Freedom of Facebook Speech

After having problems with her English teacher, a Florida high school student created a Facebook group called “Ms. Sarah Phelps is the worst teacher I’ve ever had” and asked others to post their comments. The student later received a three-day suspension for cyberbullying. Since then, with the help of the ACLU, she has received permission from the courts to sue her school’s principal, for violating her First Amendment rights.

What do you think? The group was not threatening the teacher, just stating an opinion about the quality of her instruction. What would have happened if a disgruntled teacher created a page saying “Student X is the worst pupil I’ve ever had,” without revealing any grades or specifics about academic performance? Aside from questions of professional behavior, how far does freedom of speech extend in education?

References

Gentile, C. (2010, February 15). Student suspended for Facebook page can sue. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/16/education/16student.html

word count, not including References = 135

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s