Student Privacy and First Amendment Rights


Read Chapter 4: Uploaded Pages

Stader, D. (2013). Law and ethics in educational leadership (2nd ed.). Upper SaddleRiver, NJ: Pearson Education.

Read this Case Scenario:. Seventh grader Frank Jones spends time each evening writing on his blog. His blog focuses mainly on how much he hates school including staff, administration and students. He makes statements similar to “I hate you know who.” No names are included in the rants, but it is clear that he is venting about students and teachers in his classes. In another blog posting Frank includes comments “they are all sneaky bastards” and “everyone is out to get me.” A few students have approached you with the aforementioned information. As the principal, what are your best actions and what U.S. Supreme Court cases are most applicable to respond to address this situation?

The post should 

(a) analyze the regulatory mandates and case law to respond to the potential legal problem(s), 

(b) incorporate scholarly arguments supported by academic resources to support your actions, 

(c) include the ways the case scenario illustrates the controversy over student privacy and first amendment rights and the legal significance for a school, and

 (d) identify ethical dilemmas and guidelines.


                         Student Privacy and First Amendment Rights

The First Amendment guarantees the right to free speech for students with only a few exceptions and limitations. Regarding Frank Jones’s scenario, he vents through a social media post in a blog that is considered an off-school speech. However, although Jones is venting some of his posts, especially his statement, “they are all sneaky bastards,” can be considered rude. There is an ethical dilemma about whether schools should limit or punish a student because of a social media post. Proponents argue that doing so will put other students’ emotional security at risk and highlight the negative effects of online bullying and the need to protect students from verbal attacks in the modern. Those who agree with the punishment or regulation by the school concerning a student’s speech on an online platform argue that a bullying speech has not been clearly defined, and allowing schools to define it will be putting student’s rights at stake (Hudson Jr, 2021). Additionally, these opponents suggest that punishing or limiting Jones’s speech infringes his free speech that is constitutionally guaranteed regardless of location and age.  In a world where social media is growing and students are more likely to post about anything that occurs to them or around them, when is a student off-school speech too much, and who defines it? (Hudson Jr, 2021).

According to the U.S. Supreme Court, the exceptions of constitutionally protected free speech entail a speech that is considered a threat. In 1969, the Court’s decision in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District allowed schools to limit a student’s speech if its entails substantial disorder, is considered a threat, or invades the rights of other students (Olson, 2019) ……………for help with this assignment contact us via email Address:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *