Recently the Supreme Court decided that a student could be punished by his school for a banner he displayed off school property.
The justices didn’t directly address the issue of student speech on the web. However, some school administrators have decided they can impose penalties for what kids post outside the classroom.
In this case, a Connecticut high school student was removed as class secretary and banned from running for office for a derogatory statement about district administrators on her web site.
I’m not going to reproduce it here, but her post wasn’t so bad that the local paper wouldn’t print it. The parent are suing, which will add another little piece to the puzzle of student free speech.
Meanwhile, across the pond, the Oxford University Student Union is warning students that school officials are gathering evidence about “post-exam pranks” by looking through student pages on Facebook.
They’re being warned to change the privacy settings on their accounts “to prohibit members of staff and faculty from viewing your profile and photographs”.
It’s rather funny that the email sent to students says that “their online community is being spied on” by the school.
The girl in Connecticut now knows that anything she posts online is accessible to anyone. That’s a lesson the students in England need to learn.