Minn. Supreme Court backs ‘U’ Facebook discipline

Published 9:31 am Thursday, June 21, 2012

ST. PAUL — The state Supreme Court says the University of Minnesota could discipline a mortuary student over Facebook comments that her instructors found threatening.

The court ruled the university did not violate Amanda Tatro’s free speech rights.

In December 2009, Tatro wrote on Facebook that she wanted to use an embalming tool “to stab a certain someone in the throat.”

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Tatro’s grade in her course was changed to failing and she was forced to take a psychological evaluation.

Last summer, the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the university’s right to discipline Tatro. Tatro asked the Supreme Court to review the ruling.

University General Counsel Mark Rotenberg says the ruling affirms the school’s authority to train students in professional ethics.

Tatro received her diploma from the university last November.