On June 13, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Layshock ex rel. Layshock v. Hermitage School District and J.S. ex rel. Snyder v. Blue Mountain School District, held that school officials could not constitutionally punish the online, off-campus speech of two students when the speech would not foreseeably cause substantial disruption in school. Although the Third Circuit’s results in these cases were consistent with Second Circuit precedent, the Third Circuit employed a less restrictive method for analyzing limitations on student speech. Accordingly, this Comment argues that the standards applied by the Third Circuit will lead to decisions in future online, off-campus speech cases which will generally be more favorable to public school districts than similar cases in the Second Circuit.
Paul Easton, Splitting the Difference: Layshock and J.S. Chart a Separate Path on Student Speech Rights, 53 B.C.L. Rev. E. Supp. 17 (2012), http://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/bclr/vol53/iss6/3