NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
ERIC Number: ED585343
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 232
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-0-3557-7663-8
The Changing World of Student Expression: A Legal Analysis of College Student Online Speech Issues
Quigley, Kaitlin A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University
The internet plays an increasingly important role in the lives of contemporary college students. Use of social media and other forms of electronic communication have fundamentally changed the ways in which students interact with others. Often, students' online speech can lead to disciplinary action against them. This study considers the current state of the law as it relates to college student online speech. Specifically, it explores how courts interpret students' First Amendment rights in online context both within and outside of instructional settings, as well as the extent to which courts rely on concepts of academic freedom in defining student speech rights in online contexts. Twenty-five federal and state court opinions from twenty-one separate cases are thoroughly examined. They are then analyzed using reasoning by analogy. The results reveal five major themes. First, several sources of law shape the contours of student online speech rights. Second, clear policy language and consistent adherence to policies is essential to treating students fairly and withstanding legal challenge. Third, courts' treatment of student academic freedom is consistent with principles articulated by the AAUP and others. Fourth, there is uncertainty and debate related to the proper application of legal standards in assessing student online speech rights and corresponding institutional authority. Finally, institutional authority over student online speech is dependent upon the context in which the speech occurs. Given these conclusions, several implications for both theory and practice are discussed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: First Amendment