icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

California students rally to kill school district’s unconstitutional social media policy

California students rally to kill school district’s unconstitutional social media policy
High school students have helped bring about a repeal of a California district’s stifling new social media policy, which threatened to strip students of extracurricular activities for engaging in online activities, even in their free time.

Last spring, the Lodi School District adopted the policy, “Social Networking by Student-Athletes and Co-Curricular Participants,” which required all students and their parents agree to if they wanted to participate in extracurricular activities. The guidelines applied to students at all times, including off-campus.

According to the Student Press Law Center, the regulations sought to outlaw: “(1) speech making references to violence or to alcohol or drug use, (2) speech indicating knowledge of cyberbullying, (3) speech that is “demeaning” about any person, (4) “liking” or “retweeting” a social media post that contains prohibited speech, and (5) “subtweeting,” or posting a comment on Twitter that refers to a person who is not named.”

Students at Bear Creek High School in Stockton started circulating a district-wide petition among fellow students to repeal the new regulations. At a district board meeting in early August, Bear Creek students led the effort to vocalize dissatisfaction with the guidelines.

School and district officials countered, saying the regulations aim to combat cyberbullying, even though the policy only pertains to part of the student body.

"Online bullying is a problem, and we are looking to safeguard our students, because it is rampant," Bear Creek Principal Bill Atterberry told KCRA.

Atterberry said the school district’s attorneys looked at the policy and “said it was fine,” adding students also sent the policy to lawyers of their own.

In addition, the Student Press Law Center and the ACLU of Northern California wrote to the district in mid-August, asking for an immediate end to the enforcement of the “draconian and constitutionally infirm” rules.

Amid the growing pressure, the school district dropped the mandatory policy, positing it was “more of a guideline.”

“We will revise the statement in order to clearly communicate the original intent, which was to describe how social networking can lead to consequences at school,” the district’s superintendent wrote of the rescission.

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.