Parents Sue School District Over Blog and I Can't Figure Out Why
By Rita Arens on March 20, 2012
BlogHer Original Post
Twin Lee's Summit North students were suspended in December 2011 for 180 days because of their blog. They are now suing the Lee's Summit school district because they say one racist post cited by the district was posted by a third unidentified student, not them. They claim (a) they can't be held responsible for something someone else posts, (b) their right to write whatever they want off school property and off school time is no business of their school administration and protected under First Amendment rights and (c) the 180-day suspension could screw up their scholarship hopes and college careers. I think the twins might be missing point (d), which is you probably shouldn't get a scholarship anyway if your blog is a safe haven for any kind of racist or sexist commentary.
Blogger Responsibility for What Others Post
If the suspension is over the racist post put up on the twins' blog by someone else, the suspension probably won't hold up legally. According to the Lee's Summit Journal:
Jean Maneke, a Kansas City media law attorney, said she does not know what the school’s basis for the twins’ subsequent suspensions were.
But she said that, under federal law, the twins “don’t have liability for what some third party put on their website, if that’s true.”
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