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A MySpace Photo Costs a Student a Teaching Certificate

What shall you do with a drunken sailor? Well, if you're Millersville University of Pennsylvania, you deny her a degree, and you get sued for doing so.

Stacy Snyder, an aspiring teacher who is now 27 years old, was set to graduate last year from Millersville's School of Education. But just days before commencement, campus officials discovered Ms. Snyder's MySpace page — which featured a photograph of the student wearing a pirate hat and sipping from a plastic cup. The picture's caption read "Drunken Pirate."

Although Ms. Snyder was of legal drinking age when the photo was taken, Millersville administrators deemed the image "unprofessional," and they refused to award her an education degree and the teaching certificate that came along with it. (Instead they issued her a degree in English.)

Now Ms. Snyder has filed a federal lawsuit asking Millersville to issue her education degree and teaching certificate. The former student also seeks $75,000 in compensatory damages from the university, according to the Intelligencer Journal of Lancaster, Pa. Millersville officials declined to comment, the newspaper said. –Brock Read

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