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Answered: Social Media

Students are using social media more and more every day. But how much of that speech is protected?

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Question | Social Media

Can I get in trouble for posting something mean about one of my teachers online?

A student at my school posted a mean comment about a math teacher on Facebook, saying “Ms. Smith is a f***ing bitch and is really a shitty teacher.” During school, ten other students “liked” the comment. The principal heard about the post and threatened to suspend the student who posted it and give anyone who “liked” it a detention. Can the school punish a student for venting on social media?

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Question | Social Media

Can I get in trouble for making fun of my teacher in a YouTube video?

One night at a friend’s house, we made a music video just joking around and posted it on YouTube. Some of the lyrics make fun of a coach at school. Here are some the lyrics we’re worried about:

Everybody knows he can’t coach for shit
been divorced twice cause he’s a f****in’ prick

It was meant to be a joke and we only showed it to a few people, but a lot of kids at school are starting to see the video and talk about it. Are we going to get in trouble by the school if they find out we made this video?


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Question | Social Media

Can a school suspend students for attacking another student on social media?

A school has the authority to discipline students for off-campus attacks made on social media that disrupt the general student welfare or attack an individual student. Even though the First Amendment protects many kinds of speech, student speech that is considered a true threat or creates a substantial disruption to the school will not be protected.

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