Judge says students can slate teachers online

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Guess what? It's your legal right to bitch about your teacher on Facebook, and the school can't do a thing to stop you.

Katie Evans, a senior at Pembroke Pines Charter High School in Florida, set up a Facebook page in 2007 to criticise "the worst teacher I've ever met".

When the other students failed to join in the bitching, the Miami Herald reports, she took it down. But when the principal found out a day or two later, he suspended her for three days.

A year later, Evans decided that the whole experience had been too much to bear, and filed suit against the principal. She wanted all record of the event expunged from her file.

Apparently she was afraid that the suspension would damage her career chances, and figured the best way of making sure nobody found out was to launch a high-profile legal case.

Magistrate Judge Barry Garber didn't order the principal to clean up Evans' files. But he denied the principal's request to throw the case out, and wrote in his ruling: "Evans' speech falls under the wide umbrella of protected speech."