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Monday, May 27, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Expelled Student Hits a Snag in Suit Over Blog

(CN) - The 6th Circuit vacated an order that would force the University of Louisville to reinstate a nursing student who was dismissed over a blog post.

During Nina Yoder's second semester at the university's School of Nursing, she watched a live birth for a childbearing course and wrote about the experience in an unflattering tone on the social-networking website, MySpace.

After discovering Yoder's blog post, the school kicked Yoder out for violating its honor code and the course's confidentiality agreement.

Yoder demanded reinstatement in a lawsuit against the university in Kentucky District Court under the First and 14th Amendments.

In a summary judgment finding for Yoder, a federal judge said the lawsuit was a "matter of contract interpretation" and Louisville should reinstate the blogging student because she did not violate university rules.

A three-judge panel for the Cincinnati-based federal appeals court disagreed, however, and vacated the order Friday. The court's unpublished opinion notes that Yoder did not assert any breach-of-contract claims, and she never entered into a contract with the school.

On remand, the lower court can consider awarding summary judgment on free-speech and due-process claims.

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