To put it mildly: American political culture is incredibly polarized.
No matter where you land on the political spectrum, there's a good chance that other people may find some of your views at least somewhat offensive. If you've ever published even the most innocuous-seeming political social media post, you're probably very familiar with the ugly reality of comment sections, hateful DMs, and other consequences of talking about your beliefs online.
If the negative repercussions begin and end on social media, you may be able to handle it. However, if the consequences of your political posts begin to trickle offline, that may be where things get more serious.
Let's say that someone at your school sees some of your political content. They disagree, they feel strongly about it, and they decide to report you to your school's administration.
What happens next?
Navigating the Aftermath of Posting Political Content Online
The action your school may or may not take depends on several different factors, including how high-profile your social media is, the culture and environment of your school, and how much traction the people who didn't like your post are getting.
For example, let's say that your content could be construed as a hate crime, and the backlash to your words goes viral. Whether or not that was your intention may be irrelevant. Your school's representatives may be in a position where they feel they must take action to protect their community (and their own reputations).
You need to make sure that they don't take permanent, damaging action against you to make their point.
Once you realize that your school may be considering disciplinary processes for your political posts — no matter how private, well-hidden, or ‘secret' you may have thought they were — consider taking the following steps:
- Don't talk to anyone about your post or posting rationale.
- Don't delete the post.
- Think about pausing any other posts before you speak with a defense attorney.
- Hire a student defense attorney to help you protect your rights during tense disciplinary negotiations.
Your defense attorney will be able to analyze your school's code of conduct, traditions, environment, and more to figure out the best possible strategy for your defense. Is your school infringing upon your right to free speech — or possibly exhibiting a problematic invasion of privacy? Your attorney can help you determine how best to proceed to work towards the most favorable outcome for you.
Need Help Protecting Your Academic Future After a Social Media Nightmare? Call the Lento Law Firm
You have rights regarding what you post online. No matter where you go to school, you should be able to express your beliefs freely. If your school seems to be stepping on that right or discriminating against you for your political leanings, you need to make sure that you have someone on your side who's ready to help you with an aggressive defense.
That's where the Lento Law Firm comes in. Joseph D. Lento is a highly-experienced student defense attorney who helps students across the nation protect their futures and reputations. Attorney Lento and his expert team can do the same for you.
Reach out to our team online, or give us a quick call at 888-535-3686 to learn more.