Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Schools punishing kids for what they say online


A growing number of school officials in the Indianapolis area are trying to punish students for Internet commentary they deem inappropriate -- including postings on home computers -- drawing outrage from teens and free-speech advocates. 10/1/2006 Indystar


As schools across the country adopt blogging policies, parents have challenged their constitutionality. Here are a few cases stemming from the policies:

Colorado: Littleton High School junior Bryan Lopez was suspended after posting comments about his school on in February. On his profile, he discussed the poor condition of his school building and the perceived racial biases of teachers and staff. Lopez contested his suspension and was reinstated.

Ohio: Eighth-grader Jessica Schoch was expelled after posting a parody profile of a school administrator on MySpace in the spring. The Holland, Ohio, teen protested the expulsion, claiming the profile was free speech. The Springfield School Board later reversed the expulsion.

Pennsylvania: Student rapper Anthony Latour, Ellwood City, posted his original rap lyrics and recordings on the Internet. Latour, then 14, and a friend engaged in "battle rap," trying to one-up each other with violent lyrics. Anthony was expelled in May 2005 because of the violent lyrics and arrested and charged with terroristic threatening, though the charges were later dropped. He sued the Riverside Beaver County School District, which settled with Latour's family for $90,000. Latour has since filed a lawsuit against the officers who arrested him.

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