Published Online: January 11, 2011
Published in Print: January 12, 2011, as Legal Battle Ends Over Student’s Facebook Post

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Legal Battle Ends Over Student's Facebook Post

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A former Florida high school student scored what her attorneys call a victory for the First Amendment last month with the end of her two-year legal battle over negative Facebook comments she made about her teacher.

Katherine “Katie” Evans’ three-day suspension from Pembroke Pines Charter High School for the comments will be wiped from her school record as part of a settlement agreement reached in her federal lawsuit against her high school principal. In addition, she will receive $15,000 in legal fees and $1 in nominal damages, her attorneys said.

Ms. Evans was suspended in November 2007 after her principal, Peter Bayer, learned she had created a Facebook page describing her Advanced Placement English teacher as “the worst teacher I’ve ever met.” Mr. Bayer deemed the honor student’s actions as “cyberbullying/harassment (of) a staff member” and placed her in a less-rigorous English class, according to Ms. Evans’ federal lawsuit.

Vol. 30, Issue 15, Page 4

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