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Court rejects appeals in student speech cases

Court News     updated  2012/01/17 12:12


The U.S. Supreme Court has passed up a pair of cases for the online age — whether schools may censor students who are at home when they create online attacks against school officials and other students.

The justices on Tuesday rejected appeals from Pennsylvania and West Virginia involving questions about the limits on criticism from students and where the authority of school officials ends.

The high court decision left standing lower court rulings that two Pennsylvania students cannot be disciplined at school for parodies of their principals that they created on home computers and posted online.

In the West Virginia case, an appeals court upheld the suspension of a student who created a web page that suggested another student had a sexually transmitted disease, and invited classmates to comment.

Lawyers on both sides were disappointed the high court chose not to step into the fray over student speech posted online, as federal court judges have issued a broad range of opinions on the subject.

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