Bullying

The Eighth Circuit recently backed a Missouri High School in a bullying case against students. Lee’s Summit North High School suspended two boys who created a website to “discuss, satirize, and vent” about their classmates. Apparently the website made sexist and racist comments about some of the other students.

Ooohh. I am shocked, SHOCKED to find out that schoolboys make sexist and racist comments about their classmates.

The boys had filed for a preliminary injunction that would stay their 180-day suspension, which was granted by a lower court. But the Eighth Circuit denied the injunction on the grounds that the boys’ website was unlikely to be viewed as protected speech. That’s because their speech caused a “substantial disruption” to the educational environment at the school.

What was the nature of the disruption? Apparently two teachers described the day that the website went viral within the school as the “most disruptive day they had experienced in their careers.”

So, for those playing along at home, your right to protected speech ends approximately at the point that public school teachers can’t establish classroom order over a cacophony of “OMG, did U C this” texts, or something….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Bullying Is Now What Happens Whenever Teachers Can’t Keep Control Of Their Classrooms”

* Are associates or partners more maniacally stressed out? Science helps us answer the age-old question. [The Careerist]

* What does it take to land a Supreme Court clerkship? Luck, reputation, and a helluva lot of patience. [ABA Journal and Supreme Ambitions]

* And what should SCOTUS clerks do after they finish at One First Street if they want to make the most money? The answer may surprise you. [Breaking Views]

* As the NFL faces all those concussion lawsuits, America’s other professional football league (yes, the United Football League does exist) is getting sued… for not paying its players. [Forbes]

* An HLS student pleaded not guilty to sexual assault. What is it with all the Harvard Law folks allegedly causing trouble this week? Next thing you know, some Harvard Law grad is going to threaten to murder Big Bird. [Harvard Crimson]

* A veteran is suing the government over his frostbitten penis, which had to be “partially amputated.” Not only is that the second-worst thing I’ve ever heard, it doesn’t even really make sense. [ABC15]

* An ex-law student explains why she quit just a few weeks into the semester. Why? Bullying and backstabbing. Hmmm. That sounds familiar. [A Nerd Girl's Perspective]

* Delaware Bar Exam results are out. Congratulations to everyone who passed! [Delaware State Courts]

Jennifer Livingston

Over the past few days, everyone has been talking about Jennifer Livingston, the Wisconsin morning news anchor who responded on the air to a male viewer’s email about her weight. In his letter, the male viewer told Livingston that she wasn’t a “suitable example” for young people because of her physical appearance. Her courageous counterpoint went viral, and ever since, she’s been making her rounds on the TV talk show circuit to address what she thinks is the root of the problem, and why people think letters like this are acceptable: bullying.

Now, you may be asking yourself why I chose to write about this today. To be honest, when I first watched Livingston’s video on Tuesday night, I really had no intention to do so. I thought that she was a very strong woman who chose to stand up for herself, and really, for all overweight people, but that her four-minute segment didn’t need to be addressed here at Above the Law. (Not even after being asked in the comments yesterday whether I thought I was a “good role model,” an obvious jab about my own weight.)

But then I found out a little more about the man who emailed Livingston to criticize her weight. As it turns out, he’s a lawyer….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Overweight TV Anchor Takes Lawyer To Task On The Air; Lawyer Doesn’t Give A Damn”


We’ve covered bullying time and time again here at ATL. Usually we come down pretty hard on schools’, parents’, and legislators’ attempts to punish certain forms of alleged bullying among hormonally unbalanced teenagers. Because we prefer to allow kids (like this little guy) to grow up and be able to handle their own lives without constant parental interference.

The anti-bullying movement is moving into the employment law world, as several states consider adding bullying to the existing discrimination law canon. Is this a good idea? Let’s take a look at the details and possible consequences for schoolyard bullies who got taller but never grew up…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Is a Day of Reckoning on the Horizon for Workplace Bullies?”

Welcome to the Matrix, err, 7th grade…

After what feels like years of schools trying to regulate every aspect of children’s social media lives, it looks as though we may have finally hit a threshold. There may actually be an electronic bridge that schools cannot cross in their attempts to spy on educate underage students.

In a particularly egregious case, a Minnesota federal court handed down a ruling that protects off-campus speech and prohibits schools from forcing students to hand over private login information. The ruling will hopefully put the kibosh on a practice that never should have been acceptable to begin with…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Federal Court Rules: ‘We Don’t Need No Facebook Control; Hey Teacher, Leave Them Kids Alone!’”

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

It’s a certain violation of the cultural norms — that you don’t violate people’s psychological and physical space the way [Chris] Christie does. He violates their sense of space.

Baruch College Professor Douglas A. Muzzio, in a New York Times piece commenting on prosecutors-turned-politicians who use “bullying” in office. We’ve previously covered Governor Christie’s aggressive tendencies time and again.

Today is the sentencing hearing for Dharun Ravi in the Tyler Clementi case. Ravi has been convicted of invasion of privacy and bias intimidation.

Prosecutors in the case have been asking Superior Court Judge Glenn Berman to sentence Ravi to prison time. And of course there are a bunch of other people who want Ravi to pay the stiffest possible penalty.

I’ve been listening to the hearing all day. Let’s take a look at what happened…

Various UPDATES have been added after the jump. Refresh this post for the latest.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Dharun Ravi Sentenced”

Can this man help JPMorgan?

* Andrew Sweat claims fear of concussions made him hang ‘em up and go to law school. I’m not saying he shouldn’t be scared of football, I’m saying he should be worried about law school, too. [Deadspin]

* Studying for the LSAT helps your brain. No really. It can even make you smart enough to avoid law school all together. [LSAT Blog: Ace the LSAT]

* Looks like Jamie Dimon decided to send in The Wolf. [Dealbreaker]

* How famous do I have to be before weight loss companies compete to make me take their diets for free (plus hire me a personal trainer) so they can say their weight loss program “works”? Surely, I’m fat enough. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Instead of making laws against bullying, parents could also be less lazy and just learn how to use Facebook. [Orlando Sentinel]

* Lawyer on lawyer name-calling. [Legal Newsline]

* Hey, you’re going to be able to buy liquor on Sundays in Connecticut. Cool. Good to see that laws based entirely on weird, religious tradition are being found to be stupid. [WTNH]

* This is a fun time to think about law firm branding, don’t you think? Sorry, let me make that a little more clear: Dewey think this is a fun time to think about law firm branding? [Law and More]

* Looking ahead to the Facebook IPO in Blawg Review, which is also posted on Facebook this week. [Preaching to the Perverted via Blawg Review]

* The Am Law numbers are out. PPP is up 3 percent. Dollar, dollar bill y’all. [American Lawyer]

* Hasbro — the makers of Nerf guns, a.k.a. the best toys ever — apparently hired some Baker & McKenzie attorneys to intimidate a guy who runs an Australian Nerf fan site. I hope they “intimidated” him with Nerf guns, because it would be funny, and no one would actually get hurt. [Crikey]

* At 85 years old, Congressman (and Georgetown Law grad) John Dingell learned that “teabagging” doesn’t mean what he thinks it means. Better late than never! [The Daily Dolt]

* I’m surprised that there are enough businesses horrible brave enough to ask for potential employees’ personal electronic information that it necessitates legislation. But I’m not complaining. [RedTape / MSNBC]

* Finding out that repeated concussions and head injuries may cause long-term brain damage is only surprising to people who have suffered repeated concussions and head injuries. [LexisNexis]

* A 14-year-old Georgia girl and her parents have sued some of her classmates because they acted like bitches on Facebook. Are these girls bullies? Yep. Is it the proper solution to turn the situation into 90210: Courtroom Edition? I still don’t think so. [Threat Level / Wired]

* Support local businesses, like your high-end neighborhood brothel. The Manhattan Madam is now accepting donations… to help her make bail by Mother’s Day. [Dealbreaker]

* Vote for Lat as the most likeable lawyer of 2012! [Likeable U]

I really, really hate being the one to defend stupid teenagers who get expelled from school. The ones who are kicked out for cursing online or for other forms of bullying.

Because I was a teenager once — not even that long ago — and I still clearly remember what it feels like to be on the receiving end of horrid teenage evilness. But somehow, I can’t help myself.

So here you go. Keep reading to see why the ACLU is doing the right thing by defending three eighth-grade girls who were expelled for talking about killing people on Facebook

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “When Will We Stop Punishing Children for Being Children?”

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