A high school student in the Pembroke Pines district in Florida who set up a Facebook page to complain about her teacher—and was later suspended—had every right to do so under the First Amendment, a federal magistrate has ruled.
In 2007, Katherine Evans, then a senior at Pembroke Pines Charter High School, created a Facebook page where she vented about “the worst teacher I’ve ever met.” A couple days later, she took the page down.
But after Principal Peter Bayer found out about it, he bumped her from her Advanced Placement classes and suspended her for three days.
In late 2008, Ms. Evans filed suit against the principal.
Mr. Bayer tried to get the case dismissed and asked for immunity against paying damages. In a ruling this month, Magistrate Judge Barry Garber declined Mr. Bayers request and said he could be forced to pay up if Ms. Evans is victorious.
A version of this article appeared in the February 24, 2010 edition of Education Week as Fla. Magistrate Backs Student Disciplined for Facebook Posting