Judge: Student suspended for Facebook page can sue

A federal judge has ruled that a South Florida teenager who sued her former principal after she was suspended for creating a Facebook page criticizing a teacher can proceed with her lawsuit, reports the New York Times. The student, Katherine Evans, is seeking to have her suspension expunged from her disciplinary record. School officials suspended her for three days, saying she had been “cyber bullying” the teacher, Sarah Phelps. Ms. Evans is also seeking a “nominal fee” for what she argues was a violation of her First Amendment rights, and payment of her legal fees. The former principal, Peter Bayer, who worked at the Pembroke Pines Charter High School, had asked that the case be dismissed. But Magistrate Judge Barry L. Garber denied Bayer’s petition and rejected his claims of qualified immunity. Lawyers for Ms. Evans, 19, now a sophomore at the University of Florida, said they were pleased by the ruling and hoped to bring the case to trial in the spring. As a high school senior and an honor student, Ms. Evans repeatedly clashed with Phelps over assignments. She turned to Facebook to vent her frustration, creating a Facebook page from her home computer titled “Ms. Sarah Phelps is the worst teacher I’ve ever had” and inviting other students to post their comments…

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