Fifty-seven percent of Americans believe that public schools should not be able to punish students for posting “offensive” content on social media, according to the latest installment of the First Amendment Center’s State of the First Amendment report.The 2012 report was released Tuesday, and while some of its findings continue to paint a grim picture for appreciation and knowledge of the First Amendment — 27 percent of Americans were unable to name any of its five freedoms, fairly consistent with last year’s results — a few responses are more optimistic for the future of the First Amendment inside and outside the schoolhouse gates.Just 13 percent of respondents believed the First Amendment goes too far in the rights it guarantees, the lowest total in the past decade.National awareness of freedom of speech as a First Amendment-protected right jumped from previous years; 65 percent of those responding were able to volunteer "speech" as a protected right.
Amanda Tatro, who less than a week ago lost a high-profile First Amendment case in front of the Minnesota Supreme Court, was found dead in her apartment Tuesday morning, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed.She was 31.A friend of Tatro’s told a City Pages blog that her husband had found her lying on the couch unresponsive when he woke up Tuesday morning.
There's a pivotal scene in the first theatrical "X-Files" film where David Duchovny's Agent Fox Mulder, idling at a crossroads as he ponders which way to turn in pursuit of a fleeing suspect, instinctively stomps the pedal and barrels straight ahead across unpaved prairie.Plowing your own road is a thrilling move -- for a fictional hero in a sci-fi thriller.
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 Tinker. SEE 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.
A pair of Indiana students will not receive money damages from the school district that punished them for Facebook photos, despite a judge ruling in their favor.The students have settled their free speech lawsuit against the Smith-Green Community School Corporation. Under the settlement, the students will not receive damages or attorney’s fees, but the school corporation is prohibited from enforcing provisions in its student handbook that allowed the students to be punished after posting pictures of themselves with penis-shaped lollipops.The school corporation can no longer enforce provisions that allow students to be removed from extracurricular activities because the students act “in a manner in school or out of school that brings discredit or dishonor upon [the students] or [the] school,” Judge Philip Simon wrote in a final judgment issued Tuesday.The order makes permanent an injunction from August, and comes nearly three years after two 10th-grade girls were suspended from the Churubusco High School volleyball team and other extracurricular activities after posing with the “phallic-shaped rainbow colored lollipops.”In Simon's earlier ruling, he found the students had engaged in protected speech when they posted the photos at home on their own time.
After a year and a half of collaborating and drafting, “Harassment, Bullying and Free Expression,” a set of guidelines geared toward free and safe public schools, were released at a press conference Tuesday.The guide distinguishes between free speech and harassment.
Two Missouri high school students suspended for crude blog posts will be back at school Monday after a federal appeals court refused to delay their return.In an order late Friday, the 8th U.S.
The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District is appealing a federal judge's recent decision, which allowed two student bloggers to return to school after being suspended for 180 days.Senior U.S.
In their never-ending quest to make Connecticut a less annoying place, state legislators -- apparently having solved unemployment, crime and school funding -- have trained their sights on annoying speech.A bill introduced March 22 by the Senate Judiciary Committee -- which is up for a hearing in that committee Thursday -- would create the new misdemeanor criminal offense of "Electronic Harassment." (Note to Dave Barry: "Electronic Harassment" would be an exceptional name for a band.)A person would be guilty of the crime of "Electronic Harassment" under the following conditions: (1) Transmitting information over any electronic medium (anything from radio to the Web to texting), (2) that is based on a person's "actual or perceived traits or characteristics," (3) that causes a person "substantial embarrassment or humiliation within an academic or professional community," and (4) is done with an intent to "annoy" or "alarm" the person.Read that carefully, and think about how much First Amendment real estate it covers.For example ... how about this Al Franken column, "Rush Limbaugh is still a big fat idiot." Transmitted electronically?