The United States Supreme Court has rendered decisions delineating students' rights of free speech and expression, freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, procedural due process, and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. These decisions have not always been consistent, not only with each other but also with cases decided at the same time in other contexts. Without a doubt, much of the inconsistency can be attributed to a changing perception of the vitality of individual rights in general, and the conditions within the public school system. The purpose of this article is to scrutinize these decisions with regard to their internal reasoning and their impact as policy. In addition, there is an examination of what this author believes to be the most recent area of students' rights the Court has begun to develop: those protected by the free exercise clause of the first amendment. This examination is made in light of the school prayer decisions and other students' rights cases studied herein.

I. Introduction

II. Freedom of Speech and Expression

III. Procedural Due Process

IV. Eighth Amendment—Cruel and Unusual Punishment

V. Freedom from Unreasonable Search and Seizure

VI. Free Exercise Rights

VII. Conclusion