When it comes to the ethics of social-networking and schools, there’s still quite a bit that falls into a hazy, gray area. Are teachers allowed to befriend students on sites such as Facebook? Are students allowed to vent about teachers, administrators, and school in general on social-networking sites? And how can what a student posts, while outside of school on these public Web sites, impact their lives in school?
Principal Peter Bayer of Pembroke Pines Charter High School outside of Pembroke Pines, Fla., as well as student Katie Evans, who created a Facebook group to complain about one of her teachers, are learning the limits of those boundaries. Because of the online complaints, Evans was bumped from her AP classes and suspended, but a federal magistrate has now ruled that what she posted on Facebook was within her First Amendment rights.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.