The Administrative Court of Berlin has ruled in two summary proceedings that two students in a tenth grade class of an integrated comprehensive school in Berlin may be temporarily suspended from classes because they secretly made videos and photos of teachers and forwarded them to a classmate, who shared them on Instagram and partly added sexist and insulting comments.
The principal had been allowed to temporarily suspend the two students from school for nine school days. One of the two students had admitted to secretly taking pictures of a teacher from class and forwarding them to the operator of the Instagram account. In any case, the other student had not denied sending such photos and video sequences to the classmate. The principal had been entitled to assume that the two students had at least accepted that the classmate would publish the image and video material on his Instagram page and add insulting and sexist content. It was unrealistic to assume that they would not have known what the fellow student would do with the image and video material, especially since one of the students himself operated such an account.
It is also obvious that in the case of the obvious dissemination and commentary in social media by a fellow student, the orderly school life is impaired and the trust of the student body in a rule-governed and peaceful school framework is continually shaken. This is particularly true if the disseminated content is likely to expose the teachers concerned to the public.
Appeals against the decisions may be lodged with the Higher Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg.