I found this via Sarah Robbins Facebook news feed: “Judge: School can suspend students over fake MySpace profile.” Basically, a couple of knuckle-head middle school kids created a really offensive (and really fake) MySpace profile of their principal. Somehow, the principal found out and suspended the kids. The parents (where they were before all this, I’m not sure) found out and filed a first amendment case, and the judge ruled in favor of the school district.
This kind of reminds me a bit of a local story I posted on my previous academic only blog in May 2007, where an area (Saline) superintendent Beverley Geltner held a “safety” session about Facebook/MySpace after a group of students formed a group called “new superintendent = bitch.” But I think the two differences are that in this new case, the kids created an entire fake profile/identity for the principal. Plus it was a lot more offensive. And plus the school has a code of conduct that makes it clear that it’s way against the rules to make false accusations about staff members. It’s one thing to say that so-and-so is a bitch; it’s another thing to say that so-and-so is a pedophile.
In any event, I’m sure this will come up in English 516, but I wonder if students in winter 2009 will have the same kind of “reservations” about MySpace and/or Facebook that some of my students have had in the recent past.