Students Free Speech

News & Analysis as of

North Carolina Cyberbullying statute struck down as unconstitutional

On February 9, 2012, Robert Bishop was arrested and charged with one count of cyberbullying under the North Carolina Cyberbullying statute, which states that it is “unlawful for any person to use a computer or computer...more

School Restriction on Decorating Graduation Cap Upheld

It is graduation season and issues concerning graduation conduct and dress come to the forefront during this time of the year. A recent decision by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma...more

Anti-SLAPP Statute Raised in Planned Parenthood Protest Lawsuit

The DC anti-SLAPP statute has been invoked in a Superior Court lawsuit in which plaintiffs arguing that students need to be free from disruptions in the school environment are facing off against anti-abortion protestors....more

Supreme Court Refuses to Provide Clarity on Discipline for Off-Campus, Online Student Speech

The Supreme Court has a lot to worry about these days, like a year plus of finding out first hand what can happen (or not happen) to your ability to make precedent when you have a 4-4 deadlock on the Court. So its recent...more

Questions Remain About Social Media Privacy Rights During Workplace Investigations

Employees’ social media activities often play a key role in workplace investigations. For example, an employee may complain that a coworker sent a harassing Facebook message or posted something offensive on Twitter...more

Hidden Risks? What Liability Can Private Colleges and Universities Have for Their Student Newspapers and Publications?

It is well-settled that public institutions are generally not liable for statements made by their student publications because the First Amendment prohibits them from exercising control over such publications. See, e.g.,...more

Last Word on “Boobie” Bracelets From the U.S. Supreme Court

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request by the Easton Area School District in Pennsylvania to declare the “I ? Boobies” bracelets as lewd and unacceptable in school. The prior ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals...more

Balancing Freedom Of Expression And The Right Of Publicity: Implications For The Future Of Interactive Entertainment

Freedom of expression bowed to the right of publicity on July 31, 2013, when a divided panel at the Ninth Circuit ruled that college athletes could proceed in litigation against Electronic Arts (“EA”) for making sports-based...more

Ninth Circuit Says Schools May Discipline Students Whose Off-Campus Speech Threaten Classmates

Ruling Strengthens Ability of School Districts to Suspend and Expel Students to Protect Students and Staff - Recognizing the increasing difficulties school administrators face in evaluating potential threats of...more

Can Schools Prohibit “I ♡ Boobies” Bracelets . . . Or Not?

This month, two courts issued dramatically different opinions about whether school districts can prohibit breast cancer awareness bracelets reading “I ? boobies” without running afoul of students’ First Amendment free speech...more

Setting the Record Straight on the DMCA: UK Blogger Censored by Questionable Use of US Copyright Law

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is sometimes criticized for creating more problems than it solves. Section 512 of the DMCA provides a mechanism for copyright owners to demand that Internet Service Providers...more

#Edchat Followup: Legal Issues For BYOD And 1:1 Programs In Schools

Each Tuesday the #Edchat hashtag brings together educators from across the globe to discuss education-related topics on Twitter. Last week one of the questions on #Edchat was “How do we train educators to teach in programs...more

Elvis Presley Song Lyrics Causing Trouble In 2013?

Elvis Presley certainly stirred up controversy in the 1950s but who would have thought that his songs would create an uproar in 2013. A Utah school district nearly canceled a production of “All Shook Up” after finding that...more

Disciplining Student Speech As A Threat After Newtown – The Right Choice?

The media coverage of the Sandy Hook school shooting is tapering down, but the lessons for school administrators in its wake are just beginning. One such lesson comes after a California school suspended a high school senior...more

Students First Amendment Rights And The Schoolhouse Gate.

The ability of school officials to limit student free speech has been a matter of significant debate since the seminal case of Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 393 U.S. 503 (1969). In Tinker the...more

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