Teachers and Sudents vs Slander and Libel
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Teachers and Sudents vs Slander and Libel
sticks and stones may break my bones...
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Cyberbullying on The Rise

Cyberbullying on The Rise | Teachers and Sudents vs Slander and Libel | Scoop.it
Cell phones, instant messaging, and social networks have created a new type of bully: a cyber bully. 30 percent of middle school students were victims cyberbullying.
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Rheanna Padden's comment, June 4, 2012 1:50 AM
The stories of these victims are very sad. However, I believe that schools are becoming well aware of the effects of bullying and they are trying to figure out ways to encourage students recognize and put a stop to cyberbullying.
Vikki Howard's comment, June 17, 2012 6:58 AM
that is true--as is our society--the problem is that now that Pandora's box has been opened..we really don't have an idea how to put a lid on the medium for mean
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Legal Clips » Federal appellate court issues en banc decision in Layshock v. Hermitage Sch. Dist.: school district violated First Amendment by disciplining student for off-campus online speech

Legal Clips » Federal appellate court issues en banc decision in Layshock v. Hermitage Sch. Dist.: school district violated First Amendment by disciplining student for off-campus online speech | Teachers and Sudents vs Slander and Libel | Scoop.it
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Rheanna Padden's comment, June 4, 2012 1:32 AM
This court is essentially the twin brother of J.S. v. Blue Mountain School District. On the same day, each court ruled that the school district violated the First Amendment by punishing the students of those separate cases for off-campus online speech. They took into consideration the court case Bethel Sch. Dist. No. 403 v. Fraser that says that the school cannot discipline students for off-campus speech, and by Tinker guidelines, there was no evidence of disruption.
Vikki Howard's comment, June 17, 2012 7:01 AM
this is so interesting...as the social current that runs through schools is hard to calibrate by legal means--I agree that solutions are least likely to be achieved through the courts--but the message sent to schools is there must be very compelling evidence of disruption before attempting to make a correction for cyberbullying--many/most schools have taken a hard line on cyberbullying--but according to these decisions are overstepping
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Cobb middle school student files suit alleging cyberbullying  | ajc.com

Cobb middle school student files suit alleging cyberbullying  | ajc.com | Teachers and Sudents vs Slander and Libel | Scoop.it
She's a slender, rough-and-tumble sort of girl who looked forward to the end of school when she could let loose during her middle school’s field day activities.
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Rheanna Padden's comment, June 4, 2012 1:47 AM
The insults and harassment made by cyberbullies are something to be taken very seriously. Children with frail self-esteem can be driven to a nervous breakdown or even suicide as a result of hateful comments posted online. The internet is a popular place, and word travels fast. Comments made online can crush a student's confidence.
In the case against Kara Kowalski that I posted, the court backed the school's decision to punish Kowalski for posting a hate website against a fellow student that not only hurt the other student emotionally, but brough disruption to the classroom.
The Cobb middle school student has a very similar situation, therefore, I believe the court should rule in her favor as well.
Vikki Howard's comment, June 17, 2012 7:03 AM
I would argue that even students with strong constitutions are vulnerable to the vagaries of slander--other than disruption--are there other principles of law that you think might apply here? e.g., intent, truth?
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Catholic school's headmaster sues paper for libel | News-Gazette.com

Catholic school's headmaster sues paper for libel | News-Gazette.com | Teachers and Sudents vs Slander and Libel | Scoop.it
DANVILLE — The headmaster of a Catholic boarding school in Georgetown has filed a civil action against the Paxton Record, claiming the weekly newspaper defamed him when it published a letter to the editor in support of gay rights that erroneously...
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Rheanna Padden's comment, June 4, 2012 12:54 AM
This was an interesting article to me because I was raised a Catholic, so I fully recognize the strong views of the church and how a letter like this could wreck this headmaster's reputation. Claiming that the Headmaster or a Catholic academy was running a sexually active, gay advocacy group out of his boarding school could cost him his job and reputation. However, it has to be proven that what the paper published was defamatory, reckless, malicious, and caused damage. In the court case Cabin v. Community Newspapers (1966), a newspaper was not liable for defamatory statements against a public official unless the plaintiff could prove that the statements were made with actual malice.
Vikki Howard's comment, June 17, 2012 7:04 AM
Good point about actual malice--could you elaborate on what that means from a legal standpoint--how is the bar established?
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Court Backs School's Penalty Against Student's 'Herpes' Bullying Site

Court Backs School's Penalty Against Student's 'Herpes' Bullying Site | Teachers and Sudents vs Slander and Libel | Scoop.it
RICHMOND, Va. — A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld the suspension of a West Virginia student who created a web page suggesting another student had a sexually transmitted disease and invited classmates to comment.
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JOLT Digest » J.S. v. Blue Mountain School District | Harvard Journal of Law & Technology

JOLT Digest » J.S. v. Blue Mountain School District | Harvard Journal of Law & Technology | Teachers and Sudents vs Slander and Libel | Scoop.it
JOLT Digest...
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Rheanna Padden's comment, June 4, 2012 1:20 AM
In this era of social media, cyberbullying is on the rise. Cyberbullying usually is depicted by cruel students posting and messaging nasty, hurtful words towards another classmate. But what happens when these vicious messages are directed toward the teacher? In this case, they used Tinker v. Des Moines (1969) as a guidline for the ruling. The court protected the student's free speech right and concluded that what the student did off-campus did not cause a disruption on-campus. What I have learned from this is that unless a student's outside opinions are affecting my classroom or causing harm to me, I just have to ignore it. Turn the other cheek. sticks and stones...
Vikki Howard's comment, June 17, 2012 7:10 AM
You are exactly right--because teachers are considered "public officials" there is a higher threshold in favor of first amendment rights -- how does it apply here?
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N.C. teacher suspended after telling student not to slander president

N.C. teacher suspended after telling student not to slander president | Teachers and Sudents vs Slander and Libel | Scoop.it
A Rowan County teacher has been suspended after a video surfaced in which she suggests that a student could be arrested for criticizing President Barack Obama.
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Rheanna Padden's comment, June 4, 2012 12:21 AM
I had to laugh a little bit when I read this article. There was no court case, but I had to share this because the teacher is obviously misinformed and the student is the one who is absolutely right. “They cannot take away your right to have your opinion,” the student said. “They can’t take that away unless you threaten the president.”
The teacher told the student that he could go to jail for saying that Barack Obama was a bully, which is not true. In New York Times v. Sullivan, the US Supreme court ruled that the First Amendment protects freedom of speech, and unless his statement was made with actual malice, a public official cannot collect damages for slander and libel (Schimmel, Stellman, Fischer, 2011). This teacher got defensive and let her personal feelings show instead of acting professionally in the classroom.

Schimmel, D., Stellman, L.R., Fischer, L. (2011) Teachers and the Law, 8th Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ. Pearson Education Inc.
Vikki Howard's comment, June 17, 2012 7:10 AM
you are right about this teacher's dumb response to student's criticism. Not only does this suggest that teachers should know the law, but they should avoid trying to intimidate students. This shows the power of the media again--check out cybernating