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  1. #1
    lewisipso's Avatar
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    Judge backs student’s First Amendment rights Cruel remarks online are not unconstitutional

    Hmm...interesting.

    LOS ANGELES - One morning in May 2008, an eighth-grader walked into Janice Hart’s office at a Beverly Hills middle school crying.
    She was upset and humiliated, and couldn’t possibly go to class, the girl told the counselor. The night before, a classmate had posted a video on YouTube with a group of other eighth graders bad-mouthing her, calling her “spoiled,’’ a “brat,’’ and a “slut.’’ Text and instant messages had been flying since. Half the class must have seen it by now, the girl told Hart.
    Hart took the problem to the school’s vice principal and principal, who took it to a district administrator, who asked the district’s lawyers what they could do about it. In the end, citing “cyber-bullying’’ concerns, school officials suspended the girl who posted the video for two days. That student took the case to federal court, saying her free speech rights were violated.

    Last month, a US District judge in LA sided with the student, saying the school went too far. Amid rising concerns over cyber-bullying, and even calls for criminalization, some courts, parents, and free speech advocates are pushing back - students, they say, have a First Amendment right to be nasty in cyberspace.


    Judge rules student’s cruel remarks online are not unconstitutional - The Boston Globe
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  3. #3
    MonsterMash's Avatar
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    Thats a crock of shit.
    Are you a 3%er? If you aren't, you should be.

  4. #4
    KaiGywer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonsterMash View Post
    Thats a crock of shit.
    Which part? The judge siding with her or her initial suspension?
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiGywer View Post
    Which part? The judge siding with her or her initial suspension?
    Got to go along with the judge. To many of our liberties are being taken in guise of Political INcorrectness. Seems everyone is suing for something. What about the lady that is suing her cell phone company because she was yacking on the phone and caused an accident. She claims that the company didn't warn her of the consequences. If the kid can't take it now, what when she grows up and goes into the REAL world.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bayern View Post
    Got to go along with the judge. To many of our liberties are being taken in guise of Political INcorrectness. Seems everyone is suing for something. What about the lady that is suing her cell phone company because she was yacking on the phone and caused an accident. She claims that the company didn't warn her of the consequences. If the kid can't take it now, what when she grows up and goes into the REAL world.
    Bingo!!!

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
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    MonsterMash's Avatar
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    The part that is bullshit is the judge. This offending chick's actions were NOT what freedom of speech was origionally meant to protect.

    Yeah, I know the offended party needs thicker skin........but it absolutely boils my blood to see people interpret/misuse the law to protect bad behavior.
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    Civil suit next for defamation of character, slander, etc?
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  9. #9
    Xiphos's Avatar
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    Had the girl been charged with a criminal offense I can see how this is a violation of her free speech. She wasn't though. Administrative discipline in a school in this case is not a violation of free speech. If schools can't set norms for behavior and enforce it, then they can't ban gang color clothing or set other dress code standards. That would also be a violation of free speech, if students wanted to express themselves through their clothing apparel.

    I think it's similar to how our agencies can compel us to talk without 5th Amendment protection for administrative investigation/punishment. They can't compel us to talk without the 5th for a criminal investigation though.
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  10. #10
    MacLean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonsterMash View Post
    The part that is bullshit is the judge. This offending chick's actions were NOT what freedom of speech was origionally meant to protect.
    What sort of speech was "originally" considered protected?

    Madison seemed pretty clear on the idea when he originally wrote "The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable."

    He also had a second part, if you will, that said "No state shall violate the equal rights of conscience, or of the press."

    I'm pretty sure that covers the gamut.

    Google up the Zenger trial.
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  11. #11
    Five-0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xiphos View Post
    Had the girl been charged with a criminal offense I can see how this is a violation of her free speech. She wasn't though. Administrative discipline in a school in this case is not a violation of free speech. If schools can't set norms for behavior and enforce it, then they can't ban gang color clothing or set other dress code standards. That would also be a violation of free speech, if students wanted to express themselves through their clothing apparel.

    I think it's similar to how our agencies can compel us to talk without 5th Amendment protection for administrative investigation/punishment. They can't compel us to talk without the 5th for a criminal investigation though.
    I understand where you are coming from, but what worries me is the fact that school is using administrative discipline for activities that may have taken place outside the scope of the school. IE youtube postings that were made while a student was at home or otherwise off campus.

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat

    "Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway

    The opinions given in my signatures & threads DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Five-0" on Officerresource.com

  12. #12
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    I think it's defamation, unless there's evidence that she really is a slut...

    But the government can't really enforce it - It's a civil matter. If you consider the school to be the government, then I can see where the judge is coming from - The only way to stop it is a civil suit.

    If the school's computer had been used, or if the posting was made from school property, then I would think the school has authority to maintain discipline on its property, but not if the posting was made from off-campus.

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  13. #13
    lewisipso's Avatar
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    Well as shameful as it may be I agree with the judges decision that the persons speech is protected. I also think the complaining party should toughen up. If she is indeed a spoiled brat or slut then an obvious behavior change should be in the works, but I doubt it.Now. Let's play a little. What if the circumstances were a little different. Let's say the complaining party was not deserving of the ridicule. She's a little different and not one of the cool kids. What the suspects in this case need is a good lesson in manners. Would this be a better route? A civil suit perhaps?

    Slander

    1. defamation; calumny: rumors full of slander. 2. a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report: a slander against his good name. 3. Law. defamation by oral utterance rather than by writing, pictures, etc.

    Here in Louisiana we also have this, although I personally have never seen it utilized.

    LRS 14:47. Defamation
    Defamation is the malicious publication or expression in any manner, to anyone other than the party defamed, of anything which tends:
    (1) To expose any person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule, or to deprive him of the benefit of public confidence or social intercourse; or
    (2) To expose the memory of one deceased to hatred, contempt, or ridicule; or
    (3) To injure any person, corporation, or association of persons in his or their business or occupation.
    Whoever commits the crime of defamation shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
    Amended by Acts 1968, No. 647, §1. \


    Just curious.
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  14. #14
    Five-0's Avatar
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    Lew, I chalk it up to kids being kids. Teaching them to be litigious about every little part of pain that comes from life is far greater a threat to our society than some hurt feelings. In my school kid days this would be handled by an individual teacher. Now, that teacher would be fired for handling the problem because of the above mentioned litigation concerns over hurting a bully's delicate feelings.

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat

    "Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway

    The opinions given in my signatures & threads DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Five-0" on Officerresource.com

  15. #15
    mack's Avatar
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    I don't think it is an issue for the courts, but I do think in light of some of the things that have come up (suicides from texts etc) something does need to be done regarding posting of defamatory videos and statements. Youtube needs to monitor juvenile postings basically. I understand the girl needs to build up a tougher skin, but after all she is a teenager and they go through enough just trying to get through a day without having to deal with internet ridicule. An adult would have a difficult time dealing with an issue like this. Imagine how any one of us would feel if someone did something like this to us. Now, imagine an 8th grade student trying to deal with this.

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    Jenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXCharlie View Post
    I think it's defamation, unless there's evidence that she really is a slut...
    I wonder how that could be proven....

  17. #17
    Notorious's Avatar
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    Well, the freedom of speech actually was intended to protect first and foremost, POLITICAL speech. That cannot be abridged in most circs and it takes strict scrutiny to pass any laws abridging that. Commercial speech and other stuff can be abridged with less Constitutional protections. The Bill of Rights are not absolute and they cannot be absolute. There will always be exceptions and circs that don't fall under them even though at first light they may appear to.

    In this case, nobody gives a rat because presumably, these Beverly Hills kids have enough family money to fight it out in civil court with their private army of lawyers anyway. Let them sort it out.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notorious View Post
    Well, the freedom of speech actually was intended to protect first and foremost, POLITICAL speech. That cannot be abridged in most circs and it takes strict scrutiny to pass any laws abridging that. Commercial speech and other stuff can be abridged with less Constitutional protections. The Bill of Rights are not absolute and they cannot be absolute. There will always be exceptions and circs that don't fall under them even though at first light they may appear to.

    In this case, nobody gives a rat because presumably, these Beverly Hills kids have enough family money to fight it out in civil court with their private army of lawyers anyway. Let them sort it out.
    I don't mean to continue to be the history dick, but that isn't entirely true.

    The concept of freedom of speech was lumped with the free exercise of religion for a reason, historically.

    Madison's influence rendered political speech inclusive in order to obtain a consensus between Federalists and Anti-Federalists, but the ideal itself predated the Bill of Rights.

    The original "control of speech" was used to suppress religion.
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  19. #19
    Notorious's Avatar
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    Yes, historical backing versus legal history of the Bill of Rights... in any event, who cares about these brats?
    Nothing clever here except my zombie defense gun... now where is that darn flashlight...


  20. #20
    MacLean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notorious View Post
    Yes, historical backing versus legal history of the Bill of Rights... in any event, who cares about these brats?
    Sorry again, I'm a history nut
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



 

 
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