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Column Subject Enters the Comment Thread

Our cyberbullying article attracts L.A. father

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(Photoillustration: Len Small/Tablet Magazine; photos: iStockphoto)

A funny thing happened in the comments section of Marjorie Ingall’s column yesterday, in which she and Liel Leibovitz argued over a recent case involving a school suspension over cyberbullying. Evan Cohen—the father who sued his daughter’s Los Angeles school for suspending her for posting a mean video about a classmate on YouTube—waded into the fray. And then Marjorie and Liel stepped in, too, and, well, it pretty much goes from there (40 comments and counting).

You should check out the whole conversation, and even contribute—but be civil, please. Evan Cohen’s defense is after the jump.

You can call me names if you like, but our case was about the limits on governmental power. Read the decision. The video in question had nothing to do with the school, was not “student speech,” and the school had no right to punish anyone over it. Despite the fact that this was none of the school’s business, they pressed on with the suspension, even though school boards are losing cases like this all over the country.

As for the video, we disagreed that it was “cyberbullying.” The NYT article is inaccurate; the video was posted again after the case was filed to assist the public debate over what is and what is not cyberbullying. It remained on YouTube for over two years without complaint, from anyone.

And later:

Your comment that the plaintiff’s actions were “damaging” is not supported by the facts. She posted the video, and, approximately an hour later, offered to remove the video. The alleged victim told her “no, keep it up for now.” The alleged victim came to school the next day with her mother, seeking revenge.

Does that sound like cyberbullying to you? It was not. [Tablet Magazine]

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Evan Cohen says:

I guess all publicity is good? Perhaps the next story should be “Column Subject Comments on Story Commenting on Column Subject Commenting on Column.”

So, seriously. I was not the “Column Subject.” The subject is serious, that is, whether the state can suspend students for things that they do while they are not at school, and the limits on governmental power.



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Column Subject Enters the Comment Thread

Our cyberbullying article attracts L.A. father

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