Written by olsonaplc-3ceSchool: Sioux Central
The First Amendments states that schools are permitted from punishing students for statements that are made outside of school via the internet. An eighth grade student created a false MySpace page to make fun of their principal. Another high school senior created a MySpace page to falsely accuse their principal for alcohol consumption and illegal drug profession in his school. In both of these cases each student could not be found liable for these actions, for each took place off school grounds.
At this day and age, there are numerous ways of communication, such as: Smart phones, Facebook, MySpace, and even Ipods. That also means there are multiple ways to get someone into trouble. A student can be in contact with a teacher or friend in a second. Not all of the these communication areas are used in the best ways though. Facebook, known as a social networking site connecting with friends, family, and even potential coworkers. In high school, students seem to be using Facebook in a the wrong ways. Creating hate pages, starting unnecessary drama, and putting lives at risk. Recently, a freshman boy from South O’Brien, committed suicide after coming out to the world that he was gay. Former friends began to distance themselves from him. They started teasing and harassing this young boy, but one could not even tell that something was wrong. On April 14, 2012, his family arrived back to their house to find this boy had hung himself in their garage. As of right now, the parents of this boy are not pressing charges, nor are the police officers.
The First Amendment should not protect those students for what they had done. If someone has an opinion like that, don’t take it to Facebook where the whole world can see. Bullying is illegal in the state of Iowa and no one seems to be enforcing it, even after someone takes their life. That law should be enforced all of the country, their has been more suicides recently then there has been in a long time. Just because something like this was said online doesn’t mean anything. It just shows that there is proof to do something about it, even if someone deleted a comment or a wall post. More lives are being put at risk because people don’t seem to be doing much to stop it.
The principals of the schools lives will never be the same. The case will follow them where ever they go, because the students that had created those pages on MySpace got away free because they were protected by the First Amendent. It doesn’t only affect them but also their family. Not only does that case ever go away, but it will continue to be tried until those students are found guilty. Giving someone the right of free speech doesn’t give them the right to say just anything they want. They can say anything they want, but in the back of their minds they should realize that there will always be consequences.