Student Designed Web Pages - Does Title Ix or the First Amendment Apply?
26 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2007
School districts can be liable for peer-on-peer harassment when the school has actual knowledge of harassment, acts with deliberate indifference, and the harassment is severe and pervasive enough to deprive a student of educational benefits. It is unclear whether a school district could ever be liable for their response to harassing behavior that occurred off school grounds and after school hours.
This creates a major void in the law because off-campus student designed web pages are becoming more and more common. The web pages are highly critical of other classmates and are written in explicit, often vulgar language.
This article explores the tests courts are creating for regulation of student speech and prevention of peer-on-peer harassment and the tensions that result. In light of the sheer number of such pages, this article is not just a far-flung theoretical discussion. Instead it focuses on issues that schools must confront every day.
Keywords: web pages, peer-on-peer harassment, Title IX, First Amendment
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