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Landmark Cases That Changed Education Essay

3739 words - 15 pages

Table of Contents
Spanierman v. Hughes …………………………………………………………………………………………….

New Jersey v. T.L.O. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….

Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier ………………………………………………………………..

Christensen v. Royal School District No. 160 …………………………………………………………..

References and Works Cited ………………………………………………………………………………..

Spanierman v. Hughes, 576 F. Supp. 2d. 292. (D. Conn. 2008)

Jeffrey Spanierman, a teacher at Emmett O’Brien High School in Ansonia, Connecticut, created a MySpace page for the purpose of communicating with his students regarding homework, learn more about the student’s personal interest and to conduct casual, ...view middle of the document...

The Plaintiff was a member of the union that had a collective bargaining agreement which included tenure for teachers completing four years of full time service. (Casetext, 2008)
The Plaintiff used MySpace.com, a website that allows its users to create an online community to network with acquaintances, meet new people, share photographs, journals and interest. People with MySpace accounts can create a “profile” and invite others to be their friends, block profiles from public view, and allow users to posts comments regarding the profile content. (Casetext, 2008)
The Plantiff created his own MySpace account along with several different profiles including one called “Mr. Spiderman” which was active from the summer of 2005 to the fall of 2005. The Plantiff testified that his account was solely for the purpose of communicating with students about homework, learn more about his students outside of school, strengthen relationships with students and provide a platform for casual, non-school related discussions. (Casetext, 2008)
Elizabeth Michaud was a guidance counselor at Emmett O’Brien High School. In the fall of 2005, Michaud spoke with Francesca Ford, a teacher at Emmett O’Brien, who informed the counselor of Spanierman’s MySpace profile. Michaud also stated she’d received student complaints about the page and viewed the page following her conversation with Ford. Michaud testified she was disturbed by the contents of the “Mr. Spiderman” profile page which included younger pictures of Spanierman, pictures of naked men captioned with inappropriate comments from both the students and Spanierman, and peer-to peer like conversations ranging from weekend activities to personal problems. Michaud deemed the page disruptive to students. (Casetext, 2008)
After viewing the “Mr. Spiderman” profile, Michaud spoke with Spanierman regarding the page and advised him to utilize the school email system to communicate with students and limit his communication to education only. Mr. Spanierman deactivated the “Mr. Spiderman” profile and created a new profile “Apollo68” on October 14, 2005. (Casetext, 2008) Ford discovered the new profile page and informed Michaud, who alleged that she’d received student complaints on the “Apollo68” profile. Michaud and Ford viewed the “Apollo68” profile separately and both concluded that it was nearly identical to the “Mr. Spiderman” profile. (Casetext, 2008)
Michaud reported the profile to her supervisor, Debbie Anderson, the Director of Guidance. Michaud then reported the situation to Hylwa. In November 2005, Hylwa met with Spanierman and explained that an investigation would take place and that he would be placed on administrative leave with pay. The plaintiff deactivated the “Apollo68” once he was placed on leave. (Casetext, 2008)
Rita Ferraiolo, an Education Labor Relations Specialist with the Connecticut Department of Education was assigned to investigate Spanierman’s MySpace profiles. During the...

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