Should a college suspend students who brag about breaking its rules on their social media platforms
Public universities and colleges have a law that gives students freedom of speech, especially political discourse. However, this law protects the institutions by punishing students who violate the institution’s social media policies. To protect their reputation, universities should guard their images on social media platforms by ensuring that their student’s post is ethical and does not demote their image to the outside world. Under what circumstances, there are always limits on expurgating students’ speech despite how they are limited. This essay opposes that universities and colleges should suspend students who brag about breaking its rules on social media platforms.
This essay will base its argument on the duty ethical framework. This framework focuses on duties and obligations considering the moral commitments present and the things we should not do (O’Fallon et al., 2013). Moreover, the duty ethical framework creates a system of rules that expect all people. Basing some precedents on various court rulings, they help school administrators navigate issues of social media posts while ensuring constitutional rights are upheld (Tabor, 2009). In a case where a cheerleader’s vulgar message prompts a first amendment showdown, the student expressed dissatisfaction with the couch in a Snapchat post. It circulated to an extend of reaching the coach who suspended the student. The student sued the school, and the court ruling was that the first amendment did not allow public schools to punish students for what they post on social media outside school grounds.
The 8-1 decision states that institutes do not have the right to punish their students because of their speech unless it disrupts learning activities or violates other students’ rights. Bragging of violating school rules on social medial may lack substantive evidence if the case goes to court, so schools are limited to take actions that are as a result of students’ posts on social media (Lenartz, 2012). The schools may take the initiative to investigate the student’s character in school and then decide on their fate after they gather enough evidence. Such action will promote harmony in the school since they will be able to discern the possible loopholes the students are using to break the law and then use it to punish them.
Most schools limit students’ speech on campus, banning languages that are vulgar, racist, hateful, bullying, or otherwise disruptive to the class. Students will only be prompted for a disciplinary if they go against these set rules only within the school’sschool’s compound. Nevertheless, just by posting on social media concerning the said limitations should not be a reason as to why the administration suspended the victims (Lenartz, 2012). Some institutions monitor their student’s actions within their premises to ensure they adhere to the set rules and ensure that they do not be a nuisance to other students in school, which is a good thing to do. If students break the rules here, they will be liable for disciplinary actions.
In conclusion, students should not be punished for their social media posts since most may not have substantive evidence. Universities and colleges should discern students’ characters within the school. If they find their characters threaten their fellow students’ rights, they then impose disciplinary actions on them; instead, they should not follow what the students say on social media platforms.
Tabor, J. (2009). Students’ first amendment rights in the age of the Internet: Off-campus cyber speech and school regulation. BCL Rev., 50, 561. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/bclr50§ion=17
Lenartz, A. J. (2012). Establishing guidelines for the use of social media in higher education. In Misbehavior online in higher education. Emerald Group Publishing Limited. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/S2044-9968(2012)0000005018/full/HTML
O’Fallon, M. J., & Butterfield, K. D. (2013). A review of the empirical ethical decision-making literature: 1996–2003. Citation classics from the journal of business ethics, 213-263. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-007-4126-3_11