Off-campus Web site nets eighth grader a suspension


School officials say material on home page violates policy against threatening language





NEW MEXICO -- When a group of Edgewood Middle School students used\nthe Internet to post a list of other students they hated, they earned suspensions\nand spawned a debate that pits students' right to free expression against\nschool officials' obligation to protect their students.\n \nThe ruckus started in September, when school officials confiscated\na printout from a Web site created from a home computer. The site featured\na "Graffiti Wall" chat board that allowed students to post remarks about\nother students they "hated." After interrogating a number of students about\nthe list's authors, school officials suspended six students, including\nthe site's primary creator, eighth-grader Mike Hansen.\n \nHansen's parents have since filed a formal protest of their son's suspension,\nasking school officials to expunge the incident from Mike's record and\napologize. Additionally, Greg Hansen, Mike


reports, Winter 2000-01