Document Type



Free speech in public schools has long been a divisive and intriguing issue. The topic is particularly contentious in post-secondary education where many of the maturity-driven and family surrogate rationales for restricting student speech fall away. Furthermore, with the advent of the Internet and the explosion of social media, it is now nearly impossible to draw a meaningful line between student speech rights on school grounds and student speech rights beyond them. This Note examines what happens when a student enrolled in a post-secondary program violates an established code of conduct or professional ethics using a non-curricular form of Internet communication. This Note argues that the most effective way to regulate speech in this context is by adopting the standard announced by the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2012 in Tatro v. University of Minnesota, which states that a university is entitled to impose academic sanctions for Internet communication that violates academic program rules provided that those rules are “narrowly tailored and directly related to established professional conduct standards.”