Facebook Freedom

Sexy snapshots safe


Go ahead: Share those sexy slumber party pics. Public school administrators are not allowed to bar students from extracurricular activities for posting racy photos on Facebook, a federal judge in Indiana ruled in August. 

In the summer of 2009, two members of the volleyball team at Churubusco High School held a series of sleepovers during which they took photos of themselves posed with phallic, rainbow-colored lollipops in a variety of suggestive positions. Some of the photos were then uploaded and shared on Facebook. At least one of the images was labeled with a sexually explicit come-on. 

School administrators found the photos and suspended the two students from extracurricular activities for a year. They cited a provision in the school's code of conduct that says students may not "act in a manner in school or out of school that brings discredit or dishonor upon yourself or your school." 

The students sued in response, arguing that "discredit or dishonor" was an unconstitutionally vague standard and that the photos counted as protected speech under the First Amendment. U.S. District Judge Philip Solomon agreed, if somewhat grudgingly. "I wish the case involved more important and worthwhile speech on the part of the students," he wrote, "but then of course a school's well-intentioned but unconstitutional punishment of that speech would be all the more regrettable."