Court Cases of the School MySpace ParodiesAdded: Tuesday, June 8th, 2010
Category: Recent Headlines Involving File Sharing > Ridiculous Criminal Trials
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14 U.S. appellate judges are asked to settle the question of whether Philadelphia schools have the right to discipline their students for creating MySpace parodies.
This week, the third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will rehear a couple of Pennsylvania cases where judges issued opposite rulings.
Both cases were heard on the same day in February. A 3-judge third Circuit panel has upheld the suspension of an 8-grader having posted sexually explicit material together with the picture of her principal on MySpace page. But another panel from the same court took a different decision, saying that schools have no right to reach into someone’s home and control the Internet, thus overturning the suspension of one high school senior having used grandma's PC to post a similar parody of his principal on MySpace.
With the explosion of Internet communication school officials keep struggling with how to respond to such online parodies, particularly when they cause ripple effects at schools. Some of them mete out the discipline and face court hearings. The rest refer the cases to law enforcement. Here and there, a targeted person sues the suspected offender for defamation.
The first case involves a 14 years old girl creating a Web page on MySpace. The page had a fake name but a real picture of her principal, purportedly placed by a principal describing himself as sex addict and a pedophile. Of course, the principal and other students rapidly became aware of the page and case was brought to the court, where district judge upheld the suspension. However, Judge Michael Chagares believed the decision would give schools dangerously expansive censorship discretion.
In the second case, U.S. District Judge had ruled that school failed to prove that student's parody (saying that his principal kept beer behind the desk and smoked marijuana) considerably disrupted the school operations. The third Circuit panel also supported the decision, saying that there is almost no connection between the student’s actions and school.
The cases have never reached the Supreme Court before, but perhaps one of these two could change it. They will decide if schools can tell their students what they are permitted to say at home, at the park, at the shop and on the Internet.
June 8th, 2010Posted by:
Tuesday, June 8th, 2010
|posted by (2010-06-08 22:25:57)|
|ofcourse students dont have the right to do this no wonder kids have no respect for adults these days as you got to go do a court case to decide if kids can create abusive pages about their prinicples and teachers etc i know if this is legal then teachers should be allowed to make abuse web pages about the students aswell|
|posted by (2010-06-08 22:35:46)|
|2die4 you're missing the point. The point is that these pages don't disrupt the education process just due to their existence. It'd be one thing if these kids were pulling this up on school computers, creating them on school grounds, or distributing print outs. However, what it sounds like is something kids have done since the beginning of organized education...they're making fun of their teacher in the safety of their home.|
Contrary to what you and these schools might believe unless something illegal is going on in the home the schools have no right to punish these kids. It'd be like suspending a kid for getting in a fight at the mall. With that said what these kids are doing can't go unaddressed. As you correctly pointed out teacher need to be respected. So I'm fully in favor of these kids getting sued for defamation of character. Maybe the school unions can finally do something helpful and make an example out of some of these kids.
|haha thats funny.....wish i had the tech back in the day....the headteacher would defo have got some abuse.....but hey jesuit says it all...its up to the teacher in question to prosecute for defomattion...not the authorities|
|posted by (2010-06-08 23:57:55)|
|@ Jesuitz. You've hit the nail on the head. I'll vote for you.|
|posted by (2010-06-09 00:01:18)|
|Thanks SaM. I'm with the above opinions. Schools should never have the power to peek in to people lives, or we would all be living in a sugar coated goody two shoes fairy land, but the teachers themselves should sue like mad, any one trying to falsely accuse anyone of being a pedophile should be thrown to the wolves.|
|posted by (2010-06-09 00:31:50)|
|jezuitx ofcourse they distrup the education process as they casue a lack of respect for the teachers. They could make fun of the teachers at home in privacy but they start spreading over the internet so its no longer a private issue of them making funny but a public one.|
|As you said 2die4, "they cause a lack of respect for the teachers" - which is exactly what character defamation suits are all about: damaging one's reputation so as to ruin his/her career/social life by somehow associating them with something shameful (and fictitious). It's not the schools' business to regulate the off-campus behavior of students, but if, like jezuitx said, a school union was to back the principal up in funding a lawsuit against the student, perhaps s/he could reclaim his/her reputation through a formal apology, disposal of defaming content, etc...|
In the second case though, the union might not back the principal up if they already think his behavior is in some way suspect, in which case the well would be officially poisoned, and the principal could lose his/her career just because of some a-hole kid.
In other matters, shouldn't myspace have caught the explicit material more quickly? :s
|posted by (2010-06-09 04:15:44)|
|As Cartman would say..."Respect My Author-i-tie"|
|I think the smoke cloud of myspace vs school is at issue here. There are many reasons for people to be upset about what the children are doing.... However, the problem is this... Since when can a SCHOOL, discipline a student for what they've done outside of school. If I were a child and wrote, my principal, his name, SUX, on a wall somewhere, I'd be guilty of vandalism, but unless I did it on school grounds, the school has no authority over my actions.|
|i agree with Click_Next but more over if the any kids should get sue it should be by the person and only the person that there defaming and not the school system period the school has nothing absolutely nothing to do with it and need to keep the shout nose out of it and like jezuitx Said (|
The point is that these pages don't disrupt the education process just due to their existence. It'd be one thing if these kids were pulling this up on school computers, creating them on school grounds, or distributing print outs. However, what it sounds like is something kids have done since the beginning of organized education...they're making fun of their teacher in the safety of their home.)
|this is censorship gone made if this ruling goes ahead then there's nothing stoping it from it happening in i.e the schools the workplace and then the public.... what is it can no one take a joke and have a laugh at themselves these days everuones getting paranoid|
|even better still paranoid about their paranoia|
|it was the same thing years ago i did and many others class mates the world over you |
used to write stuff on the toilet walls about your teachers nothing was done it was all light hearted fun so whats diffrent now... its on a computer screen not a toilet wall it's all part of being a kid and having fun taking away that is like taking away part of your childhoof if your being honest how many of us wrote things about our teachers think about it ALL OF US
|posted by (2010-06-09 11:53:44)|
|Here's the thing I don't think it's the teachers responsibility, the police or the supreme courts responsibility to discipline anyone's children. I still believe it is the responsibility of parents to discipline their children and if the wont or don't do it then the parents should be disciplined for neglect and failure to parent.|
But these days we adults are so busy rushing around trying to pay this or get that they've come to rely on too many people to do what they should be doing themselves. This is a non issue and made to be an internet issue to test non existent boundaries in court through the application of the law.
If my kids acts the fool at school, is disrespectful, rude, crude and intolerant....if he or she creates a parody of his least favorite male teacher or his most favorite female big boobed teacher call me I'll handle it! Otherwise STFU and Grow up and grow some balls!
By the way falsely accusing someone of being a pedophile is enough to ruin a career and reputation! It is a very serious action and should be dealt with by the proper authorities and if warranted incarceration!
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