Questions of Conduct: The Popularity of Social Networking Web Sites Is Shedding Light on the Increasing Complexities of Policing Student Behavior on Campus While Respecting Their Rights to Privacy and Free Speech
Lindenberger, Michael, Diverse Issues in Higher Education
When Jason Johnson, a student at the University of the Cumberlands in the eastern Kentucky hills, posted comments about his new boyfriend on his Myspace.com Web page, he unintentionally sparked a controversy that quickly embroiled the college, the president of the state senate and Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher.
Along the way, the dispute has shed light on the complications of policing student behavior on campus while respecting their rights to privacy and free speech. Those complications have only been compounded by the students' nearly ubiquitous use of Internet social networks.
The Baptist-affiliated college, whose student handbook prohibits homosexual relationships, expelled Johnson, a 20-year-old theater arts major. Gay-rights organizations and some lawmakers responded by demanding that Gov. Fletcher veto $11 million in state funds for a new pharmacy program at the college.
Others, including the president of the state senate, defended the school's right to set its own rules for student behavior, pointing out that Johnson knew the rules before he enrolled.
Fletcher left the funding intact, but called on the state attorney general to seek a legal opinion on whether the Kentucky constitution permits tax funds to be used for programs at private schools.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Questions of Conduct: The Popularity of Social Networking Web Sites Is Shedding Light on the Increasing Complexities of Policing Student Behavior on Campus While Respecting Their Rights to Privacy and Free Speech. Contributors: Lindenberger, Michael - Author. Magazine title: Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Volume: 23. Issue: 21 Publication date: November 30, 2006. Page number: 36+. © 2008 Cox, Matthews & Associates. COPYRIGHT 2006 Gale Group.
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