Pennsylvania Court Rules School Can Punish Student Over Myspace Parody

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A U.S. appeals court says Pennsylvania school students can be disciplined for creating MySpace parodies of school officials at home — but only if they are likely to disrupt school.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court reached different conclusions in two cases Thursday that involve suspending students for fake MySpace pages created off-campus.

In a Mercer County case, the court's 2-1 opinion says a high school cannot reach into a family's home and police Internet speech.

But another three-judge panel says Schuylkill County school officials can suspend a teen for her sexually explicit parody of her principal. The panel says the school could expect the posting to disrupt school.

Similar free-speech cases have surfaced across the country, with mixed rulings.