Freedom of Speech for Students?

Freedom of Speech for Students?

Philadelphia court asked to decide if schools can punish students for derisive online communications from home computers.


Interesting story from AP recently regarding the question of whether public school officials can discipline students for posting lewd, harassing or juvenile comments from off-campus computers.

A US appeals court heard arguments last Thursday in Philadelphia, where two students from two different Pennsylvania school districts are fighting suspensions they received for posting derisive profiles of their principals on MySpace from home computers.

The American Civil Liberties Union joined the case and argued that school officials infringe on student’s free speech rights when they reach beyond school grounds in such cases to impose discipline.

A lawyer for the Hermitage School District in western Pennsylvania, though, offered a different view. "It’s not a matter of where you throw the grenade, it’s where the grenade lands," Anthony Sanchez said.

As MaryClaire Dale reported for AP, legal experts hope the Supreme Court will soon clarify the limits of school discipline for online speech that is posted offsite.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments field below.

Ad Policy