Wash. appeals court considers landlord’s libel suit over high school newspaper

The Washington Court of Appeals heard arguments in a libel suit against the student newspaper at Roosevelt High School on Monday, a case raising the issue of a school district’s liability for stories written by student journalists.Landlord Hugh Sisley brought the lawsuit against the Seattle School District after The Roosevelt News published a story in 2009 claiming Sisley had “been accused of racist renting policies.” Sisley and his wife deny those allegations and claim the story defamed them.Superior Court Judge Kimberly Prochnau sided with the school district last year, finding both that the story was not libelous and also that the school could not be held liable for the work of student journalists who are not the school's agents or employees.On appeal, the Sisleys are challenging both of those findings and want the case to go forward to a trial.A three-judge panel of the appeals court heard oral arguments in the case Monday morning, appearing skeptical of arguments from both sides.School district attorney Jeff Freimund faced questions on the school’s liability for newspaper content, while the Sisleys’ attorney, Jeff Grant, was questioned on whether the story itself could be libelous.In legal briefs, the school district argues that it can’t be held liable for the story because the First Amendment prohibited school officials from censoring it.

Minnesota Supreme Court rules against college student in off-campus speech case

Update: The Court has ruled against Amanda Tatro, holding that "a university may regulate student speech on Facebook that violates established professional conduct standards," where the restrictions on speech are "narrowly tailored and directly related to established professional conduct standards." They declined to apply either Hazelwood or TinkerSEE OUR NEWS FLASH FOR DETAILS ON THE DECISION-------------------We're expecting a significant court decision tomorrow morning (Wednesday) on the First Amendment rights of college and university students, particularly when posting about their schools on social media.The case involves Amanda Tatro, a former mortuary sciences student at the University of Minnesota who posted comments on Facebook about "playing" with a cadaver in her anatomy class and wanting to stab someone with an embalming tool.

Former adviser’s lawsuit will cost Indiana district $40,000, unspecified legal costs

An Indiana school corporation paid former journalism adviser Kelly Short $40,000 to settle her First Amendment lawsuit.According to a settlement agreement obtained through a public records request, Greater Clark County Schools agreed to pay Short the money through its insurance carrier, and allowed her to formally resign rather than have her contract cancelled.

Indiana journalism teacher settles First Amendment lawsuit involving newspaper, yearbook

An Indiana high school newspaper and yearbook adviser has settled her lawsuit against Greater Clark County Schools, though the terms are not yet known.Kelly Short sued the public school corporation in January, claiming school officials retaliated against her for supporting the First Amendment rights of students.