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Disciplined for blogging?

A student used profanity on his blog and was disciplined for it:

A New Britain High School drum major has enlisted the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut after he was disciplined for posting a profanity-laced entry in an online journal.

Daniel Gostin, 18, a senior, was stripped of his drum major position, given an in-school suspension and barred from participating in music-related extracurricular activities and performances for the remainder of the year.

Lori Rifkin, an ACLU lawyer who represents Gostin, says the school’s actions violate his free-speech rights. In a letter to schools Superintendent Doris Kurtz on Wednesday, she asked that Gostin be reinstated as drum major, his disciplinary record be expunged and that he resume participating in musical activities.

The posting “contained no threats nor did it contain any other statements which would interfere with the ability of school administrators to maintain order and discipline at the school,” Rifkin wrote.

7 Responses to “Disciplined for blogging?”

  1. Les Jones Says:

    So it seems like a key issue here is whether the entry was on an account provided by the school. The article doesn’t make clear whether or not the account was on a computer belonging to the school.

  2. SayUncle Says:

    It was a live journal blog. I assume you’re wondering if he used the school’s internet connection.

  3. _Jon Says:

    IMO, regardless of his use of school computers, it is unlawful for a public school to discipline a student for a legally protected activity.

  4. cube Says:

    If i can get fired at work for posting on my blog, i can see the connection between him getting displined for posting on a blog…IF he did it from school.

    It will really depend on where he posted from, and if he did post from the school, what their internet policy was.

    Of course if he posted this from home, he can tell the school what to do with itself all day long, and I would defend his right to do so.

    Of course, I would also have not problem with his parent beating him down if they wanted to, most kids these days need a good beating.

  5. Steve Ramsey Says:

    Any private individual, group, or entity, including businesses and corperations can silence you all they wish.
    Because it’s well established that the first amendment covers government supression of free speach.

    Since it’s a public school, a government entity, it would appear that the student has a leg to stand on. This of course if the student is being punshed for the speech, and not the misuse of the schools computing rescources in violation of some written policy.

  6. robert Says:

    Lordy, don’t you wish the ACLU would wake up one morning and decide to freaking BE the ACLU? And then defend the SECOND amendment like this?

  7. tgirsch Says:


    Part of me wishes they would defend the second amendment with equal zeal, but on the other hand, there’s no shortage of organizations willing to do that. Apart from the ACLU, what prominent organization defends the first?