The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits the making of any law abridging the freedom of speech, whether written or spoken. The Fourth Amendment protects Americans against unreasonable searches and seizures, without probable cause and without a Warrant. The Fourteenth Amendment, which states that "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States...." applies these protections in the states.

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In 2012, the ACLU of Indiana filed a lawsuit on behalf of three students who were expelled for a Facebook conversation. The students' Facebook comments took place after school on their personal electronic devices. In the conversation, they repeatedly used emoticons and abbreviations that showed the comments were meant to be humorous. Nevertheless, Griffith Middle School near Highland in Lake County, Ind., suspended and ultimately expelled the students.

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