Court: Facebook posts about student’s lab cadaver justified punishment

But, he said, “It’s a huge relief that [the state Supreme Court decision] is narrowly limited to a small subset” of students in professional programs.

Kushner argued that Tatro’s Facebook postings did not violate professional conduct standards “unless you interpret them to mean you can’t joke about your work.”

But the court wrote that the postings weren’t just a joke among friends, because “the widespread dissemination of Tatro’s posts on Facebook and through the news media undermined her professional conduct obligations of respect and discretion with regard to human cadavers.”

“We are very pleased with the results,” said Abigail Crouse, a lawyer representing several educational groups that supported the university’s position in the case, including the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

Crouse said professional standards that apply to university students can extend to online behavior. She said it is crucial for universities to be able to enforce those standards in cases that might jeopardize the willingness of the public to donate bodies to schools for education and research.

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