Lola Burnham’s research on student creation of fake MySpace pages provides implications for school media

Lola Burnham - Photo by Casey Kochey

Lola Burnham (Eastern Illinois) is presenting her research on “Can MySpace be School Space: Confusion Abounds.”

Lola provided overview that although the two MySpace cases aren’t about scholastic media the cases do have potential implications to student media.

J.S. vs. Blue Mountain School District case – Students created fake MySpace profile for school principal. Created MySpace page at JS’s home computer. The two students involved were suspended. Court supported the school district.

Layshock vs. Hermitage School District case – Student created fake of MySpace profile of principal. Student suspended for 10 days. Court supported the student.

Both cases were heard together in June 2010 with 14 judges. Student free speech cases — including Tinker and Fraser — were cited in the cases.

Followup discussion about the potential “Big Brother” implications of the schools controlling off-campus student speech and how rulings can affect perceptions of rights of student media.

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