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Tatro v. University of Minnesota

From August 2009 to June 2012
University of Minnesota (Public college or university)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Identity of Speakers

  • Amanda Tatro
    Student
    Other

    Amanda was a student at the University of Minnesota's mortuary sciences program.

Resources

Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
    Social media
    Other
  • Incident Responses:
    University administration not protective of speech
    University administration invoked formal speech code in response to incident
    Litigation
  • Incident Status:
    Dismissed
  • No protest Occured
  • Was Speech Code incident

Summary

Petitioner Amanda Tatro was a student in the Mortuary Science Program at University of Minnesota. She posted status updates on Facebook about her desire to be violent and break lab rules when working with cadavers for class. After it was made aware of these posts, the University held a hearing and found that Tatro had violated the Student Code of Conduct governing the privilege of access to human cadavers. The University imposed sanctions including a failing grade for Tatro’s anatomy laboratory course. Tatro filed suit and argued that sanctions based on Facebook posts violated her First Amendment right to free speech. The case eventually reached the Minnesota Supreme Court, which ruled against Tatro, holding that sanctions were justified because they were based on narrowly tailored academic standards and which are directly related to established professional conduct standards.