ACLU sues Minnewaska schools in Facebook incidentsby Conrad Wilson, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. CLOUD, Minn. — The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court on behalf of a Minnewaska Area Schools student who was punished for negative comments she made on Facebook.
According to the suit, the school district punished the unnamed student twice — once for an online comment about a school staff member and the second time for cursing online about the detention she received from the district.
According to the ACLU, the student made the comments on her own time and not using school computers or other resources.
The student's free speech rights don't disappear at the schoolhouse door, said. Teresa Nelson, legal council for the ACLU in Minnesota.
"The school is only able to regulate student's speech that is really likely to have a substantial disruption of the educational process. This is miles from meeting that [standard]," Nelson said.
In an email, the Minnewaska Area School District Superintendent Greg Ohl, wrote that he had not yet received a copy of the lawsuit, and that the district "strives to provide a great educational program and a safe environment for students and staff."