Feb 15, 2013|
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
Let's take a few moments to talk about a recent news story about schools and discipline and free speech. Schools have the right to tell kids to do homework to Wear uniforms to be paid certain ways. But where does it and do students have the right to speak out about their school even if they criticize their teacher publicly. The issue is leapt into the news recently with word that Brandon Cousteau was suspended from west Seneca east for five days. After use the hash tag freedom of speech and -- and obscenity about one of his teachers by name. This morning we learned though that there are all sorts of legal issues that spring out of this case our usual legal analyst as Paul -- embryo from -- greens some may and -- He's with us on the WBM live on good morning Paul. Good morning. To talk about on this one. Well I think that down. The school as underestimated. The power -- -- -- First Amendment you know they use it shouldn't have been litigated. Most recently and our federal circuit which should second circuit. In the third circuit which a public area and saw and basically record -- in the position that. You can't just have a situation where somebody got their feelings hurt. You really happy shall. I should anyone on differentiated. Fear or apprehension of disturbance. And it can't simply being that that teachers are upset. Or that that students are talking as a matter -- Student talking about it this person obviously what the First Amendment was designed to accomplish what we want to welcome it. It's the main -- What about imposing discipline don't they have the right to say don't respect their teachers I know. They don't happen right to do that at the expense in the first and I think and from what I've read in the news or what comment water. It clearly was protected by the First Amendment. And I believe based on the law as I know that they're -- first amendment rights were violated by the school district. And that it would be actionable I've been here ballot civil right actually he could file in federal court against -- So the school you say you think is wrong and -- with its five day suspension is an overreach. Absolutely I don't think they had any business. Punishing him at all it wasn't done after school -- was congress Twitter account. And that it was not something that accomplished anything more than that hurt -- feelings. And that's not a legitimate reason to violent men. More broadly speaking talk about the kind of -- students have because I can -- situation where a lot of schools say. Yeah leave your rights at the door your hours in order for us to do we have to do. Other rock and their legal advisors needed to Lehman had what the law so student have diminished right. But they still have rights in the First Amendment area and especially for something that did not occur after school facility. That occurred on his -- now. In years out of private -- About an event that occurred. That protected by the First Amendment as far as I can tell from my knowledge of the case. Quite so may have been disrespectful but it was an opinion. Done in private and he had every right to do. He had every right to express. At this pleasure. Apparently was ejected from so -- are your situation. Any thought it was wrong any -- so. And you know there's teachers' feelings were hurt. That doesn't. Allow them to violate the First Amendment and that should in my opinion more -- Let's tussle hypothetical that you instead of tweeting about what if he put. -- you teacher so and so on a T shirt I wore to school. -- obviously different situation because there there would be differentiated spacious state could cause disruption. In the on the school so. You know we can always change the facts to come up with something that would allow you to put First -- -- but the fact that we have here. In my opinion violent person. Is social media new territory for First Amendment cases. You know what it has become such under the another example. There are times when people say something on their FaceBook page about their boss. At the job and they've been discharge. And the courses precursor. In the court at all the barriers. Are protected speech. In a non business environment. And people have a right to criticize other people pleasures -- working a lot. Now obviously there could be side effects which would change. For example of something happened. Where you actually disrupted the work force -- I give -- the best trampled. Bomb. One of the school children. In one of these -- vocations. -- call for action in another words not only criticize somebody. But then -- send in your letters you know -- down FaceBook message. Another large. Call for action to disrupt. Let it happen this board -- You know ask her why she do that kind of thing and that's protected speech. What happens next ball. Well that's. That's up for the family -- mean they might just say OK forget it let's move on -- there might say you know we have a problem here. And we want it to righted and where we're prepared to -- action against school. And if that goes forward what kind of penalties to the school ultimately face if if they'd courts agree with the UN say. There was a wrong here. Well a couple of things. That would have to be a situation where their damages and ball and and that might be talked will. CP was damaged on the other hand. To enjoin the school from. Doing that kind of thing declaring that -- wrong and paying into legal fees are all possibility. All right Paul thanks for your time this morning. That's our legal analyst attorney Paul -- reaffirm that it's green.