School Officials, Social Media, and the First Amendment: What the Supreme Court’s decision in Lindke v. Freed Means for Maine Schools

Live Zoom
Date: 07 / 12 / 2024
Time: 12:00pm to 1:15pm (Registration at 12:00pm)

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In March, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision with major implications for Maine school districts, Lindke v. Freed. The decision addresses how courts should determine whether a government official, such as a school board member or a superintendent, is acting in their official capacity or as a private citizen when posting on or engaging with social media. The distinction between acting in an official versus private capacity is important because individuals may sue a government official for the actions they take in their official capacity pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 when that action deprives someone of a right, such as the right to free speech under the First Amendment. In this program, we will cover the key takeaways from Lindke and explain how school units and school officials can avoid liability for actions that individuals take on social media. We will also provide attendees with updated policy language to adopt to help avoid official capacity claims when individuals are really acting as individuals.
This program is designed for school board members, superintendents, assistant superintendents, business managers, HR directors, and principals and assistant principals.
Although this webinar and the policies that will be provided are designed primarily for school officials, the cases that will be discussed, the new legal standard established by the Supreme Court, and the policy language that will be provided during the webinar are also highly relevant to municipalities and municipal officials, and such officials are encouraged to attend.

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