ACLU Defends Student Who Called Teacher 'Douche Bag' on Facebook

From the Sacramento suburb of Citrus Heights comes the latest tale of First Amendment issues in the digital age — this one sparked by a high school sophomore who was suspended for calling his biology teacher a “douche bag” on Facebook.

As California Watch and the San Francisco Chronicle report, 15-year-old Donny Tobolski posted a status update to his Facebook profile that said his biology teacher at Mesa Verde High was “a fat ass who should stop eating fast food, and is a douche bag.” Ah, the rapier wit of socially networked adolescence.

Alerted of this online barb, the school suspended him for cyberbullying — only to back down when the American Civil Liberties Union wrote a letter to school officials asserting that disciplining a student for exercising free speech, so long as the speech isn't wreaking havoc with school functions, is an unconstitutional act.

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