Court: Student Suspended for Facebook Page Can Sue

Lawyers hail freedom of speech ruling
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Feb 16, 2010 4:05 AM CST
Updated Feb 16, 2010 5:55 AM CST
A former high school student was suspended for "cyberbullying" after launching a Facebook page critical of a teacher.   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, file)

(Newser) – A former high school student suspended after criticizing a teacher on a Facebook page can sue the school for the disciplinary action, a Florida court has ruled. Katherine Evans can take action to expunge the penalty from her school record as well as sue for a "nominal" fee for violating her First Amendment rights. The honor student, now a university junior, was suspended for "cyberbullying" after she launched a Facebook page saying an english teacher was "the worst I've ever had."

“This is an important victory both for Ms. Evans and Internet free speech,” said Maria Kayanan, Evans' lawyer and associate director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida. "It upholds the principle that the right to freedom of speech in America does not depend on the technology used to convey opinions and ideas.”

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