Argumentative Essay On Robert Sindermann

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Robert Sindermann taught for four years on consecutive yearly contracts as a non-tenured professor at Odessa Junior College. During this time he also served as the elected president of the Texas Junior College Teachers Association. Sindermann was publically vocal about his objections regarding the College Board of Regents position on staying a two year college rather than becoming a four year institution. In 1969, he also wrote an article that was published in a local paper further asserting his disagreements with the Board of Regents. When his one year contract expired the Board of Regents did not renew his contract and he was terminated. The Board of Regents issued a press release accusing him of insubordination, but did not cite any specific…show more content…
Further, this court decision was made in the absence of a full trial. Sindermann then appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. They reversed the lower court’s decision and concluded that Sindermann had a reasonable expectation of continued employment even though he did not have tenure. The court clarified that Sindermann could not be terminated or non-renewed based on exercising his First Amendment right to free speech. In addition, Sindermann was entitled to a hearing with the Board of Regents and a full trial in federal District Court regarding his contract not being renewed. Since this was not offered to him it was a violation of his Fourteenth Amendment right to due process (Findlaw, 2015). This case was then taken to the U.S. Supreme Court and they rendered a split decision 5 votes for Sindermann and 3 votes against. Justice Stewart wrote the majority opinion and stated “nonrenewal of a one year teaching contract may not be predicated on [a teacher’s] exercise of First and Fourteenth Amendment rights”. The court further asserted that Sindermann’s disagreements could not be the basis of his termination because he was exercising his First Amendment right to free speech. In addition, the court found that even though the Board of Regents did not grant tenure,

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