I have not been inclined to follow this case very closely and I will admit that I made up my mind early on, stemming from some archaic sense of discipline and respect and other such nonsense. Reading the blog posts today, however, I wondered if I was wrong. So I decided to do the only sensible thing and read media reports the decision.
What I also found in the blawgosphere was a mis-reporting of the facts. Perhaps they thought they were the MSM for a day.
So let’s look at the facts, as found by the District Court and adopted by the 2nd Circuit:
- Jamfest was some sort of band-off, which was scheduled for April 28.
- At a student council meeting on April 24, the students were made aware that, for reasons that are unimportant, the date or venue needed to be changed yet again.
- That morning, four students, including the plaintiff, met in the computer lab, accessed someone’s e-mail account and sent out a mass e-mail to students, asking them to contact administration to urge them to hold Jamfest as scheduled.
- Both defendants received an influx of e-mails and telephone messages. One of them, who was away for the day on school business, had to be called back to deal with the situation.
- Later that day, the principal spoke with Avery in a hallway and advised Avery that she was disappointed that the student council had resorted to mass e-mails rather than going to her or the superintendent to resolve the issue.
- The principal also expressed disappointment that the e-mail contained incorrect information, because the administration was open to moving Jamfest to another location.
- Avery apparently agreed to send out a corrective e-mail. That never happened.
- That night, the infamous blog post appeared, which stated that “jamfest is canceled due to douchebags in central office” and exhorted students to write and “piss her off more”.
- Lots of students took up that request and wrote and wrote.
- The very next day, the student council and the administration decided that Jamfest would be rescheduled for June 8.
- Despite this resolution, the administrators continued to receive e-mails and calls about rescheduling.
- On May 7, the post in question was discovered by the son of the superintendent.
- The principal concluded that concluded that Avery’s conduct had failed to display the civility and good citizenship expected of class officers.
- They declined to endorse her nomination for Senior Class secretary, though she was permitted to remain as a representative in the Student council.