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Judge upholds suspensions of students who ‘liked’ racist social media posts

A judge has ruled that a San Francisco area school district was within its rights to suspend five students for “liking” and commenting on fellow student’s racist Instagram posts.

The reactions to the images — which included “nooses drawn around the necks of a black student and coach and comparisons of African-American women and students to gorillas,” according to the Associated Press — were made off school property, and the Instagram account was private.

The students had filed suit back in May and noted that when word of their online activities became known, they were “confronted by an angry mob of their peers” which “cursed and jeered” while “school staff ‘literally stood there and looked on.’”

U.S. District Judge James Donato ruled the suspensions were not a violation of the students’ First Amendment rights as their actions “contributed to disruption at Albany High School.”

From the story:

Donato said the accounts’ followers were mainly [Albany] students. The posts pictured students and school employees and created a risk of substantial disruption at the school, the judge said.

“These cases establish that students have the right to be free of online posts that denigrate their race, ethnicity or physical appearance, or threaten violence,” he said. “They have an equivalent right to enjoy an education in a civil, secure, and safe school environment.”

An attorney for three of the students had no immediate comment. An attorney for the other two, Darryl Yorkey, said “liking” images does not necessarily express approval.

“I think the judge took an opinion that many of us do in the older generations in assuming that a ‘like’ on its face is just that, ‘I like it, I approve of it,’” he said.

He said many of the students who were suspended over the images were Asian and were just trying to shock each other.

“Taken out of that context, it definitely looks really bad,” he said. He did not immediately know whether his clients would appeal Donato’s ruling.

Donato also upheld the expulsion of the student who posted the offensive images. However, he overturned the Albany Unified School District’s suspensions of four other students saying “none of them either approved of or adopted any content targeting specific individuals.”

Read more.

MORE: Lawsuits challenge HS suspensions for interacting with offensive Instagram post

MORE: HS student sentenced to suspension for refusing to change ‘Hillary for Prison’ t-shirt

IMAGE: Shutterstock.com

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  • KeenIncite

    It’s beginning to look more and more like the federal government will have to take over California in order to quell its rebellion and re-establish the Constitution.

    • Chip Kusmaul

      But first, we the people have to take back the federal government. Trusting it to politicians and political parties is just stupid.

  • ScienceABC123

    The judge has ruled that private conversations with no public access are now subject to government monitoring. Anybody else see the problem here?

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  • Joe Blow

    Why even bother educating such low brain and morals types?

  • StormsWx

    The right to free speech is equivalent to “enjoy an education in a civil, secure, and safe school environment?” The former is an amendment to the U.S. Constitution… I’m not sure where the other equivalent “right” comes from?

  • raydrnayshon

    California is over. Don’t wait for it to secede, throw it out.

    • Fred

      Darn right!

  • Charles Wayne

    It seems curious that they can be suspended for contributing to a hostile school situation, but the students who actually got hostile at school are not punished.

  • Fred

    The school was afraid the perps and savages would burn the place down if they didn’t hand out suspensions.

  • postmerrick

    U.S. District Judge James Donato is an unassimilated domestic enemy of the Constitution against whom I and every other member of the military swore to defend the Constitution and its guarantees of Americans’ individual liberties. He must be removed from the bench and disbarred.

  • postmerrick

    If denigration of race were proscribed, virtually all academic work by Jews would have been censored as anti-Christian, anti-white bigotry.

  • postmerrick

    Another token appointment by domestic enemy of the Constitution Barack Obama. This swarthy sham had lower scores than every white applicant.

  • postmerrick

    Today, individuals are punished for posting on the internet thanks to this traitor on the bench. In no time, this judge and his ilk will coordinate with Jews and other Communists to declare Christian sermons, the Bible, and ideas unpalatable to Communists to be catalysts that induce fear. Traitorous police departments will raid churches and take away Christians’ children.