Saturday, May 31, 2008

The blogosphere is evolving

Some of you may recall the case of Avery Doninger... a Burlington, CT high school senior who got in trouble at school for commenting on a blog while off school grounds.

Well, the case is working its way through the court system and it appears the courts are not sympathizing with Avery. To see a much more detailed analysis, see The Cool Justice Report by Andy Thibault.

I haven't read the court decision, but at this point see no way that we should be going down the road where a student is at home, makes some uncomplimentary public comments and ends up being disciplined beyond:

1) an apology and
2) getting in trouble with her own parents.

I hope she does take the case all the way to The Supremes.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

Well ,what about the need for the school to maintain some level of discipline among its students? Or does that concept not exist in your libertarian nirvana?

If Ms. Doninger wants the benefits of free speech that adults enjoy, would she want to deal with the responsibility of dealing with the libel and slander laws? No, this spoiled little girl wants to have her cake and eat it too.

tim white said...

What she said wasn't kind at all... and she did apologize for it. But her now-somewhat-famous-words were clearly an opinion, not an untrue statement of fact.

I don't think we should be regulating opinion. So I do see it as a "freedom of speech" issue.

Furthermore, it's an issue that should have been addressed by her parent(s), not by the school.

Besides, if the legislature wants to criminalize actions, such as hers... they can legislate it.

Anonymous said...

Tim, be real. Her actions were disruptive to the school. In the real world you pay a price for doing this.

I suggest you blog here ripping the head of People's a new one. Make sure your resume is current.

Ms. Doninger--and her parents and lawyers--ought to know how the real world works.

When she grows up she'd get fired for her wiseass remarks. Maybe she learned something. The civil libertarians, well, not so much

Anonymous said...

The action that generated the punishment did NOT disrupt the school. The punishment was initiated only after the superintendent found she was insulted and not when any disruptive behavior occurred. The disruptive behavior, which was committed by all members of the student council, was the mass email and that received only a verbal reprimand when it occurred.

You need to read both court decisions before you comment.

Anonymous said...

Jeez, I usually assume the judges on the 2nd Circuit are brighter than some blogger. My bad

I'll be laughing my fool head off in a decade when Ms. Doninger tries this stunt at work and finds her belongings in a box in the parking lot when she comes back from lunch

Anonymous said...

Whenever someone starts name calling instead of employing logical argument I cease to take them seriously. If for nothing else, she deserved what she got because of the juvenile nature of her comments.