Requa's lawyer, Jeannette Cohen, said the teen didn't produce the video -- taken in an English classroom at Kentridge. But even if he did, his suspension is a violation of the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech, she argued in court.Lind is on shaky ground. If the only crime of Gregory Requa--3rd place, Travel and Tourism, DECA!--was the on-camera dance and mockathon, it would hardly merit a 40-day suspension, unless this is the culmination of a parade of incidents.
"What is at stake here is the school district message that if you post things we don't like," you will be punished, Cohen said.
Kent School District lawyer Charles Lind says the suspension had nothing to do with online criticism of the teacher. Rather, it was punishment for the disruption created by the students secreting a video camera into Joyce Mong's class and dancing in a mocking, disrespectful manner while her back was turned.
"It's quite clear that the district is talking about conduct in the classroom and not the videotape," Lind said.
Absent the video and the discipline record, this blogger will withhold final judgment. One question, though: how thick is your skin, O teacher? Better be thick enough for YouTube.
Update: The judge agreed with the school, and Requa's suspension stands. A forty day vacation: that'll teach 'im.