Municipal Liability

High School Did Not Violate Constitution by Suspending Student for Texting Violent Feelings to Friend

In Bradford v. Norwich City School District, 3:12-cv-1888, the defendant school suspended a student for 5 days, for sending texts to a friend while in their respective living rooms expressed the desire to harm (slapping, kneeing, kicking) a female student. The Northern District Judge, Glenn Suddaby held that the school neither violated the student’s First Amendment rights nor his Parents Fourteenth Amendment rights to raise their child as they saw fit. The female discovered the texts on the friend’s phone while in school causing her to become emotional which lead to a teacher being shown the texts. Judge Suddaby held that the suspension was constitutional as a reasonable act to protect the school had the student harmed the female student. The decision notes that the rights of students are “not coextensive with the rights of adults in other settings.” Schools have the right to prohibit expression that will “materially and…Read More