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  • Student Online Off-Campus Speech: Assessing "Substantial Disruption"

    U.S. federal courts have recognized that students have rights to free speech and free expression that must be balanced against schools‘ interest in maintaining an appropriate learning environment and protecting the rights of other students. On January, 17, 2012, to the dismay of both educators and free speech advocates, the Supreme Court of the United States refused denied writs of certiorari in three student Internet speech cases, J.S. ex rel. Snyder v. Blue Mountain School District, combined with Layshock ex rel. Layshock v. Hermitage School District, and Kowalksi v. Berkeley Count School. In each situation, students had posted hurtful speech online while off-campus and school officials had disciplined the students for the behavior.