Social media is revolutionizing the way we communicate and interact with one another. For better or worse we are connecting in ways that simply did not exist a decade ago, and those connections are presenting schools with increasing number of challenges. School districts shoulder the responsibility for the well-being of today’s students and with the advent of social media, districts are at the center of legal issues concerning student’s freedom of speech and a school’s responsibility to provide an appropriate learning environment.
Over 40 years ago the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark decision that defined student free speech rights within the framework of the public schools, but the Tinker decision, or any of United States Supreme Court’s other student free speech rulings, could not anticipate the impact of student off-campus use of the Internet would have on the school environment. “In this cyberspeech setting, the two-pronged Tinker framework yields only meager guidance for analyzing off-campus student speech.” (Crawford, 2013)
Definitions & History:
Before any discussion of student free speech can begin a clear definition of social media must be established. Social media is a Web 2.0 technology that allows users to actively share and create information online. Merriam-Webster defines social media as”… forms of electronic communication (as web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content.”
Digital technology offers students a false sense of security by providing cyber-walls to hide behind. Social media provides student the sense of being alone. However the reality is they are visible t...
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...st Amendment Protections. El Paso: LFB Scholarly Pub.
Hull, M. (1999). Censorship in America : A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara, Calif:ABC-CLIO.
Silverglate, H. A., French, D., Lukianoff, G., & Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, (. (FIRE). (2012). FIRE's Guide to Free Speech on Campus. Second Edition. FIRE's Guides to Student Rights on Campus. Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
Banks, G. (2011, July 18). As social media expand, rulings evolve for students and teachers expressing freedom of speech. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved May 3, 2014, from http://www.post-gazette.com/home/2011/07/18/As-social-media-expand-rulings-evolve-for-students-and-teachers-expressing-freedom-of-speech/stories/201107180190#ixzz30tCKfc
Tinker v. Des Moines. (n.d.). Tinker v. Des Moines. Retrieved May 5, 2014, from http://cases.laws.com/tinker-v-des-moines
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