Students Who Posted Offensive Blog Might Have to Resume Suspension
Twin brothers, who are seniors at Lee’s Summit North High School, might have to complete a six-month suspension after the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the offensive remarks they made on their blog are not protected by the First Amendment.
In its ruling Wednesday, the Court of Appeals said it was vacating the District Court’s order and reversing the preliminary injunction originally granted to the brothers.
Back in December of 2011, the brothers started a blog called NorthPress, using a Dutch domain site to prevent U.S. users from finding it on Google. The site was not password-protected, so anyone could get on it if they knew the domain name. Between December 13-16, 2011, the judge wrote that the brothers “posted a variety of offensive and racist comments as well as sexually explicit and degrading comments about particular female classmates, whom they identified by name.”
Lee’s Summit North officials suspended the brothers for 180 days, but their parents filed a lawsuit against the school district, claiming their free speech rights were being violated. They said a third unidentified student posted the racially insensitive comments. They also argued the suspension would hurt the boys’ scholarship prospects of playing band in college.