•  
  •  
 

Abstract

As the use of social media increases and becomes an integral part of nearly every student's life, problems arise when student expression on these sites turns into threats against the school or other students, implicating both student safety and the speaker's right to free speech. Facing a lack of Supreme Court precedent, school officials need guidance on whether and how to take action when a student makes threats on social network - how to prevent any danger at school while respecting the student's right to free speech. This note develops an approach that combines the Supreme Court's Watts "true threat" test and its Tinker "substancial disruption" test. It provides guidance by arguing that schools should be free to take liberal action on student speech to prevent danger at school, and lays out the model procedure. Schools that follow this procedure can respond to threatening student speech without infringing a student's First Amendment rights.

Share

COinS
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.