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Posted 26 Feb 2001 11:12:16 UTC

The American Civil Liberties Union won a $10,000 settlement on Tuesday for a high school student who was wrongfully punished by his school district after putting up a parody web page.

Back in 1999, student Karl Beidler was suspended for a month from Timberline High School in Lacey, Washington. His crime was posting a web page that made fun of his school's assistant principal. Despite the fact that this was done on his own computer at home, the school district felt compelled to discipline him.

The case was actually won last July before the Thurston County Superior Court which ruled that public schools cannot punish students for speech outside of school. In addition to Tuesday's settlement to Beidler, the district must also cough up $52,000 in attorney fees.

It would be nice if every school in the nation had its principals and assistant principals mocked on computers belonging to students. Since many of these authority figures don't seem to grasp the concept of free expression, it's up to the students to teach them. What better way to make use of a learning environment?

American Civil Liberties Union

North Thurston School District

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