Saturday, October 31, 2009

Indiana school disciplines students for off-campus Myspace pages

A high school in Indianapolis, Churubusco, banned two sophomore girls from extracurricular activities at school after they posted “racy” photos during the summer vacation on their Myspace pages. The girls maintain that the postings had nothing to do with the school, and have filed suit against the school district on First Amendment grounds.

The MSNBC and AP story says that the Supreme Court has ruled that schools can regulate off-campus online speech if there is a foreseeable risk that the speech will be found by other students (as with search engines) and disrupt the campus. This comment may refer to the “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” case in Alaska regarding a student named Joseph Frederick (now, as an adult, an English teacher himself, ironically).

The students were also asked to apologize to coaches (which makes one wonder if the original posts had nothing to do with the school) and undergo counseling.

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