Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Conference To Consider Student Internet Speech Feb. 13-14

What limitations should be there be, if any, on the ability of young people to write and speak freely to outside audiences and to each other on the Internet when they are away from school?  An erosion of their ability to do so and the growth of restrictions for student journalists will be the subjects of a conference to be held Friday, February 13, and Saturday, February 14, at Yale Law School. More than two dozen national leaders in education and journalism are expected to attend the event, titled “The Future of Student Internet Speech:  What Are We Teaching the Facebook Generation?” It is being hosted by Yale Law School’s Law and Media Program.

The conference opens on Friday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. when Jon Schoenhorn and Thomas Gerarde, opposing lawyers in an Internet free speech case currently in the news, explain what is at stake on each side. The case concerns a high school student who was disciplined for out-of-school comments she made on the Internet about a dispute over a concert at her Burlington, Connecticut, high school. Yale Law School student Nabiyeh Syed ’10 will relate what happened to her when, as a high school newspaper editor, she wrote an editorial in opposition to the war in Iraq. And roundtable discussions will explore the common interests and goals of journalists and educators.

On its second day, the conferees will consider an alliance to educate young Internet publishers about principles and rules that have, for decades, guided the work of those who write for newspapers, radio, television, and magazines. 

The conference is open to Yale Law School students and faculty. Due to space limitations, advance registration is required. To register, please contact perry.fetterman@yale.edu. For more information and the program schedule, visit the conference website.

The Yale Law School Law and Media Program is generously supported by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.