The dispute over a Burlington, Conn., teenager’s internet journal has given rise to a wide-ranging and contentious federal court hearing about free speech, whether schools can regulate students’ language off campus, and how the internet blurs the boundaries of a school campus, the Hartford Courant reports. Avery Doninger, the 17-year-old high school senior at the center of the case, sat in the front row March 4 as a three-judge panel of the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals lobbed questions at the attorneys. Lawyers for both sides described the hearing as uncharacteristically lengthy and suggested that the duration underscored the case’s position in new legal territory. In simplest terms, the hearing addressed whether Doninger should be allowed to serve as senior class secretary at Lewis S. Mills High School and, as a class officer, speak at her graduation. The principal had barred Doninger from serving on the student council because of derogatory comments she made about school officials in an internet blog…

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