Craig v. Rich Twp. High Sch. Dist., No. 13-1398 (7th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Craig self-published a book of adult relationship advice, “It’s Her Fault,” in which he discussed sexually provocative themes and used sexually explicit terms. Craig’s employer, a school district, learned of the book and terminated his employment because of it. Craig sued under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging retaliation for engaging in speech protected by the First Amendment. The district court dismissed, reasoning that “It’s Her Fault” did not address a matter of public concern and was not entitled to First Amendment protection. The Seventh Circuit affirmed on an alternative basis. The book deals with adult relationship dynamics, an issue with which many members of the public are concerned, but the school district’s interest in ensuring the effective delivery of counseling services outweighed Craig’s speech interest. The district reasonably predicted that “It’s Her Fault” would disrupt the learning environment at Craig’s school because some students, learning of the book’s hypersexualized content would be reluctant to seek Craig’s advice.