Jul 27, 2011 Beware admitting anything in the public school principle’s office
Public school students, beware. The glorious-sounding First Amendment you are taught about in social studies class has been diluted to thinness by the appellate courts not only as to public school students’ speech in the schoolhouse, but today by the Fourth Circuit even for cyberbullying that takes place offsite and after school hours. Kowalski v. Berkeley County Public Schools, et al., ___ F.3d ___ (July 27, 2011).
Kara Kowalski was a high school summarily suspended for five days "for creating and posting to a MySpace.com webpage called ‘S.A.S.H.,’ hich Kowalski claims stood for ‘Students Against Sluts Herpes’ and which was largely dedicated to ridiculing a fellow student." Kowalski . Had Kowalski kept her mouth shut when the school administrator(s) interviewed/grilled her, maybe the school would not have felt it had enough proof to discipline her However, this having been a non-criminal disciplinary hearing, nobody had the obligation to tell her of her right to remain silent or to ask for her parents’ presence, and she likely was not so informed.
Beware admitting anything in the public school principle’s office, ever.