Do you think this is fair?

So I have 2 friends who got in a fight about a week ago, after school, and off campus.  Someone videoed it, and put it on their facebook account.  One of the fighters got suspended for school for a week for the fight, despite it being after school, and not on campus.

Do you personally think this is an unreasonable punishment, or is it?  What do you think of this situation? I want to hear your opinions here, and encourage a good discussion.

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themoose645 years ago
I think it is fair. Even though this didnt happen in school, it was their choice to fight. Also fighting is violent and the school probably wouldnt want them to bring violence into school. I also agree that it isnt any of the schools buisiness what student outside of school as long as it isnt illegal.
It's an unreasonable punishment; legally the school has no right to view it unless they signed a contract giving the school access to their account(s) and permission to act on the content of those accounts. If they did so, then it's still unreasonable because the fight took place off school property and outside of school time.
This sounds extremely fishy. Can you please cite the relevant law(s) and/or caselaw, please?
It's simple right to privacy; it wasn't related to the school, and it wasn't necessarily illegal, so the school should not have acted on it.
The event in question was not "private", at all. It was publicly staged in a local convenience store parking lot. It had many viewers. It was recorded, and posted on a social network.

There are dozens of ways the school could have found out about this. One of the viewers of the actual fight could have spoken up, one of the viewers online could have downloaded it and shown it to a teacher, one of the parents could have seen their child watching it, and called the school....

This is not a private ordeal.
DJ Radio (author)  Flintlock6 years ago
It was not staged at a local convenience store parking lot, the meeting was simply arranged there. The real fight happened in an abandoned field where nobody goes.
Either way, it was premeditated, people were invited or heard of it (hence video), and it was not private.
DJ Radio (author)  Flintlock6 years ago
Explain to me how does that give the school the right to act on it?
That last comment wasn't a "It wasn't private, so they should act." I was simply replying to mettaurlover, who said they were breaking the student's privacy. Which they were not.

On the other hand, if you would like to see some policy from a school district regarding how such a district might handle an incident, look here: 

 2.4    These guidelines shall apply fully and completely to school instructional time and to all student
academic activities, to extracurricular activities and athletic programs, and to cases of
imposition of discipline for off-campus student misconduct as follows:
2.4.1     misconduct occurs on the way to and from school;
2.4.2     the conduct has a direct impact or effect on the school;
2.4.3     there is proximity of the misconduct in relationship to the school day;
2.4.4     there is proximity of the misconduct in relationship to school premises;
2.4.5     the misconduct is an extension of a problem that began at school;
2.4.6     the seriousness of the misconduct, its impact on the general welfare of staff and students,
and fear of retaliation create reasonable suspicion or expectation of further school
disruption; or
2.4.7     the victim is a student or a staff member. 

This was taken from the Yakima (hometown) School District policy, viewable on their website, here.  Many other school districts follow similar policies (not the same ones, but similar).

Depending how the event unfolded, it could easily fall under many of the actions they take disciplinary actions on.  But without further knowledge, it's hard to tell what is right, wrong, or policy (which usually is a little bit of both)  Let's get some examples of how this incident would be handled under the school policy, and why they chose to act:

2.4.1 :  If the students didn't return home before initiating the fight, they were still "on their way home from school", which means the school would feel obligated to act based on their policy. 

2.4.2  :  The event had a direct impact on the school and the students that attended.  It was posted to facebook, and had a large enough effect that the administrative staff found out about it.

2.4.4  :  Depends on how close the altercation was to school.  For instance, there was a park right next to my school growing up.  People would get into fights there, smoke pot, vandalize, etc.  And when they got in trouble, raised a fuss because it wasn't "on school property".  The school was still able to punish them.

2.4.5  :  If the argument began at school, and just happened to end up in an abandoned field.

2.4.7  :  The victim of the misconduct (whomever it may be in this case), is a student.

When enrolling in school, you agree to follow the policies of a school.  When you agree to the policies, sometimes you give up rights.  The school is obligated to follow these policies.  If an event, behavior, or any such activity goes against school policy, they can, and usually will, act upon it.
Thank you for sourcing that. :)

The only caveat here is that schools can (and do) have policies that run counter to law; which can be (and are) successfully challenged in court. So school policies don't ultimately have the heft and weight of a law or binding contract; just because it's school policy does NOT mean that it's perfectly legal and you have no recourse but to go along with policy.
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