SSDA Today - Spring/Summer 2018 - 10

FEATURE

Student Free Speech:
School Officials' Response
to Student Social Media
Comments, "Likes" and Followers

©ISTOCK.COM/GOLDFAERY

BY SLOAN SIMMONS, PENELOPE GLOVER, AND JOSHUA WHITESIDE,
LOZANO SMITH ATTORNEYS AT LAW

T

he principal of Albany High School first
learned about a student's Instagram account
featuring racist posts which targeted some
of his students and staff when he heard a
disturbance in the hallway outside his office.
Dozens of students were crying hysterically
and talking loudly about the posts, too upset to go to class.
Over the course of five months, one of his students had
used a private account to post 30 to 40 racist messages
referring to the Ku Klux Klan, lynching, and nooses and
featuring photographs of students. Some of the account's
10

SSDA TODAY | SPRING/SUMMER 2018

followers were students who "liked" the racist posts, while
at least one student merely followed the account. Word of
the account and its contents spread quickly, upsetting and
distracting students and disrupting classes.
The school disciplined the student who created the account
and those who followed it, ultimately prompting a federal
lawsuit. Resulting from these events, the United States district court's summary judgment ruling in the case, Shen v.
Albany Unified School District (N.D. Cal. Nov. 29, 2017) Case
No. 3:17-cv-02478-JD, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196340, 2017
WL 5890089, offers new guidance regarding how school


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SSDA Today - Spring/Summer 2018

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S COLUMN
Student Free Speech: School Officials’ Response to Student Social Media Comments, “Likes” and Followers
CalPERS Rate Increases Begin to Stabilize
New School Nutrition Laws Take Effect
Website Accessibility: How an Educational Entity Can Ensure its Website is Accessible to those with Disabilities
After Years of Debate, Special Education Credential Seems Destined for Changes
School Board Elections and the California Voting Rights Act: Districts Shift from At-Large to District-Based Elections
ADVERTISER’S INDEX
SSDA Today - Spring/Summer 2018 - Intro
SSDA Today - Spring/Summer 2018 - cover1
SSDA Today - Spring/Summer 2018 - cover2
SSDA Today - Spring/Summer 2018 - 3
SSDA Today - Spring/Summer 2018 - 4
SSDA Today - Spring/Summer 2018 - 5
SSDA Today - Spring/Summer 2018 - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S COLUMN
SSDA Today - Spring/Summer 2018 - 7
SSDA Today - Spring/Summer 2018 - 8
SSDA Today - Spring/Summer 2018 - 9
SSDA Today - Spring/Summer 2018 - Student Free Speech: School Officials’ Response to Student Social Media Comments, “Likes” and Followers
SSDA Today - Spring/Summer 2018 - 11
SSDA Today - Spring/Summer 2018 - 12
SSDA Today - Spring/Summer 2018 - CalPERS Rate Increases Begin to Stabilize
SSDA Today - Spring/Summer 2018 - 14
SSDA Today - Spring/Summer 2018 - New School Nutrition Laws Take Effect
SSDA Today - Spring/Summer 2018 - Website Accessibility: How an Educational Entity Can Ensure its Website is Accessible to those with Disabilities
SSDA Today - Spring/Summer 2018 - 17
SSDA Today - Spring/Summer 2018 - 18
SSDA Today - Spring/Summer 2018 - After Years of Debate, Special Education Credential Seems Destined for Changes
SSDA Today - Spring/Summer 2018 - 20
SSDA Today - Spring/Summer 2018 - School Board Elections and the California Voting Rights Act: Districts Shift from At-Large to District-Based Elections
SSDA Today - Spring/Summer 2018 - ADVERTISER’S INDEX
SSDA Today - Spring/Summer 2018 - cover3
SSDA Today - Spring/Summer 2018 - cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/SSCB/SSCB0218
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/SSCB/SSCB0118
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/SSCB/SSCB0217
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/SSCB/SSCB0117
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/SSCB/SSCB0216
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/SSCB/SSCB0116
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com