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Thursday, Jun. 8th 2017

K-12 Student Appeals – Social Media Violations

K-12 student appeals for social media violations are becoming more prevalent. Student banter, that would have gone unnoticed in the pre-digital era, is now exposed to virtually anyone and potentially everyone. Social medial violations are an issue of concern across the nation. “Freedom of Speech” is a term that means someone’s right to say something is protected within certain limits. A person may have to suffer consequences for saying something, including social media postings, but they still have the right and freedom to share their thoughts and ideas. The issue is when what a student shares is harmful.K-12 Student Appeals – Social Media Violations

When students use social media to post inappropriate, harmful or malicious content directed at a specific individual or entity, the educational institution has cause for concern. In most cases action is required and in extreme cases the police are involved. Social media violations, where the authorities are involved and charges are filed, often result in K-12 student appeals. You may have heard the term cyber-bullying in the news in reference to K-12 student arrests or investigations. School administrators and educators are becoming more aware of the types and frequency of social media violations and are taking steps to prevent and correct situations as they arise. Students can be subject to scrutiny and punishment for online comments, even if those comments are made away from school property and after school hours. Unfortunately, while some administrators target cyber-bullies, others punish students whose only offense is posting an online comment that the school doesn’t like. Since this is a new area for all, parents, educators and authorities, many consequences of social media violations end up in K-12 student appeals. 

The Internet gives way to a vast array of social media platforms for kids to use to socialize and our laws are racing to keep up. Social media is an open forum, which complicates the meaning of the laws regarding the student’s right to freedom of speech. Advocates of students’ rights worry that rights are being threatened, citing the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment that regulates student rights and freedoms. Students of today are aware of their rights and growing increasingly bolder – saying whatever they like in their social media comments. Educators and authorities are working to hold students accountable for their posts, especially the harmful ones, therefore, K-12 student appeals are being filed with more frequency. A student rights lawyer can explain the intricacies of the laws on a student’s free speech and any K-12 student appeals that result from social media violations.

In cases where student misconduct resulting in K-12 student appeals is involved, the outcome of any decision is usually based on whether there were extenuating circumstances adversely affecting the student’s performance. K-12 student appeals should be made by a student rights lawyer to review each original case. It is important to remember that on-campus investigations and hearings can be vastly different from normal criminal charges and trials and unfortunately, the accused is on the losing end when it comes to things like standards of evidence and due process. By working with an experienced student rights lawyer, you can make smart decisions and handle your K-12 student appeals case efficiently and proactively.

Cohen Law Office is an experienced student rights lawyer who has handled numerous K-12 student appeals in Kansas and Missouri.

For a no cost, no obligation consultation by email or phone: cac@studentrightslawyers.com or 785.979.7361.

For more information about social media violations and stopping cyber bullying in your state visit StopBullying.gov




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