Court: Facebook Posts Were Grounds For Discipline

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld the University of Minnesota’s right to discipline a student in a mortuary sciences class who made threats on her Facebook page.

In 2009, 29-year-old Amanda Beth Tatro posted comments on her Facebook page saying she wanted to stab a “certain someone in the throat” with an embalming instrument.

She told police she was just venting because she was upset over breaking up with her boyfriend. The University briefly banned her from campus and flunked her out of the course.

Tatro claimed the university violated her free speech rights, but Minnesota Public Radio reports the appeals court said schools can limit student speech if officials can reasonably conclude it would disrupt the school.

Jordan Kushner, Tatro’s attorney, says he thinks the ruling is flawed. He says Tatro has now graduated from the university.

  • Elmo

    I am aware of several people in Federal Prison, 5 year mandatory minimum for words they said in chat rooms. We all are responsible for the words we say. Wake up people.

  • Willow

    There is no free speech anymore. Get an old-fashioned, paper journal if you need to vent about anyone, be it politicians, your boss, significant other, etc. This is what this ruling and similar rulings are leading to. If you dare to vent online, you will someday be punished for it. Of course, if you are dumb enough to say certain things under your real name, esp. on a site like Facebook, you deserve to be caught.

    The previous poster is right, either start being anonymous online, or start using paper journals. We’ll have to go back to the olden days where people had lockable paper diaries and hid them.

  • zebbleFend

    This chick is a flaming nutcake and she wants to “bring dignity back to funerals?” She says that she was just venting? Thank GOD she didn’t vent someones throat!!!

  • Swamp Rat

    Wake up folks!!! Yes, we enjoy free speech rights as Americans! But freedom of expression doesn’t include terroristic threats, anger threats, and irresponsible statements that lead to violence, calamity, or death!. We are all accountable for our words and actions as responsible people.

    Publicly announcing your ill-will toward a person may have all sorts of consequences when placed in the public arena or media like FaceBook! When are we going to learn that what we say to mass millions may have unimaginable consequences and legal ramifications. Whether you use aliases or real names the ethical and moral effects of injurious speech can be devastating. It’s time to grow-up and be accountable for our spoken &/or written speech.

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