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Written by olsonaplc-8d

School: Sioux Central
Class: Olson:APLC
Grade: 11th

The first amendment gives the freedom of speech, but there should be limits on how far people can go. It is one thing to say something, and post it online was a “status,” but it is another thing to make a page of false information. When this is online people may see it, and believe these false accusations. It can cost people a job, because they do background checks online and may find this, and either fire this person or not hire them. This is not fair to the person the lies are about. It is so easy for anybody to sabotage another person online these days. They should not to be able to do this to an individual.

The speech on networking sites outside of school can definitely disrupt in-school time. Bullying takes place online all of the time. It is freedom of speech, but it can hurt others in many ways and even help lead to a suicide to being committed. When the school then informs the whole student body of this tragedy, they cannot focus in school and it really is tough on everyone and little is accomplished in the week after this horrible event. It can also trigger fights between students during school hours. This may result in suspension, or expelling, but definitely is a distraction. Words can lead to wars.

This student is legal when it comes to the first amendment for the freedom of speech, but by making this profile of someone else, they then crossed the line of identity theft. Also, if they would have said it on their profile on MySpace as a “Status,” then it would be different, because it is their own expression of their thoughts. However, in the first amendment it says freedom of speech, press, assembly, petition to the government, and to their own religion (United States Constitution). This is beyond the freedom of speech and the other four do not permit it to be right either. Along with the Madison’s Resolution for Amendments to the Constitution (June 8, 1789) also says they can publish opinions, speech, writing, and press, but this is more than writing, opinions, speech, and press. They do not protect this student from being able to do this act.

If school officials could discipline students for off campus behavior though, many more students would be getting in trouble. Many students do illegal acts. It would be hard to discipline them all for it. The worst they really could do for these actions are to expel or to suspend them. School officials cannot and should not be able to stop the students freedom to internet speech. They should be able to inform students of the harm they are causing to the emotions of others, but it is their freedom to speech.

From looking at the first amendment and Madison’s Resolution for Amendments to the Constitution, it does give students the ability to give their opinions to others and say anything they want. This case shows it was not an opinion or just words, and was trying to give false information to others about this school official. This student should be found guilty.


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Harlan Institute Feedback: Very well done.