In modern society today, freedom of speech has been a main concern to delinquents as to what they say on the web. Although, cyberbullying has turned into a major issue online that has gotten the schools’ attention and turn towards the security of their students. To accomplish nurturing their students’ safety, they have punished pupils for what they say on the Internet that is harmful in account of others. Alternatively, the Constitution believes this goes against the First Amendment and violates the students’ rights. Schools should be authorized to limit students’ online speech to decrease the matter of cyberbullying which has affected us in many ways.
“We have freedom of speech, but you got to watch what you say” said the comedian Tracy Morgan. And he was correct. In this modern world today, numerous students abuse the First Amendment. Over the media, students are posting comments, videos, stories, etc. about other students and teachers. These students are cyberbullies. The schools should be allowed to limit students’ online speech because cyber bullying privacy and dignity are important, it hurts feelings, and affects the school.
In the pursuit of education, students strive to learn and develop their understanding of the world that surrounds them. Accordingly, it is the responsibility of the school administration to provide the means to that end. Yet, there is a polarized divide among schools and their interpretation of freedom of speech. This occurrence is experienced primarily at the university level but can be seen at all levels of education. At the epicenter of this dispute is the notion of censorship, specifically whether or not it is feasible to restrict what can and cannot be said by faculty and students alike. Advocates of freedom of speech assert that censorship violates our First Amendment right, a liberty that is inalienable. Proponents also argue that
The purposes of schools include protecting and educating its students. Therefore, naturally, when a student is cyberbullying someone else, the school seeks to intervene. However, many argue that a school’s intervention of its students’ online speech is in violation of their First Amendment rights. Should schools be allowed to limit students’ online speech? That is, should schools be allowed to punish the things its students post online, even if they are done outside of school, and from their personal devices? The answer is clearly yes. From the concept, to the precedence, to the data, to a letter from the US Department of Education, evidences everywhere supports limiting students’
On the issue of whether or not schools should be allowed to limit students’ online speech, I firmly believe that they shouldn’t. Doing so directly infringes upon the student’s first amendment rights to the freedom of speech, and for what? Numerous surveys have shown that cyberbullying isn’t a huge problem. Further, one document affirms the conclusion that cyberbullying is just another phase in the long-running evolution of bullying. With this essay, I aim to convince you that schools should not limit their students’ online speech, using my vast knowledge as well as cold hard facts.
Social media in the 21st century has altered behind the shadows of Regina George. Americans use the First Amendment as an excuse for unlimited speech, however, free speech is not absolute since the Supreme Court has allowed certain limits on that freedom. These limits include clear and present danger, fighting words, obscenity, conflict with other important interests, and time, place, and manner. Today, many free speech controversies are centered in the use of technology including cellular phones, text messages, Twitter, Facebook, and email. These effects of online speech can deluge into schools, and administrators are responsible for maintaining an appropriate environment. They
This can result in severe consequences for both the students and the school. Colleges such as Harvard have been denying the entrance of students due to inappropriate and explicit content posted on social media. Many high schools have begun hiring outside companies to monitor their studentâ€™s posts. The question arises: By doing so, are they violating these students First Amendment Rights? Approximately 92 percent of teenagers say they use their electronic devices daily (Ray Bendici, â€œSchools Step up Social Media Monitoringâ€). Twenty-four percent of which say they constantly use the internet. Although schools have a good intention for monitoring studentâ€™s accounts; to stop bullying, to find racist and explicit content, and to stop any threats; some schools go so far that they are violating both their student's privacy and First Amendment
Most who argue against censorship believe that it goes against a person’s right to freedom of speech. Within this argument, most people wonder “just when, and on what grounds, the state is justified in using its coercive powers to limit the freedom of individuals” (West). When thinking in this mindset, individuals tend to antagonize the government, because they come to believe that it suppresses their individuality and fail to consider the fact that it unites people who share its similar beliefs. As a result of the recent spike in technology and use of the Internet, the public must continually alter its definition of freedom of speech and expression. As the media offers more and more methods of communication, many of which are relatively self-regulated by users, more methods of expression develop, which may render other forms of expression obsolete, or even socially unacceptable (Qazi). Without understanding how much freedom of speech one is entitled to, one may never hope to defend that freedom if it ever comes under attack. Because technology develops so quickly that one definition will hardly suffice for a short period of time, people will find it increasingly difficult to understand how much right to expression they are allowed and will therefore fight for any and all that they may attain, never considering the benefits of censorship in the slightest. In America especially, people idealize the idea of democracy, the investigation of truth, and independence (Fieser). In
Des Moines Independent Community School District applies to the speech of students on their social media accounts remains to be unanswered by the Supreme Court. In fact, the court denied the case of Taylor Bell, who was suspended and sent to another school due to a “threatening, intimidating, and harassing” rap song he wrote that included negatives about his school at the time. If the court took this case it would have set a precedent for student social media cases all around. Instead we are left to ponder the application of the constitution and how suppression of speech should affect the media. So far, courts have mostly sided with the administrations of schools, rather than the students who believe their rights have been violated. Although In some cases, like the one of college student Navid Yeasin, Tinker’s case has been upheld, while in others, such as the case of college student Craig Keefe, it has been disregarded. It depends on the case’s details and how offensive and frightening the posts seem. Although courts try to justify rulings with pure facts, opinion is a prominent source when deciding if a post is too extreme or not. Within the controversy, the panel has came to one consensus regarding if Tinker v Des Moines should apply to social media. If a student posts something about a staff member that is dangerous and potentially harmful then that should be a very serious offence and have serious consequences. Although,
All schools should ensure that we protect the speech rights of their staff members. In this course, previously we learned how complicated speech rights can be, especially in this day of age, when more people are using social media to express their concerns. As educators, we need to know when we are protected and we also need to be careful as we express our concerns about our school’s or district policies. Usually our staff handbook has guidelines and procedures as to how we should communicate with news media outlets.
Some people believe that the internet is “designed for opinions, rants, and invective” (Source C). They use that excuse to justify their actions whether their comments are friendly or not. In another case, more than 50 students protest a principal’s decision to suspend a student for cyberbullying. The students that did participate in the sit-in expressed that the student accused of cyberbullying was “exerting his rights to post what he pleases” (Source B). These accounts prove that the bullies know what they are doing is wrong and are aware of the potential outcome of their words. When students are accused of cyberbullying another person, they often find an excuse for what they did; the First Amendment of the Constitution. However, if these adolescents felt as if their comments were not wrong in any way, they would not bother to look for an excuse when being
When posed with the question whether schools have grounds to punish students for their off-campus online speech, J expressed that the implications of the question are quite broad and require some nuance in approach. Public schools do have grounds to punish students for their off-campus online speech, but only in limited and specific circumstances. Threats of violence and harassment (such as cyberbullying) directed at members of the school community should certainly be dealt with by school administration. However, online speech that is merely controversial or vulgar, without threatening the safety of a specific person or groups of people, should not be addressed by school administrators. S agreed that public schools cannot control what a student says online off-campus except when it involves the safety of the school and/or students. If a student threatens to bring harm to others, be it staff or their peers, the principal
Tinker, 393 U.S. at 511. Thus, discomfort, hurt feelings, embarrassment, or disapproval of an unpopular viewpoint do not justify a school’s restriction of silent, passive expressions of student speech. Id. See Emmett, 92 F. Supp. 2d at 1090 (holding that a student cannot be suspended for non-school sponsored website featuring mock obituaries on the basis of fear of disturbance); and Tinker 363 U.S. at 512 (finding that a school cannot restrict students’ free speech to avoid discomfort and unpleasantness of an unpopular viewpoint when the school suspended students for wearing black armbands to protest the Vietnam War); and J.C., 711 F. Supp. 2d at 1107 (finding that a school cannot suspend a student over a YouTube video because of a teenager’s hurt feelings, rather it must be something more than “ordinary personality conflicts”); and Burge, 92 F. Supp. 3d at 1060 (holding that a teacher’s upset or angry feelings about a student’s comments on Facebook, such as “she should be shot,” was insufficient for a substantial disruption). Any words spoken in class, the lunchroom, or on campus that deviate from the majority can cause a disturbance, but the Constitution asserts it is imperative that students’ take the risk of voicing unpopular opinions.
“As the use of social media increases and becomes an integral part of nearly every student’s life, problems arise when student expression on these sites turns into threats against the school or other students, implicating both student safety and the speaker’s right to free speech” (Hughes 208). There’s no denying that social media has become a part of most people’s daily life. We have sites like Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, Reddit, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. These websites, or apps, allow us to express ourselves in any way possible, whether it’s supporting families who lost a member in a mass shooting, trying to impeach the latest president, or donating to those who are victims of natural disasters. It’s not always that social