Book Chapter

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Constitutional Knowledge and Its Impact on Citizenship Exercise in a Networked Society


Ana Melro and Lídia Oliveira (University of Aveiro, Portugal)

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The very first amendment to the United States Constitution protects the freedom of speech. While the Supreme Court held in 1969 that students “do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate,” since then the Court has limited students' freedom of speech, stopping short of considering the boundaries of off-campus, online speech. Lower court holdings vary, meaning that a student engaging in certain online speech may not be punished at all in one state but would face harsh criminal punishments in another. The lack of a uniform standard leads to dangerously inconsistent punishments and poses the ultimate threat to constitutional knowledge and citizenship exercise: chilling of speech. Recent interest in technology-related cases and the presence of a new justice may reverse the Court's prior unwillingness to address this issue. In the meantime, this chapter argues that school districts should erect a virtual schoolhouse gate by implementing a uniform standard.



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IGI Global


Courts | Education Law | First Amendment | Jurisdiction | Law and Society | Online and Distance Education

Erecting a Virtual Schoolhouse Gate

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