Students have been complaining about their teachers and principals, probably since the first schoolhouses opened. But in the Internet age, it's easy for students broadcast their frustrations publicly via social networks, and courts are now having to step in and define whether their online back talk is protected free speech.
An appeals courts in Pennsylvania sided with the students last week, in cases involving a male student disparaging his prinicipal’s body, and a female student who made lewd sexual remarks about her principal. How far should students be able to go when expressing themselves on social networking sites and should the schools be getting involved?
David Hudson Jr., a scholar at the First Amendment Center and author of "Let the Students Speak! A History of the Fight for Free Expression in American Schools," says the cases will likely go to the Supreme Court. Mark Wilson, principal of Morgan County High School in Georgia, thinks this issue is reflective of our participation in democracy and is a teachable moment for his students.