Web sites such as MySpace.com and Facebook.com can offer a relaxed, online forum for students to vent about the usual adolescent quandaries ' classmates, school, homework and parents ' and those sites are often read by peers, and in some cases, school officials.
In a September search for the anonymous authors of a sexually-explicit MySpace page, a Georgia high school pulled out all the stops, using a police-issued subpoena to track down two students.
Several First Amendment organizations dedicated to protecting student rights recognize that in the Internet age, it is even more important that students understand the possible consequences of their speech. The popularity of social networking sites, including MySpace.com and Facebook.com, is increasing, with MySpace becoming the most visited site on the Internet in July 2006.
School asks student journalists to sign confidentiality agreementOKLAHOMA -- In what a school official has called a ''breakdown of communication,'' student journalists were told July 20 that they would not receive their paychecks if they refused to sign a confidentiality agreement that prohibited the disclosure of certain university information.Copies of the agreement were sent to the office of The Daily O'Collegian, the student newspaper at Oklahoma State University.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a group that advocates students' free expression rights, filed a federal lawsuit Oct. 31 against Troy University for a speech code FIRE's President David French called "incompatible with a free society."
A story on page 8 of the Spring 1998 issue of the SPLC Reportnrelated the story of Midwestern State University newspaper editornJason Lawrence, who was verbally threatened by an athlete at thenschool after the newspaper published a cartoon critical of thenteam's performance.