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Controlling Access to Public Educational Facilities: Legal and Practical Issues. CEFPI Mini-Session.

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This paper from a session of the Council of Educational Facilities Planners addresses the topic of access to educational facilities by the public. It explains that many organizations and individuals request access to public educational facilities; while boards and administrators generally want to make them available for public use, problems sometimes arise when the nature of the group or proposed activity seems likely to be controversial or inconsistent with the purposes of the institution or character of the property. The paper explores legal and practical issues involved in public access from a Constitutional perspective. It addresses the differences between traditional public fora, designated public fora, and nonpublic fora, then concludes that public educational facilities are not traditional public fora and that officials should not create a designated public forum that is open to all persons for all purposes. It asserts that institutional officials need to decide whether limited public fora should be made available in certain facilities, or whether only nonpublic fora should be maintained throughout the system by exercising significant control over access. (EV)

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Author:Uerling, Donald F.
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Date:Jan 1, 2002
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