Tuesday, August 13, 2013

CA School District Lodi Implements Unconstitutional Student Social Media Policy

Colleges and high schools across the country are implementing unconstitutional social media policies that are requiring state legislatures, Congress, and the courts to  show them the error of their ways.  For example, Utah State and Northwestern University implemented clearly unconstitutional social media policies directed at their student-athletes.  Due to these policies, Utah and Illinois enacted legislation banning these schools' social media policies. 

The Lodi Unified School District in California recently enacted a student social media policy that infringes on the 1st amendment rights of those who participate in extracurricular activities.   This new policy covers student-athletes, student newspaper reporters, band members, chess club members, the glee club, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender club, etc...  The policy clearly violates the First Amendment. As Tinker v. Des Moines states, "students do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate."

In addition to violating the First Amendment, this new policy violates California Education Code Section 48907 that protects students' free speech rights in California.  The bottom line is that K-12 schools and post-secondary schools must be more aware of the policies that their administrators are implementing to ensure they don't create tremendous legal liability.

Copyright 2013 by the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC All rights reserved. 

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