Ditching the "Red Cup": Have you been punished for Facebook photos?





Who would have thought that when Illinois-based Solo Cup Co. first introduced the red plastic drinking cup on Nov. 20, 1972, students would be getting reprimanded nearly 35 years later for posing in a photo with the telltale red container?

In January 2008, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that 42 students were questioned, including 13 who were disciplined by administrators at Eden Prairie High School in Eden Prairie, Minn., for photos posted on Facebook.com of them at a party with red cups in hand. While some were shown drinking in the photos, it was reported, “students holding a red cup were enough to merit a call to the dean’s office.”

And at the University of California at San Diego, the college newspaper, the Guardian, reported on Dec. 13, 2007, that ultimate Frisbee student athletes at the school were hit with five conduct violations after Facebook photos including alcohol consumption by the players at a sports club event and a claim of hazing suspended the students from competing in an upcoming tournament.

Has this happened to you? When does a school cross the line when they punish students for photos posted on Facebook or MySpace? Is this a First Amendment issue? We want to hear your thoughts by posting a comment on our Facebook or MySpace page.


reports, Winter 2008-09