Toronto Radio NewsTalk 1010 host Jamie Hofing interviewed Elliot Zimmerman on Dec. 16, 2009 regarding whether students have a right to be mean online. A recent LA Times article reported that a Beverly Hills school suspended an 8th grade student who posted a video on YouTube with several other students calling yet another student “spoiled,” a “brat,” and a “slut.” Read the article here.
The suspended student took the case to federal court, saying her free speech rights had been violated. See J.C. v. Beverly Hills Unified School District, Case No. 08-cv-03824, California, U.S. District Court (2009). Last month, U.S. District Court Judge Stephen V. Wilson sided with her. “To allow the school to cast this wide a net and suspend a student simply because another student takes offense to their speech, without any evidence that such speech caused a substantial disruption of the school’s activities, runs afoul of the law,” wrote Judge Wilson in a 60 page opinion.