Tuesday, February 16, 2010

First Amendment Rights vs "Cyber-Bullying"

Federal Judge Upholds Student's Right To Criticize Teacher On Facebook Page Titled: "Ms. Sarah Phelps is the worst teacher I've ever had."

Former HS student can sue her former principal for suspending her, since the page was protected by free speech.

"It was an opinion of a student about a teacher that was published off-campus, did not cause any disruption on-campus, and was not lewd, vulgar, threatening or advocating illegal or dangerous behavior."  ~~ Judge Barry Garber


SCATS ~~ So students are entitled to have and to state negative opinions about teachers, as long as it's "off-campus." With a few more decisions like this, pretty soon we will be giving students rights that everyone else already enjoys!


Anonymous said...

Free expression even when criticism of someone or something is not of itself bullying.

Doesn't the latter imply an attempt to intimidate and likely more?

I don;t think this decision would necessarily protect bullies or those who hope to inflict personal harm.

SCATS said...

To 3:48PM ~~ I think part of the issue here is that schools have been using a rather broad brush to paint whatever they don't like that happens online as "cyber-bullying." This court decision attempts to try to distinguish between having & sharing opinions online with actual bullying on the internet. Because of this case, the onus for making that distinction will likely be something school districts will have to determine ... i.e. spend $$ on lawyers.

Anonymous said...

You think these students are mad now, just wait until they start paying taxes for that same teacher. Wait until they find out that lousy teacher teacher is pulling down $70,000 or more inexchange for 183 working days (unless of course they feel ill that year). It will probably take their frustration to a whole new level, I know it has for me!

Anonymous said...

Too funny 4:34!

Anonymous said...

The use of bullying has been a tool of the administration in GCSD for years. Its the only place where underachieving employees are rewarded and conscientious employees are expected to carry the load. It must be all the nepotism in Greece.

Anonymous said...

Good thing most of the students lack the math skills to figure out how much the teacher's pension will cost, ao understand how little the Union teacher contributed to that pension.

Could it be former school board members leave town to keep pissed off taxpayers from stipping by to thank them for their good work on the Board? Of course Swine 1 will never leave town, and he has guns to protect his home.

Anonymous said...

8:20 is right. How's that "Toxic Culture" thing coming after the 6-figure study that revealed it four years ago?