Essay contest examines implications of social media

- Posted on Nov 06, 2013 - 10:36 AM

Does a school have the right to suspend a student based on information from other students’ social media postings? Does a student have the right to sue a person for secretly filming and posting activities that lead to the student’s suspension?

Those are the questions the Virginia State Bar is asking students to address in this year’s Law in Society essay contest.

Virginia high school students are invited to submit essays for a chance to win the Law in Society competition and cash prizes. The contest is co-sponsored by the Virginia State Bar’s Litigation Section and the VSB Communications Committee. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 13, 2014.

The essay contest asks students to address a situation where an 18-year-old male student is filmed drinking at a party. An older student films the scene, e-mails it to the younger student’s school principal, and posts the film and pictures to social media websites. The student is then suspended from school based on the information seen on the websites.

All Virginia students age 19 or younger and enrolled in grades 9-12 or a home-school equivalent are eligible to submit an essay.