Most people think the Internet is a free speech zone, but how far should that freedom of speech be allowed to go?
An American student Katherine Evans, 19, said she was not satisfied with her head teacher. So the girl, who was then a high school senior and honor student in Miami, logged onto the networking site Facebook and created a group against the teacher, Sarah Phelps. The group was called “Ms Sarah Phelps is the worst teacher I’ve ever met!” and featured a photograph of the teacher, and an invitation for other students to “express your feelings of hatred”.
Her posting drew a handful of responses, some of which were in support of the teacher and critical of Evans. “Whatever your reasons for hating her are, they’re probably very immature,” a former student of Ms Phelps wrote in her defense.
A few days later, Evans removed the post from her Facebook page and went about the business of preparing for graduation in the fall.
But two months after her online behavior, Evans was called into the principal’s office and was told she was being suspended (停课) for “cyberbullying (网络暴力)”. It was a black mark on her record. And she said she feared that it could keep her from getting into graduate schools or landing her dream job.
“It was all very quick the way it happened,” said Evans, now a freshman at the University of Florida.
She recently sued(起诉)the principal of her school, Peter Bayer, for ordering her three-day suspension. She simply wanted to have the suspension removed from her record, according to the New York Times.
Although her lawyer Matthew Bavaro viewed the suspension as an attack on Evans’s right to free speech, teachers disagreed.
“You can express an opinion whether someone is a good teacher. But when you start inviting people to say that they hate a teacher, that crosses the line,” they say.
The lawsuit (诉讼) is one of about a dozen across the United States that deal with cyberbullying and the explosion of social networking sites. TheUScourts are figuring out where the boundaries end and start when it comes to off-campus speech.
1.According to the passage, Katherine Evans ____________.
A.performed poorly academically in high school.
B.created a group against her head teacher on Facebook.
C.was not punished for her speech on Facebook.
D.was sued by her head teacher for cyberbullying.
2.Katherine Evans did the following things on Facebook EXCEPT ___________.
A.expressing her hatred toward her head teacher.
B.posting a photo of her head teacher on it.
C.inviting others to criticize her head teacher.
D.exposing personal secrets of the head teacher she hates.
3.When a student gets punished at school such as a suspension, he or she will probably face the consequence of _____________.
A.being kept from graduating from high school.
B.losing the chances of being offered a good job.
C.being denied the right of free speech on the Internet.
D.being abandoned by friends at school.
4.Which of the following statements is NOT true?
A.Not all the responses supported Katherine for her act on the Internet.
B.Teachers have a different opinion from that of Katherine’s lawyer.
C.Katherine’s case is the first such one in American history.
D.There are no clear boundaries when it comes to freedom on the Internet.