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Louisiana student settles lawsuit over insulting Facebook post

(01/11/12 6:26pm)

A Louisiana high school student has dropped an off-campus free speech lawsuit against his school after officials agreed to expunge records of the discipline he received. The unnamed student at Brusly High School in West Baton Rouge received a two-day, in-school suspension after administrators discovered a Facebook post in which he insulted a teacher.

University of Missouri's restrictive classroom recording policy raises constitutional flags

(01/15/12 2:53pm)

The University of Missouri, home to one of the nation's highest-rated journalism schools, is now also home to one scary disciplinary rule threatening the rights of student journalists. In a December 20 memo -- funny how policies impacting students' rights always seem to be enacted while students are away on holiday -- Missouri's interim president, Stephen J.

TRANSPARENCY TUESDAY: Is Big Brother watching you -- from above? FOIA suit may reveal whether you're on Candid Drone-Cam.

(01/17/12 6:52pm)

To the ever-growing list of technology-aided privacy anxieties (does Google Image Recognition really think I look like a publicity photo from "Planet of the Apes," and did I have broccoli between my teeth when the ATM camera was on?), add this one: Are government drones videotaping my bald spot? In a suit filed Jan.

Supreme Court's online speech no-decision counts as a "win" for student First Amendment rights

(01/18/12 6:57pm)

The announcement that the Supreme Court will not hear any case this term involving the First Amendment rights of students punished for off-campus speech on social networking sites left one thing firmly established: That the law is not firmly established. That is not altogether a bad place to be. Considering the alternative. In 2007, the Supreme Court allowed itself to be swayed by sympathy for a put-upon high school principal in Juneau, Alaska, who made the ill-advised decision to snatch away a humorous banner that one of her students was waving at an off-campus event.

TRANSPARENCY TUESDAY: No need for your No. 2 pencil. Just bring your skepticism.

(01/31/12 7:16pm)

Two recent announcements have spotlighted the importance of public records in bringing to light what now appears to be rampant dishonesty among school employees in fudging standardized test scores to improve their schools' rankings. Item One was the news from Oklahoma that the state was throwing out test results from six schools where investigators concluded scores were artificially inflated.