School?

A graphic of a woman holding a megaphone with rulers on her righthand side.

With another school year underway, it’s important to remember the legal protections that students possess both on and off campus. Though classrooms around the country are being constrained by attempts to censor what we can teach and learn, students still largely maintain the right to express themselves and their views in school. Quiz yourself below to learn the many rights that students have, and how these constitutional protections intersect with school policies.

Learn More About the Issues on This Page

  • Student Dress Code
  • Student Speech and Privacy
  • Free Speech
  • LGBTQ Rights
  • LGBTQ Youth

Related Content

ACLU Commends the FCC’s Restoration of Net Neutrality Regulations

ACLU Commends the FCC’s Restoration of Net Neutrality Regulations

ACLU Statement on Congress’ Latest Attempt to Ban TikTok and Restrict Free Speech Online

ACLU Statement on Congress’ Latest Attempt to Ban TikTok and Restrict Free Speech Online

A group of protesters.

The Supreme Court Declined a Protestors' Rights Case. Here's What You Need to Know.

ACLU, Civil-Society Groups, Urge Congress to Extend Funding for Affordable Internet Program

ACLU, Civil-Society Groups, Urge Congress to Extend Funding for Affordable Internet Program

National Coalition Against Censorship Logo

The First Amendment in Schools: Resource Guide: Access to Information on the Internet

Home » Resources » The First Amendment in Schools: Resource Guide: Access to Information on the Internet

Introduction: “Avoiding Censorship in Schools” | Religious Expression in the Public Schools | Sex and Sexuality Education | Harassment and Hate Speech | Student Publications | Student Expression: Web Pages, Dress Codes, and More | Access to Information on the Internet | Teachers’ Rights | Parents’ Rights

The Internet is a powerful source of information and forum for free expression. It is, in the words of the Supreme Court, a venue where “any person can become a town crier with a voice that resonates farther than it could from any soapbox.” It is also a technology that permits the dissemination of all kinds of ideas, including some that are hateful, dangerous, and threatening. With its increasingly widespread use have come efforts to regulate it, in the name of preventing harm to minors from material sexual, violent, or objectionable content.

In 1997, the Supreme Court struck down parts of the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”), which prohibited the transmission of “indecent” material to minors over the Internet on First Amendment grounds. ACLU v. Reno , 521 U.S. 844 (1997). Since then, Congress has enacted other laws intended to prevent minors from exposure to sexual and violent content on the Internet. The Child Online Protection Act (“COPA”) and the Children’s Internet Protection Act (“CIPA”) are the two most recent examples. COPA made it a federal crime to use the Internet to transmit material thought to be “harmful to minors” for commercial purposes. Like its predecessor CDA, COPA has been held to violate the First Amendment and it is no longer good law. American Civil Liberties Union v. Ashcroft , 322 F.3d 240 (3rd Cir. 2003).

In December 2000, Congress passed CIPA, requiring all public libraries and schools that receive federal funds for Internet access to install blocking software. On June 23, 2003, the Supreme Court held that the CIPA provision requiring public libraries to install blocking software is constitutional, reversing a lower court decision that held CIPA unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds. U.S. v. American Library Assoc., Inc. , 539 U.S. (2003). Although no one has contested CIPA’s provisions requiring elementary and secondary schools to install blocking software, it is almost certain that a constitutional challenge would fail.

Specifically, CIPA requires schools and libraries that receive federal funds for Internet access under the E-rate Program of the Universal Services Program and the LSTA to adopt and implement Internet safety policies. CIPA requires schools to (1) monitor the online activities of students under 17 years of age and (2) restrict access of minors and adults to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or “harmful to minors.” Adult Internet-users, including students age 17 and older, may request that the blocking software be disabled in order to conduct bona fide research or simply to view material that is otherwise protected by the First Amendment. Libraries must also restrict access to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors and may disable filtering software upon request. However, libraries are not required to monitor the Internet activity of their patrons.

Standards for Filtering Internet Content : Filtering software that has been developed to block restricted material is imperfect and costly. Therefore, schools and libraries are advised to weigh the costs and benefits of installing the software and maintaining it with the amount of federal subsidy received — some libraries have chosen not to install the software because it costs more than the federal subsidy forgone as a result. If the choice is made to install filtering software, it is important to understand the criteria that the software uses to exclude content, to retain control over what kind of material is blocked, and to have procedures in place to bypass the system or to correct any viewpoint discrimination that the filters may generate. Among its flaws, filtering software has a tendency to block access to sites that do not contain restricted material (such as sites about Mars exploration, Super Bowl XXX, and sextants); it may allow access to material that, by its own standards, should be blocked; it often fails to distinguish between “good” and “bad” information about sex, violence, etc.; and it may restrict access to controversial topics that are appropriate subjects for research. (The flaws in such software have been documented by Consumer Reports, Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, and other groups.) Some students have reported that they are unable to do research assignments at school, access information about health or learn how to do computer research effectively because of the effects of overly restrictive filters. Thus, students who do not have home computers may be at a competitive disadvantage in such situations.

There are three kinds of filtering software that can be used to restrict Internet access. Online content is posted on Web sites that have addresses called URLs (uniform resource locators). Internet filters may be characterized as either “blacklists,” “whitelists,” or word-rule blocking. Blacklists block access to a specific list of “inappropriate” URLs, as determined by individuals who evaluate them based on a specific standard. They leave access open to everything else. Whitelists limit access to a selected list of URLs, blocking entry to all other sites. Word-rule filters block URLs that fit a certain rule, such as those which block the letter combinations “sex” or “breast”, and leave other URLs unblocked. These filtering methods might be used separately or in combination. That is, a software vendor could design a filter to block out sites according to a word-rule standard, but provide an automatic override that unblocked any URLs that are on a specific whitelist.

Acceptable Use Policies: School librarians may plainly create lists of recommended sites and search engines, to guide students toward educationally valuable material, and they can create menus that direct students to these sites. Schools may also clearly implement “Acceptable Use Policies” (AUP’s) to instruct students in standards and procedures governing use of school computers. These may restrict students to use of computers for “educational” purposes, instruct students in good research practices, alert them to the presence of fraudulent and illegal information, advise about the risks of communicating with unknown persons

  • International edition
  • Australia edition
  • Europe edition

Composite image of children and lines saying 'I will not follow rules'

Rutger Bregman: ‘What if we give children the freedom to play and learn on their own?’

A school with no classrooms, homework or grades encourages creativity and imagination, rather than an ability to sit still and nod

Time to reset: more brilliant ideas to remake the world

I n many places around the world, education has become something to be endured. A new generation is learning to run a rat race where the main metrics of success are your résumé and your pay cheque – a generation less inclined to colour outside the lines, less inclined to dream or to dare, to fantasise or explore.

Can schools operate on a wholly different view of human nature? What if we give children much more freedom to play and learn on their own?

The thing that moved me the most while I was researching my latest book was visiting such a school in the Netherlands . This school, Agora, relies on the intrinsic motivation of the children. There are no classes or classrooms, no homework or grades, no tests, no timetables. There is almost no hierarchy within the staff. Often, there is no hierarchy at all – the students are the ones in charge.

At Agora, children of all ages, academic levels and socioeconomic backgrounds are mixed together. Difference is perceived as normal, and what I quickly noticed was the lack of bullying. Bullying is often regarded as part and parcel of being a kid. Not so, say sociologists, who have compiled extensive research on the places where it is endemic, such as British boarding schools (the kind that inspired William Golding’s Lord Of The Flies). And little wonder: these schools resemble prisons. You can’t leave, you have to earn a place in a rigid hierarchy, and there’s a strict division between pupils and staff.

At the moment, we spend billions encouraging our biggest talents to rise up the career ladder, but once at the top they often ask themselves what it’s all for. Recent research in 47 developed countries found that a quarter of workers doubt the importance of their work. Most of these “meaningless jobs” are in the private sector – in banks, ad agencies and law firms. Meanwhile, politicians tell us we need to be more educated, earn more money and bring the economy more “growth”.

But what do all those degrees really represent? Are they proof of creativity and imagination, or of an ability to sit still and nod? It’s like the philosopher Ivan Illich said decades ago: “School is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is.”

Schools like Agora prove there is a different way. The question is not: can our kids handle the freedom? The question is: do we have the courage to give it to them?

  • Life and style
  • 21 brilliant ideas to remake the world
  • Netherlands
  • Economic policy

Most viewed

My son hates doing homework, and I struggle to help him. Education experts say I need to give him more freedom so he can excel.

  • My son doesn't like to do homework after a long day of school.
  • I also get worried about helping him because I learned to do the work a different way years ago. 
  • Education experts told me to give him freedom; we found colorful pens helped. 

Insider Today

We're more than three months into the school year, and even though we have our school-year routines established, there's still one contentious spot in my household: homework. My son is in fourth grade; he's been doing homework since he was in kindergarten and we still argue about it.

I guarantee that at least one or two nights a week, he'll give me a hard time about doing homework . He needs a break when he gets home from school, so he doesn't immediately get to work — but without fail, he will grumble about it at 7 p.m. even though he does his homework at the same time every school night.

To make homework time easier for both of us, I sought expert advice.

I've always had a complicated relationship with homework

When I was a kid, homework felt like such a chore, especially in subjects where I didn't feel as academically confident — such as math or science . I'd get home from a full day of learning, and then my parents expected me to sit at the kitchen table and work for two or more hours on the same work I'd been doing all day. If it was a subject I'd mastered, homework felt like a waste of time. But if it was a subject I struggled with, homework felt like torture.

Now that I'm a parent, I sometimes wonder why kids even need homework in the first place. After a long day of school and after-school activities, I think my kid needs a break.

But Janine Bempechat, a clinical professor at Boston University's Wheelock College of Education & Human Development, said homework is useful for a child's education.

Related stories

"Homework can be a powerful tool to reinforce learning and to provide children with all-important opportunities to practice newly acquired or acquiring skills," Bempechat told Business Insider.

Still, I struggle with how to help my son during homework time

We recently had parent-teacher conferences, and my partner and I admitted to my son's teacher that we often feel out of our depth because sometimes we teach him the way we learned math as kids, but fear that's somehow messing his education up.

As much as I fundamentally understand my child's math worskheets, all that logic goes out the window the minute he calls me over to help. I must steel my nerves, mentally putting on armor before I walk over to the kitchen table to help.

Jennifer Alfaro, a mother and the assistant principal of instruction at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy in Los Angeles, said she understands that parents get stressed and confused when trying to help.

"With Common Core, math strategies are different and so parents feel like they cannot help students because they do not want to confuse the student," Alfaro told BI.

Her words felt validating as a parent. Standards have changed since we were in school, and it's easy for even the most present parent to feel left behind by the way schools now teach the same concepts.

But I learned homework doesn't have to be stressful — for me or my kid

Bempechat stressed the importance of creating healthy habits from the beginning to give kids a routine and listening to them about where and when they feel most comfortable doing their homework.

Giving my son the freedom to choose where he does his homework has greatly improved his desire to do it. He likes to sit at a table to write, but when he's reading, sitting on the couch or in his room helps him feel more comfortable.

His school doesn't have strict rules about writing utensils for homework, so he likes to use colored pens to make it more exciting. He has a pen with multiple color inks, and he'll rotate through them during the week. It's a small win, but I'll take it!

Snacks while doing homework also make it more appealing for him. Young minds need fuel, so letting him eat a bowl of pretzels or some Doritos makes homework time go more smoothly — if he doesn't get orange dust on his worksheets.

Alfaro also gave some direct feedback for parents who may feel stressed and overwhelmed with helping our kids with homework: "Just be present for students so that they feel supported."

For those of us who struggle to keep up with the changing landscape of homework, she shared that "telling students that they might not know exactly how the teacher taught something but that they can help them" is a way to alleviate some of that stress.

Unfortunately, homework isn't going anywhere, as much as some of us wish it would. We need to look at homework as more than a necessary evil and as a way for parents to be an active part of our kid's education.

Watch: This dad uses science to bond with his kids — and it's adorable

homework restricts a students freedom

  • Main content


homework restricts a students freedom

School Uniforms and Free Expression: A Critical Analysis

homework restricts a students freedom

In most nations, it is usual to see students wearing uniforms. How uniforms came to be had an intriguing history. Around 1979, school uniforms were implemented in the United States in an effort to stop student fights over designer clothing. In order to reduce gang violence in schools, President Clinton successfully established the uniform policy. [1] During the British colonial era, school uniforms were implemented in nations like Pakistan and India. In these nations, senior secondary school females typically wear “Salwar Kamiz,” whereas boys typically wear slacks and shirts. [2]

The most hotly contested issue among parents and educators currently is the academic dress code. Many opponents have claimed that wearing uniforms has little effect on a student’s way of thinking and does significantly lessen inequality in society. The claim that school uniforms restrict personal expression is the most frequently used defence against them. Kids and teenagers express themselves and identify with particular social groupings through their clothing choices. Many students who oppose school uniforms claim that when they are denied the freedom to express themselves through clothing, they lose their sense of self. [3] In Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District [4] (7-2, 1969), the US Supreme Court, for example, held that “it can hardly be claimed that either that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” The School Inspectorate, a government organisation in Sweden, found that wearing a uniform violated students’ human rights because “dress and style should be considered an individual expression, decided by the students themselves.” [5] On the other hand, in Long Beach, CA, after two years of a district-wide K-8 mandatory uniform policy, reports of assault and battery in the district’s schools decreased by 34%, assault with a deadly weapon dropped by 50%, fighting incidents went down by 51%, sex offenses were cut by 74%, robbery dropped by 65%, possession of weapons (or weapon “look-alikes”) decreased by 52%, possession of drugs went down by 69%, and vandalism was lowered by 18%. [6] Therefore, the arguments for and against uniforms have been floated about by various organizations and governments.

However, the uniform policy adopted by India poses unique challenges.

The freedom of speech and expression is guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a) [7] of the Indian Constitution. But this is limited by school dress codes. This is due to the fact that, despite India’s diversity, which includes a wide range of cultures and clothing, school uniforms prevent kids from exploring their unique identities through clothing. This has the additional effect of causing many cultural practises to disappear. Thus, the uniform approach might also be viewed as an infringement on minority communities’ right to preserve their cultural customs.

A person’s identity may also be heavily influenced by their religion. Some people’s lives are centred on the theological principles and worship practises of a particular religion. More so than its doctrine and practises, a religion’s community and culture attract outsiders. Many people even feel a part of a religion’s culture even though they never partake in its rituals. Some individuals feel liberated to select their own religion or to reject all religion as a component of their identity. Others believe they are unable or unwilling to alter their religion because they were born and raised in it. Although everyone has a different relationship with religion, it is undeniable that religion may have an impact on people’s lives and habits. [8] Many Indians also show their religious adherence by their clothes, including the usage of specialised apparel, jewellery, and other aspects of their personal appearance like beards, in addition to religious activities like praying, attending places of worship, or maintaining a home altar. For instance, the majority of Christians (61%), Muslims (50%) and Hindus (52%) all said they typically wear a religious pendant. [9] Additionally, the majority of Sikh men and women maintain their long hair and wear a traditional metal bracelet called a kara. A large number of these customs are gender-specific. The vast majority of Muslim men (84%) and the majority of them (64%) also claim to have beards. Similarly, 83% of Sikh males have beards and wear turbans. [10] Indians who pursue their religion more strictly tend to adhere to these customs regarding dress and appearance. As a result, religion undoubtedly has an impact on how someone dresses. Despite the fact that freedom of religion, or the right to practise, profess, and propagate any religion, is a basic right guaranteed by Article 25 [11] of the Indian Constitution, uniforms nonetheless restrict people’s ability to display their religious beliefs. The Karnataka Government’s prohibition on the hijab at educational institutions amply demonstrates the conflict between the requirement for uniformity and each person’s freedom to practise their religion. [12]

In accordance with Article 21 [13] of the Indian Constitution, the right to express oneself freely is another crucial component of that right. The Supreme Court reinterpreted Article 21 [14] in the historic decision of Maneka Gandhi v. UOI [15] , declaring that the right to life encompasses more than only the physical right to life and also includes the right to live in dignity. Since the ability to express oneself and build an identity is a requirement for living with dignity, school uniforms have the potential to restrict this liberty. Another interesting point to note is that one of the main arguments put forward in favour of uniforms is that it ensures equality between students. It’s also noteworthy to notice that one of the key justifications for uniforms is that they guarantee student equality. Here, it is asserted, uniforms have also served as a status symbol in more recent times, despite its role as an equalizer in the Indian society. School uniforms frequently lead to disparities between pupils attending wealthy private schools and those attending public institutions. The validity of the equality argument in the modern day must thus be investigated as to whether it can alone stand as a sufficient reason for restricting an individual’s fundamental freedoms.

Furthermore, pupils’ gender identities are not taken into account by school uniforms, which are highly restrictive in character. Uniforms just compound the problems faced by non-binary and trans people in India, where their rights are still not widely recognised. Uniforms that are exclusively designed for girls and boys run the risk of making queer pupils’ gender dysmorphia worse. This might put gender-queer students at a disadvantage in many ways. [16] Additionally, these dress codes and uniforms have typically been founded on patriarchal norms, which furthers these prejudices.

As a result, uniforms have long been defended for their potential to promote equality; nonetheless, it is now imperative to critically assess how they may affect the free expression.

[1] Eric Layer,  Student Expression, School Dress Codes and Uniforms , Freedom Forum (Sept. 19, 2017),

[2] Opinionfront.Com ,

[3] School uniforms restrict students’ freedom of expression. | School Uniforms ,

[4] US Supreme Court, Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District,, Feb. 24, 1969.

[5] Elin Hofverberg, “Sweden: School Inspectorate Says School Uniforms Are Human Rights Violation,”, Feb. 1, 2018.

[6] Should Students Wear Uniforms Research Paper , Ipl.Org

[7] INDIA CONST., art 19(1)(a).

[8] Religion and Identity , Facing History and Ourselves (May 12, 2020),

[9] Travis Mitchell, 9. Religious clothing and personal appearance, Pew Research Center (June 29, 2021),

[11] INDIA CONST., art 25.

[12] Hijab Ban in Karnataka Educational Institutions, Supreme Court Observer (Oct. 13, 2022),

[13] INDIA CONST., art 21.

[14] INDIA CONST., art 21.

[15] Maneka Gandhi v. UOI AIR 1978 SC 597.

[16] School uniforms: Struggles, trauma of gender diverse students, Education News,The Indian Express (Dec. 4, 2021),

Author: Athira Mathew

' src=

Fashion Law Journal

Fashion Law Journal covers the legal landscape of the fashion industry and its stakeholders, providing the latest updates, how-to guides, and exclusive content for fashion law fratenity. An initiative and publication of Dept of Fashion Laws, Legal Desire (

homework restricts a students freedom

The Future Of Advertising In The Fashion Industry

homework restricts a students freedom

Legal Implications Of Collaborations & Partnerships In The Fashion Industry

Latest from column.

Beautifu girl in Paris with Eiffel tower on background.

Why Paris is called Fashion Capital of the World?

Amazon Fallout, Fallout on Amazon

Fallout on Amazon: A Comprehensive Review, Read before you Watch

homework restricts a students freedom

The Intersection of Ethics and Law in Social Media: Understanding the Responsibility of Influencers in Digital Marketing

homework restricts a students freedom

Breaking the Hermès Game: Antitrust Class Action Challenges Exclusive Birkin Bag Access

homework restricts a students freedom

Define your Street Style: Streetwear Chic Look


  1. PPT

    homework restricts a students freedom

  2. 22 Main Reasons Why is Homework Harmful For Students

    homework restricts a students freedom

  3. 5 Ways to Give Your Students More Freedom in Your Classroom

    homework restricts a students freedom

  4. Homework Harm and Struggles: Let Us Ban It

    homework restricts a students freedom

  5. Legal Homework Rights: What’s the Limit on Homework?

    homework restricts a students freedom

  6. Give Your Students More Freedom In Your Classroom (video)

    homework restricts a students freedom


  1. The Case Against Homework

    The Case Against Homework. According to Stanford research, "56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress.". Daniel Hampton, Staff WriterMarch 4, 2022. Homework has been systematically ruining students' home lives for decades. Homework is a concept that seems fine on paper; however, in practice, it works to ...

  2. Homework Pros and Cons

    Homework does not help younger students, and may not help high school students. We've known for a while that homework does not help elementary students. A 2006 study found that "homework had no association with achievement gains" when measured by standardized tests results or grades. [ 7]

  3. Should We Get Rid of Homework?

    The authors believe this meritocratic narrative is a myth and that homework — math homework in particular — further entrenches the myth in the minds of teachers and their students.

  4. Is homework a necessary evil?

    Students reported bringing home an average of just over three hours of homework nightly (Journal of Experiential Education, 2013). On the positive side, students who spent more time on homework in that study did report being more behaviorally engaged in school — for instance, giving more effort and paying more attention in class, Galloway says.

  5. Student Free Speech Rights on the Internet: Summary of the Recent Case

    While Tinker is still the general standard, the Supreme Court has since carved out three limited categories of speech that schools may restrict even without showing actual or foreseeable substantial disruption.See Morse v. Frederick, 551 U.S. 393, 403 (2007) (holding that school officials "may restrict student speech at a school event, when that speech is reasonably viewed as promoting ...

  6. Student Rights at School: Six Things You Need To Know

    The ACLU has even defended the rights of high school students who wanted to protest the ACLU. Contact the ACLU if you believe your school is trying to limit your First Amendment rights. 2. Dress codes. While schools are allowed to establish dress codes, students have a right to express themselves. Dress codes are all too often used to target ...

  7. School uniforms restrict students' freedom of expression

    The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees that all individuals have the right to express themselves freely. The U.S. Supreme Court stated in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969) that "it can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or ...

  8. Student Rights at School: Free Speech

    The students challenged their suspension, arguing it was a violation of the First Amendment right to free speech. The Supreme Court agreed. "Students don't shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate," the justices wrote, and because the expression was quiet and passive, it did not interfere with other students' learning environment.

  9. Freeing Students—and Teachers—From Homework

    Freeing Students—and Teachers—From Homework. A second-grade teacher explains how she got rid of mandatory homework—and the surprising results she found when she did. I stopped assigning homework to my second-grade students last year, and something surprising happened: They started doing more work at home. This inspiring group of 8-year ...

  10. Know Your Rights

    Courts have upheld students' rights to wear things like an anti-war armband, an armband opposing the right to get an abortion, and a shirt supporting the LGBTQ community. Schools can have rules that have nothing to do with the message expressed, like dress codes. So, for example, a school can prohibit you from wearing hats — because that ...

  11. Is Homework Necessary? Education Inequity and Its Impact on Students

    Homework helps reinforce classroom learning. Students typically retain 50% or less of what they hear, read or see in class; additional engagement with course content helps increase that retention. Source: "Debunk This: People Remember 10 Percent of What They Read," 2015. Homework helps students develop good study habits and life skills.

  12. Why Homework Violates Students' Rights

    According to a Norwegian doctor S. Fredricksen, homework is the violation of human rights that destroys the border between school and home, thus it is essential to load the child less and to help him or her with homework no matter how difficult or considerable it seems to be. Normally, students start asking parents for help or use Yahoo and ...

  13. Test Your Knowledge: What Rights Do Students Have at School?

    1. Students' First Amendment rights extend to what they do/say in school…. 2. Information regarding students' transgender status or the gender they were assigned at birth are confidential and protected by law. 3. This historic Supreme Court case affirmed students' rights to free speech in public schools.

  14. The First Amendment in Schools: Resource Guide: Access to Information

    Introduction: "Avoiding Censorship in Schools"| Religious Expression in the Public Schools | Sex and Sexuality Education | Harassment and Hate Speech | Student Publications | Student Expression: Web Pages, Dress Codes, and More | Access to Information on the Internet | Teachers' Rights | Parents' Rights The Internet is a powerful source of information and forum for free expression. […]

  15. The Human Rights of Students in Public Schools: Principles and Trends

    by Aaron H. Caplan. American public schools proudly teach students that our system of government protects human rights, including the freedom of religion and conscience; freedom of expression; freedom from arbitrary detentions, unreasonable searches, and cruel punishments; and fair governmental procedures before curtailing any important rights.

  16. Students' legal right to free expression remains intact with mandatory

    Pro Students' legal right to free expression remains intact with mandatory school uniforms. The 1969 U.S. Supreme Court case Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, which concerned the wearing of black armbands to protest the Vietnam War, confirmed that students' constitutional right to free speech "does not relate to regulation of the length of skirts or the type of ...

  17. School Free Speech and Government as Educator

    The Court struck a different balance between student freedom and educator authority in Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier , 19 Footnote 484 U.S. 260 (1988) . in which it relied on public forum analysis to hold that editorial control and censorship of a student newspaper sponsored by a public high school need be only reasonably related to ...

  18. Rutger Bregman: 'What if we give children the freedom to play and learn

    There are no classes or classrooms, no homework or grades, no tests, no timetables. There is almost no hierarchy within the staff. Often, there is no hierarchy at all - the students are the ones ...

  19. Uniforms in Public Schools and the First Amendment: A ...

    exists. The first reason for opposition is that uniforms are believed to restrict student, parent, and family rights for freedom of expression in dress (Caruso; 1996; Portner, 1998). This issue has relevance to some youth of color especially those in urban areas. Dress has cultural and ethnic dimensions (LaPoint et al., 2003).

  20. My Son Hates Doing Homework; Experts Say to Give Him More Freedom

    My son hates doing homework, and I struggle to help him. Education experts say I need to give him more freedom so he can excel. Essay by Sa'iyda Shabazz. Dec 6, 2023, 6:07 AM PST. The author and ...

  21. School Uniforms and Free Expression: A Critical Analysis

    Despite the fact that freedom of religion, or the right to practise, profess, and propagate any religion, is a basic right guaranteed by Article 25 of the Indian Constitution, uniforms nonetheless restrict people's ability to display their religious beliefs. The Karnataka Government's prohibition on the hijab at educational institutions ...

  22. School Uniforms Pros and Cons

    School uniforms deter crime and increase student safety. In Long Beach, California, after two years of a district-wide K-8 mandatory uniform policy, reports of assault and battery in the district's schools decreased by 34%, assault with a deadly weapon dropped by 50%, fighting incidents went down by 51%, sex offenses were cut by 74%, robbery ...

  23. School Uniforms: Restoring Sanity or Restricting Freedom?

    First of all, some say that wearing a school uniform denies students this essential idea of American individualism. There are also concerns about students' loss of creativity and, more importantly, freedom of expression.They'll often refer to the Tinker vs. Des Moines Supreme Court Case in 1969. Students in Des Moines, Iowa, wanted to wear black armbands to protest the Vietnam War.