J.S. v Bethlehem Area School District
In the case of J.S. v Bethlehem Area School district a student was permanently expelled from school for creating a website called "Teacher Sux" in which he depicted derogatory comments about several school administrators. After the principal notified the FBI, the student voluntarily removed the website, but was still suspended from
This case is relevant to my research proposal because this case shows a complete disregard for the students free speech, even though it was done off campus. The student was still expelled after the removal of the website.
J.S. v Bethlehem Area School District 757 A.2d 412 (Penn. Commw.Ct.2000)
Layshock v Hermitage School District
and he would reply in nonsensical responses. This was done on non-school hours at Layshock's home on his grandmother's computer. When word of Layshock's "parody" spread throughout school, other students began to take part in the disruptive behavior on school grounds. Layshock was then suspended for ten school days and was not allowed to take part in school sponsored events.
This case is significant to my research because although the student's initial speech was created off-campus, using his own resources, he was still suspended for it, because school officials deemed it inappropriate for the school environment.
Layshock v Hermitage School District 412 F. Supp. 2d 502 (W.D. Pa 2006)
Kowalski V Berkeley County Schools
In this Supreme Court case, Kowalski V Berkeley County Schools, a student, Kara Kowalski, was suspended for five days for creating a Myspace page that directly ridiculed a fellow student. Kowalski came before the court stating that the school suspension violated her First Amendment right to freedom of speech. However, the school officials claim that they acted accordingly within their jurisdiction, because school officials “have a duty to protect their students from harassment and bullying in the school environment.”
In this case, we are able to see both sides: 1) A student’s right to free speech; and 2) The school administrator’s right to punish students for the exercise of their First Amendment right as well as the precautions that both school officials and students have to take in such a revolutionizing digital age.
Kowalski V Berkeley County Schools 652 F.3d 565 (2011)
Wisniewski v Weedsport Central School District
In the 2nd circuit case, Wisniewski v Weedsport Central School District, an eighth grade student created an AOL icon that depicted a pistol firing a bullet and his teacher's name written underneath it. The caption said "Kill Mr. VanderMolen". Although both the authorities and the school psychiatrist that evaluated Aaron both stated that he was no real threat and that the icon was made as a joke, the school held a motion to suspend him for the semester; this suspension was approved by the Board of Ed.
This case is significant to our research because not only has the school suspended a student for what they believed to be a "foreseeable risk", but that suspension was done even after both the authorities and the school's phychatrist deemed
the expression as a "joke" and stated that the student was no real threat to either the school or school members. In this case, we will be looking at what substantial grounds the school has to suspend a student for an entire semester for a speech that was created off school grounds.
Wisniewski v Weedsport Central School District 494 F. 3d 34 (2nd Cir. 2007)