School District Wants To Expel Student Over His Blog
from the high-school-big-brother dept
While one school district in Illinois is asking kids to sign a “pledge” that will give the district the right to discipline them for anything they put online, regardless of whether it’s done using school resources or not, another district in the state is going a step further. It wants to expel a student (via Slashdot) because of blog posts he made that are critical of his school’s administration, his attorney says. The student was already suspended after writing a post that criticized the way another student had been disciplined, and now alleges school officials are trying to bully him into taking his posts down. The school contends it has the right to punish students for speech that “creates a disturbance to the educational environment”, and of course, only it gets to determine what constitutes a disturbance. But whatever the school district believes it can do, courts have made it pretty clear that schools have very limited rights to regulate students’ off-campus speech and expression — and it’s hard to see exactly how any of the very narrow exceptions could apply in this case. It sounds more like the school’s administrators are trying to put a chill on any student who dares question them, which, last time we checked, wasn’t a right on par with those guaranteed to the student by the First Amendment.