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Student in Court Over Suspension For YouTube Video 397

Posted by Zonk
from the don't-bite-the-hand-that-grades-you dept.
kozmonaut writes "A model student is in court this week over 40-day suspension for posting a mocking in-class video to YouTube of 'Mongzilla', a high school english teacher. The student is arguing he had First Amendment rights to publish the video, though it was filmed without permission in the classroom. 'Kent School District lawyer Charles Lind says the suspension had nothing to do with online criticism of the teacher. Rather, it was punishment for the disruption created by the students secreting a video camera into Joyce Mong's class and dancing in a mocking, disrespectful manner while her back was turned. "It's quite clear that the district is talking about conduct in the classroom and not the videotape," Lind said.'"
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Student in Court Over Suspension For YouTube Video

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  • Huh (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mekane8 (729358) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @09:53AM (#19235569)
    According to the article, all the kid did was post links to the video. I can understand suspending the kids who were causing trouble in the room, but also suspending people for just posting links (for the same amount of time, anyway) seems a little over the top.

    Of course, as a teacher, if you're so oblivious of what's going on in your classroom that a kid can walk around behind you and give you bunny ears and make rude gestures, then this kind of thing is no surprise. I say that as a high school teacher, by the way. Bad classroom management creates way more problems than bad students.

    I also thought it was funny that the video that was making fun of their english teacher had several spelling/grammar mistakes.
  • RTFA, damn it! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lurker2288 (995635) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @10:02AM (#19235723)
    If you read the article, it isn't even clear at this point that the kid who's being suspended was involved in producing the video, either by acting up in the classroom or by assisting in filming it. It sounds like all he did was post a link to it on his Myspace page, and the school is busting him because they want him to rat out the people who DID make it.
  • Re:Link to the video (Score:5, Interesting)

    by heatdeath (217147) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @10:07AM (#19235843)
    After watching the video, I have to say, that's pretty worth a lengthy suspension. It wasn't just a stupid prank, it was premeditated and fairly vulgar. If I were a teacher, and the whole school had watched the video, I'd be pretty embarassed. From a legal sense, sure, he has a 1st amendment right to 'say' what he did...but they also have the right suspend him for however long they want. It's too bad they don't have the legal right to backhand him for it too.
  • Re:Huh (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Kantara (246758) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @10:15AM (#19236027)
    The students who were posting links would probably come under continued harrassment.
  • by bkr1_2k (237627) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @10:18AM (#19236121)
    If you are in a public space, and presumably public schools are considered public space, you have no right or expectation of control over media that includes you.

    I found a picture of myself in a book last summer, completely uncredited, and certainly unasked. The same truth holds for video or audio as well.

    As for the whole "not allowed to take pictures in schools without express permission", that depends upon the school district, and the specific school in question. Most students are not discouraged from taking pictures, however, as long as it's not a disruption of the classroom environment. According to the article though, this kid wasn't even involved in the filming, he simply put it up on youtube and/or myspace. Suspension for disruption of class; fine, but not for 40 days. Suspension for thinking the disruption is funny and telling people about it? Not fine.
  • by pla (258480) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @10:18AM (#19236123) Journal
    The teacher was in frame and the video was published on the internet. Where's the model's release?

    Considering the noncommercial nature of this, what would the "model" sue for? Even if you spun this into some sort of defamation issue, the student, not the teacher, makes a fool of himself.

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @10:19AM (#19236145)

    Where's the model's release?

    The last time I checked, aren't releases required for commercial purposes? For personal, non-commercial uses, there is no release required. Newspapers get releases because they are a business; however, many times in an event, a release can't be obtained and may not be neccessary. Did the person who taped the Rodney King beating get Mr. King's and the officers' releases? Did the news outlets who obtained the video do the same? No.

  • Re:sounds like (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @11:12AM (#19237361)
    there are a lot of reasons why i might now want to associate with someone. i wouldn't want to associate with you because you sound like a fucking retard.

    i'd like to spend some time proving myself wrong about you, but i don't have time, i'm busy making a video showing of you, illustrating just how much of a retard you are...
  • by bkr1_2k (237627) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @11:12AM (#19237367)
    I think you need to read again. What I said was "so there couldn't have been too much disruption of the class, as far as she was concerned."

    I'm not arguing your point about a "learning environment" because I agree. My point was: sure the kids knew about the disruption, but I doubt in a class where the teacher was that clueless, disruption was anything out of the ordinary. Your argument was my point exactly, that the teacher was incompetent and thus the disruption, probably wasn't much of one anyway. We've all sat through classes that were a mandatory waste of our time. From what the article implied, this was one of those classes.

    As for the rest of your comment, I was suspended for 3 days because someone else hit me. I didn't retaliate (it wasn't worth the effort) and went directly to the office and waited for the teacher (who had seen it) to arrive and report it. I still got suspended for fighting. At another school I had to make an official apology for cursing in front of (not at) a teacher whom I thought was a student because he was so young. I was speaking to a friend, after school, in the parking lot, but I still got in trouble.

    Punishment is part of growing up, and it's as much a learning tool as anything else in school. It teaches us tact, and common sense about when to keep our mouths shut. It teaches us about consequences for our actions, but that doesn't mean it's a reasonable thing we shouldn't argue or disagree with when it's appropriate to do so. Do I think the kids involved should be punished? Yes. Should it be this severe? No.
  • Re:Link to the video (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rthille (8526) <web-slashdot.rangat@org> on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @11:27AM (#19237725) Homepage Journal
    You are an idiot. First, the public school district doesn't have a right to suspend a student for as long as they want.

    Second, according to the article, the suspended student may not have been involved in the filming at all. He's not the student seen making 'rabbit ears' behind the teacher, and you can't know if he was the student running the camera.

    He was targeted by the school board because of a link to the video on his myspace page.
    From the article:

    U.S. District Judge Marsh Pechman's analysis of the case was short and to the point on Monday: "Was he involved or not?"

    Pechman said she would determine that fact. And the judge seemed to take a dim view toward the school district's "conspiracy" theory that holds that although Requa may not have been present for the shooting of the video, he shares responsibility as much as if he were there.
  • Re:Artistic? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ph4s3 (634087) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @11:46AM (#19238133)
    Are you sure he had the right to make/publish anything? Aren't film makers required to get a release of some sort from their subjects?

    There are laws about recording conversations so that all involved parties are aware that they are being recorded. Do such laws pertain to video?
  • by Belial6 (794905) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @12:07PM (#19238631)
    That's what people don't get. When people think of 'home-schooled' children, they don't think of kids who can't read or write. They MAY think of some religious nut, but the expectation is that they are very well educated. When my son started reading at 2, I realized that he would need to be home schooled. Every single person that has tried to convince me that I should send him to public school has argued that he should go to learn to socialize. Not one has argued that a public school is a great way to learn the three Rs.

"Love may fail, but courtesy will previal." -- A Kurt Vonnegut fan