A lawsuit filed by administrators at an Illinois beauty school may set a precedent regarding so-called “suck sites,” the Chicago Tribune reports. Nicholas Blacconiere, a student at the Salon Professional Academy of Elgin, welcomed classmates to criticize teachers on a Facebook page. After students posted accusations of teacher incompetence and promiscuity, administrators claimed emotional damage and filed suit for $50,000.
"Suck site" challenges have met with mixed success so far, and there hasn't yet been a landmark school-vs.-student online defamation case. One expert says that while students like Blacconiere should be allowed self-expression, there are limits: If they "get online and defame and destroy the reputation of someone else, or basically inflict severe emotional distress, yep, they can be held libel."