Infographic Template Galleries

Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 Student Speech - How Free is Free? 1. TINKER v. DES MOINES Prepared by Leslie G Perry, June 2012 3. KOWALSKI v. BERKELEY COUNTY SCH. (2011) 4. GUIDELINES AMIDST CONFUSION Avery Doninger was the Junior Class Secretary,a public high school in Connecticut. She wrote an offensive blog post against administrators because she was angry at the school's handling of a concert. The principal (Niehoff) banned Doninger from running for Senior Class Secretary. Was Doninger's speech protected because it was writtenoff campus on a personal computer and not during school hours? The court said NO because it was foreseeable that her speech would come on campus and cause a disruption.But other recent cases such as Layshock v. Hermitage School District (2011) ruled that the student's speechwas protected when he created a fake MySpace profilewith inappropriate content of his principal. 1. Student speech can be limited if it causes a significant disruption in school.2. Offensive speech that has a reasonable chance of coming on campus can be limited especially if it occurs in extracurricular activities.3. Schools that take action to alleviate the effects of bullyingmay have some protection from the court. In 1969, the Supreme Court set the Tinker standard that has been said that a school must show, "that its action was something more than a mere desire than to avoid the discomfort and unpleasantness that always accompany an unpopular viewpoint. The courtadded several exceptions over the years that allowedfor limits on students speech that was vulgar anddidn't fit in with the educational mission of the school. But the Tinker case didn't address the issue of off-campus speech which became a factor with the Internet. The history of the free speech for students shows that they "don't leave their First Amendment rights at the Schoolhouse gate." But what goes too far? Educators and parents need to know because the law isn't totally clear and the ramifications are profound.Learn what the courts have said about student speech in the past and today. 2. DONINGER v. NIEHOFF (2011) These cases involved students posting content about school administrators - NOT student. Doninger lost because her actions caused a disruption to her principal AND she lacked protection from extracurricular activities. Kara Kowalski was a high school senior when she created a MySoace page called "S.A.S.H." referring to one student. Thesite had offensive comments from multiple students. Despitethe fact that the site was created off campus, the court ruled that the speech was likely to come on campus and create a substantial disruption (the Tinker standard).The school won the case.In another case, a girl who was bullied on the basketballteam lost her case because the school showed it hadworked to help the girl and the proven incidents occurred in an extracurricular activity. Other cases of studentsbehaving badly were found to be protected speech because there was no "substantial disruption," in the school.
Create Your Free Infographic!