Regulating Student Cyberspeech

Missouri Law Review, Vol. 77, p. 727, 2013

Pepperdine University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-16

35 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2013 Last revised: 22 Oct 2013

See all articles by Barry McDonald

Barry McDonald

Pepperdine University - Rick J. Caruso School of Law

Date Written: June 1, 2013

Abstract

In this symposium contribution, the author proposes a framework for applying the First Amendment to the most common forms of student cyberspeech disputes that arise in public schools. The article describes how these disputes are broadly falling into two different categories and provides an overview of how lower courts are resolving them. It describes how many courts are improperly importing standards developed for dealing with "cyberdissing" disputes (those where school officials have been subjected to online criticism or attacks) to decide cases involving "cyberbullying" (those involving alleged online bullying of one student by another). The author then analyzes what standards should be applied to these various disputes, both in terms of the overall First Amendment doctrinal framework that should govern them, as well as how those standards should be adjusted depending upon the particular type of dispute at issue. It is the author's hope that his proposals will aid courts, when deciding these disputes, to properly balance the functional interests of schools in ensuring an optimal student learning environment against the students' free speech interests at stake in these cases.

Keywords: student speech, First Amendment, schools, cyberbullying, cyberspeech, cyberdissing, Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Cmty. Sch. Dist., off-campus conduct

Suggested Citation

McDonald, Barry, Regulating Student Cyberspeech (June 1, 2013). Missouri Law Review, Vol. 77, p. 727, 2013, Pepperdine University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-16, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2321164

Barry McDonald (Contact Author)

Pepperdine University - Rick J. Caruso School of Law ( email )

24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
102
Abstract Views
1,378
rank
324,576
PlumX Metrics