Anomalies in the US Cyberbullying Jurisprudence
This article focused on US case law and analyzed the evolution of students’ freedom of speech from 1969 to this date in the US. Therefore, it briefly introduced the tests and doctrines, which were created in the landmark cases of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), noting that these cases were dealing with offline, on-campus situations and their determinations are not necessarily fully applicable to situations we might experience today. Nevertheless, the tests and doctrines, which were created in SCOTUS landmark decisions, are still in force and every cyberbullying judgment is still based on them even in the era of the Internet. Taking into consideration that the world has changed since these tests were established, I examined some more recent cyberbullying cases in the US, where these above tests were applied.
Based on the analysis of SCOTUS and some Circuit Court jurisprudence, Certain anomalies were revealed, which serve as a basis to clearly state that the US system suffers from severe deficiencies, like handling the off-campus origin of the speech, or defining the substantial disruption or the sufficient nexus. However, the US courts have worked out tests and doctrines as a basis for their cyberbullying jurisprudence, so they are on the right track, but the jurisprudence will remain ambiguous and unpredictable without a SCOTUS landmark decision regarding cyberbullying.
Supreme Court of the United States; Freedom of Speech; Tinker; Substantial Disruption; Snyder; Layshock; Kowalski; Cyberbullying
University of Szeged
Constitutional Law Department;
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