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Facebook & School; Should The Two Remain Separate ?

(Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

It has been happening more and more lately. Students getting in trouble at school, for what they do on Facebook. One of the recent stories comes out of California where 15 yr old Donny Tobolski made a status update on his home computer calling his biology teacher:

a “fat a**” who should stop eating fast food and is a “d*****bag”.

Of course the school got involved and and requested that Tobolski take down the comments and apologize. In addition the school also placed him on a one day suspension for “cyberbullying”. It was then that the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) stepped in and had the punishment lifted saying that,

“Schools have an obligation to provide a safe school environment (but) petty comments, insults, ordinary personality conflicts…don’t rise to the level of harassment.”


This story, and many other similar instances are happening on a national and now local level. Some cases even allegedly involve school employees making “fake” Facebook pages and adding students to keep tabs on their updates and actions outside of school. We have heard the argument for decades about keeping “State and Church” separate. Is it time to do the same for school and social media ??

Question — If a student posts comments, pictures, video etc. on a social networking site (i.e. Facebook) that are discovered and deemed inappropriate by their school; Would it be fair for them to punish the student or are the comments/posts within the student’s constitutional right of freedom of speech and ultimately an issue that should be handled by their parent(s) and or legal guardian(s) ?

Post your comments/thoughts/opinions/rants below !!!

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