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Court to rehear online student speech cases in PA

By |2019-03-07T23:06:53-04:00April 23rd, 2010|Blog|

The 3rd Circuit has agreed to rehear two seemingly contradictory online student speech cases decided in February (see here for more about the cases). It has vacated the previous opinions and all members of the court will hear arguments in both cases on June 3. The cases were decided based on the criterion of whether the speech was likely to [...]

Court Contradicts Itself on Student Speech

By |2019-03-14T18:07:23-04:00February 8th, 2010|Blog|

On Thursday the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued two seemingly contradictory opinions involving student speech. Both cases involved students who had created fake online profiles parodying the principals at their respective schools. Both students were punished by school officials for their speech. Despite the similarities, however, the Court ruled one student’s rights had been violated while denying relief to [...]

Sexting Roundup: The Anxiety Surrounding Teens Sharing Naked Pictures of Themselves Continues to Make News

By |2019-03-13T15:10:51-04:00April 1st, 2009|Blog|

Ohio lawmaker wants to make sexting a misdemeanor Last week, the Columbus Dispatch reported that Ohio State Representative Ron Maag (R-Lebanon) plans to introduce a bill in the Ohio state legislature which would make the creation, exchange, and possession of nude materials between minors a First-Degree Misdemeanor. According to Representative Maag, Local prosecutors have brought to my attention that under [...]

When judicial corruption leads to severe punishment of free speech

By |2016-01-14T16:37:34-04:00February 17th, 2009|Blog|

Two judges in Pennsylvania pleaded guilty last week to taking $2.6 million in exchange for sentencing juveniles to time in privately run detention centers. 5,000 juveniles have been sentenced since this kickback scheme started; many of them were first-time offenders. What if sentencing of those 5,0000 juveniles had been done by a judge seeking accountability and rehabilitation for the offender [...]

The First Amendment and the Internet

By |2019-03-12T18:24:57-04:00January 9th, 2009|Blog|

Gene Policinski of the First Amendment Center sheds some light on the topic of internet censorship in a recent article in the North Country Gazette. He argues that, while the first amendment does not apply to private companies, privately owned internet companies have an unprecedented amount of control over the speech of large groups of people. For hundreds of millions [...]

Who’s censoring Facebook: The powers that be or the forces of the mob?

By |2019-03-12T18:25:12-04:00January 6th, 2009|Blog|

Recently, there have been reports that content involving the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict is mysteriously disappearing from Facebook. The Jewish Internet Defense Force (JIDF) has complained that “many threads in various pro-Israel and pro-JIDF groups have mysteriously disappeared,” while others have complained that anti-Zionist content has disappeared, and one girl alleged that Facebook has prevented her from using hashtags such as [...]

2nd Amendment: Censored evolution editorial was plagiarized

By |2019-03-12T18:27:32-04:00December 15th, 2008|Blog|

We left for the weekend with a piece on a student's editorial that was pulled from the school paper. From the student's perspective, and from the principal's response, it seemed the article was pulled because it defended evolution and failed to mention creationism. Unfortunately, as reported today in the Roanoke Times, the article was plagiarized. According to the editorial, the [...]

Students, Principals and fake Myspace profiles

By |2019-03-14T17:32:40-04:00December 12th, 2008|Blog|

Yesterday we wrote about the student who was suspended for a Facebook page she created criticizing her teacher. Today: we look at two Myspace student cases facing the court. In Layshock v. Hermitage School District, high school senior Justin Layshock created a fake Myspace profile of Hickory High School principal Eric Trosch. The profile said that Trosch was a “big [...]

Cyberbulling, free speech. Yep, the Lori Drew case.

By |2019-03-12T18:29:31-04:00December 4th, 2008|Blog|

Slate’s Emily Bazelon has a piece today on the Lori Drew case. The terrible backstory: in 2006, Drew, her daughter, and her assistant, created a fake Myspace profile of a 16 year old boy and sent messages to a teen neighbor, Megan Meier. After exchanging flirtatious messages, the “16-year-old” then wrote, “The world would be a better place without you.” [...]