Monday, February 15, 2010

Too bad they didn't have Facebook when I was in highschool

Okay, so SFL got us hooked on this Scribd thing, so here goes. Judge Garber issued this very interesting order in a case involving a student who was suspended for starting a Facebook page about the "worst teacher [she] ever met!" The student sued, with the help of the ACLU, saying that she shouldn't have been suspended for exercising her First Amendment rights. The principal filed a motion to dismiss, which Judge Garber denied (for the most part). The student's suit can proceed:

Facebook Order
UPDATE -- The Herald weighs in here:

A student who set up a Facebook page to complain about her teacher -- and was later suspended -- had every right to do so under the First Amendment, a federal magistrate has ruled.

The ruling not only allows Katherine ``Katie'' Evans' suit against the principal to move forward, it could set a precedent in cases involving speech and social networking on the Internet, experts say.

The courts are in the early stages of exploring the limits of free speech within social networking, said Howard Simon, the executive director of the Florida ACLU, which filed the suit on Evans' behalf.

``It's one of the main things that we wanted to establish in this case, that the First Amendment has a life in the social networking technology as it applies to the Internet and other forms of communication,'' Simon said.

SECOND UPDATE -- And here's the NY Times:

Lawyers for Ms. Evans, 19, now a sophomore at the University of Florida, said that they were pleased by the ruling and that they hoped to bring the case to trial in the spring.
One of the lawyers, Maria Kayanan, associate legal director of the
American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, said the judge’s decision had clearly extended the protection of First Amendment rights to online writings of a nonthreatening manner.
“This is an important victory both for Ms. Evans and Internet free speech,” Ms. Kayanan said, “because it upholds the principle that the right to freedom of speech and expression in America does not depend on the technology used to convey opinions and ideas.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The word "debasing" is misused to terrible effect on page one.