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Facebook Free Speech Battle Won By Student

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Uploaded on Jan 3, 2011

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A buck doesn't go a long way these days, but it's probably the best dollar Katie Evans has ever earned.

The Pembroke Pines Charter High School grad is celebrating the end of a two-year battle over her first amendment rights that started when she declared her AP English teacher, Sarah Phelps, "the worst she ever had" on her Facebook page. The school cried cyberbullying and suspended Evans.

But the University of Florida student fought back, with the help of the ACLU, arguing that her statements were protected by the first amendment. She sued school principal Peter Bayer in 2008, and Bayer's attempt to have the case thrown out earlier this year was rejected by a judge, who stated that Evans' speech fell under the umbrella of protected speech.

Last week, instead of gearing up for a trial, Evans learned that a settlement had been reached, the Miami Herald reported. She will receive $15,000 for attorney's fees and $1 in nominal damages. More importantly, though, all records of the incident will be removed from her school file.

On the website ratemyteachers.com, Phelps received a 3.9 out of 5.0, with the option to "like" the rating on Facebook.

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