Snyder v. Blue Mountain Sch. Dist., NO. 08-4138
In plaintiffs' action against the school district for punishing their daughter for creating a internet profile of her high school principal on MySpace.com, district court's judgment in favor of the school district is affirmed where: 1) Tinker applies to student speech, whether on- or off-campus that causes or threatens to cause a substantial disruption of or material interference with school or invades the rights of other members of the school community, and here, because the student's internet profile featuring her principal alluded to his interest or engagement in sexually inappropriate behavior and illegal conduct, it threatened to substantially disrupt the Middle School regardless of whether the student's role in creating the profile was criminal or tortious; 2) school district did not violate the parents' Fourteenth Amendment rights to direct and control the upbringing of their child; 3) Pennsylvania permits school authorities to discipline students for conduct akin to this student's creation of the profile; and 4) the Middle School's policies under which the student was punished were not unconstitutionally vague or overbroad.
On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of New Pennsylvania
Opinion Filed February 4, 2010
Opinion by Circuit Judge Fisher
For Appellant: Mary Catherine Roper, ACLU
For Appellee: Jonathan P. Riba, Sweet Stevens Katz & Williams
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