FREEDOM OF SPEECH?: Court Rules Against Teenage Blogger Who Called School Administrators 'Douchebags'

douchebag

In 2007, Avery Doninger called school administrators at Lewis S. Mills High School “douchebags” on her personal blog.

In response, the school banned the then-junior from running for senior-class secretary.

She sued, arguing the decision violated her right to free speech, but on Monday the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an earlier opinion that went against her.

“It was not unreasonable for (principal Karissa) Niehoff to conclude that Doninger, by posting an incendiary blog post in the midst of an ongoing school controversy, had demonstrated her unwillingness to properly carry out this role,” the decision read.

Livingston made clear to note that school officials are not immune to “First Amendment scrutiny,” but in this case “Doninger’s behaviour was potentially disruptive of student government functions… and that Doninger was not free to engage in such behaviour while serving as a class representative — a representative charged with working with these very same officials to carry out her responsibilities.”

A lawyer for Doninger, who is currently a college student in Connecticut, said he plans to appeal the decision.

(h/t)

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