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Beussink v. Woodland School District

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Citation Edit

Beussink v. Woodland R-IV School District, 30 F.Supp.2d 1175 (E.D. Mo. 1998) (full-text).

Trial Court Proceedings Edit

A Missouri judge ruled in favor of a student who was suspended for criticizing his school, its principal and his computer teacher on his personal website. The court granted a preliminary injunction in favor of the student, barring the school from using the 10-day suspension against Beussink's grades. The court held that the student's free speech rights were violated, since the website was not shown to "disrupt or interfere with school discipline." The court found that:

(1) the student demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of his First Amendment claim;
(2) the student demonstrated a likelihood of irreparable harm resulting from the particular disciplinary measures taken;
(3) the potential harm to the student which would result from the denial of his motion outweighed the potential harm to the school district if the motion were granted; and
(4) the public interest in the wide dissemination of ideas would be best served by granting the student's motion.

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