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Education Law

2011

University of Missouri School of Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Recognizing The Public Schools' Authority To Discipline Students' Off-Campus Cyberbullying Of Classmates, Douglas E. Abrams Jan 2011

Recognizing The Public Schools' Authority To Discipline Students' Off-Campus Cyberbullying Of Classmates, Douglas E. Abrams

Faculty Publications

The American Medical Association, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified bullying in the public elementary and secondary schools as a "public health problem". This article explains the schools' comprehensive authority, consistent with the First Amendment, to impose discipline on cyberbullies, by suspension or expulsion if necessary. Ever since Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969), the Supreme Court's First Amendment decisions have granted the schools authority to discipline student speech that causes, or reasonably threatens, (1) "substantial disruption of or material interference ...