Anti-Teacher Facebook Page Case to Proceed

Does creating a Facebook page to criticize a teacher fall under First Amendment rights? That question may be answered soon.

The New York Times reports that Federal Magistrate Judge Barry L. Garber allowed a lawsuit by south Florida teen-ager Katherine Evans, now a sophomore at the University of Florida, against Peter Bayer, former principal of Pembroke Pines Charter High School, to proceed.

Evans filed the lawsuit after a three-day suspension she received for creating a Facebook page about her English teacher, “Ms. Sarah Phelps is the worst teacher I’ve ever had,” which she took down after a few days and both positive and negative comments, according to the Times. She is seeking to have the suspension expunged from her disciplinary record.

American Civil Liberties Union of Florida associate legal director Maria Kayanan, one of Evans’ lawyers, told the Times:

This is an important victory both for Ms. Evans and Internet free speech because it upholds the principle that the right to freedom of speech and expression in America does not depend on the technology used to convey opinions and ideas.