28 middle school students suspended for cyberbullying
A web page on Facebook that was up for no more than 24 hours resulted in the suspension of 28 students at McClure Middle School in Seattle, Washington. The suspensions were from two to eight days depending on the involvement of the students.
Someone created a Facebook page targeting a classmate he or she didn’t like. It asked others to sign up if they agreed. McClure has an anti-bullying program and a zero-tolerance policy for bullying.
Although the cyberbullying in this case happened off school grounds, the School District maintains that it has a responsibility to take action when an incident creates significant distruption at school. This is the test established by the U.S. Supreme Court in Tinker vs Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969). Although a forty year old decison, Tinker continues to be the landmark case cited in freedom of expression cases in state and federal courts across the country.