Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Court OK's "Bullying" Video

Via Joanne:

A student who posted a nasty video about a classmate can’t be suspended for bullying, ruled a US District Court judge.

A Beverly Hills girl posted a video calling another girl “spoiled,” a “brat” and a “slut.” The victim complained to a school counselor.

Judge Stephen Wilson wrote in his judgment: “To allow the school to cast this wide a net and suspend a student simply because another student takes offence to their speech, without any evidence that such speech caused a substantial disruption of the school’s activities, runs afoul [of the law].

I agree with this judgement. In fact, I'd go further. Just because some off-campus activity might interfere with the school environment is not enough for the school to take disciplinary action. Hurting someone so they miss a couple days of school will certainly affect their schooling, but that doesn't mean that the school can suspend people who fight on Saturday afternoon; assault and battery is a crime, and the courts, not schools, are the appropriate place to deal with such offenses.

While the girl who made the video clearly has some issues and has shown herself to be less than a stellar person (her parents must be so proud), I can't see how the school has any business punishing her for this.

I have consistently advocated the belief that schools need to focus only on events that occur at school and at related activities.

1 comment:

Ellen K said...

There's another sexting problem brewing at a local district. I predicted when cell phone came with cameras that obscene phone calls would take on a whole new dimension. These silly dumb little girls see this type of behavior and emulate it. What is scary is that if it gets forwarded to a male that is more than three years older-even without his consent-he could be sited for child pornography if his phone is found with such material on it.