×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Student Expelled From Indiana High School For Tweeting Profanity

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the language-you've-probably-heard-from-your-boss dept.

Twitter 349

First time accepted submitter OopsIDied writes with the story that high-school senior Austin Carroll of Garrett, Indiana was recently expelled after tweeting profanity from his own home, writing "Supposedly the school has a system which tracks students' social networks after they have logged in at school. Although the tweet was done at home at 2 AM, the school decided that such behavior was unacceptable and that the most fitting punishment was expulsion. He did use a school computer, but it was set up to use the school network even when used outside the school because the school claimed the tweet was associated with the school's IP address." As usual, TechDirt has some biting commentary about the expulsion. But Hey, at least they didn't throw him in jail.

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

349 comments

It's their network (3, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#39510521)

They can enforce the rules as they wish (just like employers). Student should have used a private ISP, instead of the government-owned school network.

High school student != Expert (5, Insightful)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about 2 years ago | (#39510571)

They can enforce the rules as they wish (just like employers). Student should have used a private ISP, instead of the government-owned school network.

Perhaps. But should a high school student have been expected to know this?

Maybe they should have opted for jailing him for life. After all, isn't tweeting "fuck" an incitement to the masses to commit rape?

Re:High school student != Expert (4, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#39510621)

Yes a student should know not to use profanity on the school network, just as he knows not to use it in the school building. (IMHO)

Re:High school student != Expert (5, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | about 2 years ago | (#39510687)

You are sidestepping the real question though. He should know not to use it on the school network (whatever profanity is.... silly concept anyway) but... is it right to expect him to know that he is, indeed, on the school network vs home. Clearly he has a home internet connection.

I mean, for me with work, its easy. I am either connected to the VPN or not, and if I am, then its all through their netowork... but I do this shit for a living...I am not even sure if people outside of the IT department understand this.... but... a HS kid is expected to?

Re:High school student != Expert (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39510787)

He was still using a school issued laptop. He knew it was school equipment, even if he didn't know he was logged into the school's VPN. If you want to do things which aren't safe for work / safe for school, then use your own computer on a non-work / non-school network.

Re:High school student != Expert (5, Informative)

residieu (577863) | about 2 years ago | (#39510827)

Where does it say it was school equipment? The linked article mentions "Carroll says he doesn't think he should be punished by the school for what he posts on his own time and on his own computer. " and I find no other mention of the computer's ownership.

Re:High school student != Expert (4, Insightful)

tophermeyer (1573841) | about 2 years ago | (#39511015)

FWIW The summary says it was a school issued laptop. The article doesn't specify, but as you quoted implies that it was a personal computer. Obviously the summary could very well be wrong, but it's also possible that the student is confused about who owns the computer and the article wasn't thorough enough to elaborate.

Also, the guy's tweet was hardly all that offensive. It uses a naughty word for sure. But in the context of describing how it can be used for various parts of speech, not as a swear word directed at somebody or something. Either this is another zero tolerance policy gone out of control, or this kid has other issues and the school needed a reason to expel him.

Re:High school student != Expert (5, Insightful)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | about 2 years ago | (#39511115)

not as a swear word directed at somebody or something.

I don't really care if it was directed at someone. What happened? Why do some people seem to have this mentality that someone getting offended will bring about the apocalypse?

Re:High school student != Expert (4, Interesting)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | about 2 years ago | (#39511147)

It is iffy. This may need more research than just the initial summary and article. From reading comments on the other sites, yet to see confirmation, there are three conflicting versions of the story:
1) Tweeted from home using own computer.
2) Tweeted from home, using school computer.
3) Tweeted from home, using own computer. Accessed Twitter from school where the school then began inspecting his Twitter account.

Two and three are the most logical with the information given. It would explain the school network part of the story. One leaves me asking why the school is forcing student home computers to use their VPN constantly.

http://www.indianasnewscenter.com/news/local/High-School-Senior-Expelled-For-Tweeting-Profanity---144022966.html [indianasnewscenter.com] implies that Three is the case. Tweeted from home, home network, visited Twitter from school so the school detection software picked it up. Punished for it.

Re:High school student != Expert (4, Insightful)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about 2 years ago | (#39510793)

Yes a student should know not to use profanity on the school network, just as he knows not to use it in the school building. (IMHO)

Did you RTFA? He connected to his home ISP, but the computer automatically connected him to the school's VPN. So, at the risk of repeating myself, should a high school student have been expected to know/spot this?

Re:High school student != Expert (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#39510871)

No I RTFS - "He did use a school computer".

Re:High school student != Expert (1)

idontgno (624372) | about 2 years ago | (#39511079)

At 2:30 in the morning. So, he was actually expelled for unprovable breaking and entering.

The VPN theory is the only one that makes any damn sense. And that's unfortunate. Why would you set up a VPN that effectively takes over your computer? Or alternately, if you deliberately choose to VPN to the school network at 2:30 AM, why would you even fantasizes that "I did it from home" would even matter? If you VPN in, you're now a part of the school network and you choose to extend their rules to your computer for the duration of VPN connection.

Re:High school student != Expert (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39511173)

Yeah let's comment on summarys not their articles. I mean really, who has time to read more than a paragraph these days?

Re:High school student != Expert (3, Insightful)

Moses48 (1849872) | about 2 years ago | (#39511131)

If I bring my work laptop home, I sure as hell am not going to do anything on it that I wouldn't do at work. I know it doesn't automatically VPN into work, but it's still my work computer and should be used for work purposes. If the student has a school computer that should only be used for school purposes, that is fine. I still think the punishment for cussing is ludicrous.

Re:High school student != Expert (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39511243)

Yes a student should know not to use profanity on the school network, just as he knows not to use it in the school building. (IMHO)

I think even if he had done it in the hallway at school, expelling him is definitely really crazy. If I had said a few cuss words, I probably would have gotten a warning, or maybe detention. Once, I was caught skipping a day of school and I got Saturday school. Being expelled from school could cause this student to not get into college and could result in millions of dollars of economic losses over his lifetime. The punishment is way worse than the crime.

Re:High school student != Expert (5, Funny)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about 2 years ago | (#39511377)

Yes a student should know not to use profanity on the school network, just as he knows not to use it in the school building. (IMHO)

Because, heretofore, using four letter words at school was an unheard of atrocity that would have surprised even dear old mom, right?

Come on. I think I learned the f-bomb well before second grade. He wasn't selling drugs, carrying weapons, threatening a teacher, or being a repeat offender of general delinquency. He didn't even do it at school so you can't argue he was disrupting class. Expulsion is way over the top, this is worth a letter home to mom and dad, with the exact text of his message included.

The most extreme, maybe they should sue him for stealing George Carlin's material.

Re:It's their network (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39510589)

He did use a private ISP, it sounds like his school-provided computer just logs him into the school VPN every time it's on the internet, routing through all traffic. Besides, public schools are a branch of the government, and thus shouldn't have the right to circumvent the First Amendment.

Re:It's their network (5, Funny)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | about 2 years ago | (#39510607)

He fucking did fucking use his fucking home network as you would fucking know if you had just fucking read the fucking article about his fucking post containing fucking lots of use of the fucking word fucking.

First amendment indeed.

Re:It's their network (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#39511057)

What can I say? My fucking work computer if fucking blocked from the fucking article. ;-)

Re:It's their network (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#39510745)

their network or not it's still illegal interception of communications. same goes for employers by the way even if you fat bastards at IT-support don't seem to know it since it would make your job a hassle.

Re:It's their network (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | about 2 years ago | (#39510747)

If it's government owned, it's public, and the 1st amendment applies. You defeated your own argument pretty effectively there.

Re:It's their network (1)

Krojack (575051) | about 2 years ago | (#39511217)

My thoughts exactly. If this is a public school then the network technically is paid for by the tax payers including this kids parents. If this is a private school then all bets are off and they could get away with this. Either way this kid needs to raise hell, after all he's a senior and about 1 1/2 - 2 months away from graduating. This could really screw him over.

Re:It's their network (3, Insightful)

residieu (577863) | about 2 years ago | (#39510777)

He says he tweeted on "his own computer", and it was 2am so it seems likely it would have been on the school's network.

What it sounds like is he logged into his twitter account later when he was on the school network. The school scanned his twitter feed and found his astute observation about the word fuck.

Re:It's their network (2)

dintech (998802) | about 2 years ago | (#39511123)

I wonder if he watched a recital of Evidently Chickentown [youtube.com]? It's a song/poem about living in deprivation in the council estates (projects) of the UK.

The fucking cops are fucking keen
To fucking keep it fucking clean
The fucking chief's a fucking swine
Who fucking draws a fucking line
At fucking fun and fucking games
The fucking kids he fucking blames
Are nowehere to be fucking found
Anywhere in Chickentown

The fucking scene is fucking sad
The fucking news is fucking bad
The fucking weed is fucking turf
The fucking speed is fucking surf
The fucking folks are fucking daft
Don't make me fucking laugh
It fucking hurts to look around
Everywhere in Chickentown

The fucking train is fucking late
You fucking wait you fucking wait
You're fucking lost and fucking found
Stuck in fucking Chickentown

The fucking view is fucking vile
For fucking miles and fucking miles
The fucking babies fucking cry
The fucking flowers fucking die
The fucking food is fucking muck
The fucking drains are fucking fucked
The colour scheme is fucking brown
Everywhere in Chickentown

The fucking pubs are fucking dull
The fucking clubs are fucking full
Of fucking girls and fucking guys
With fucking murder in Their eyes
A fucking bloke is fucking stabbed
Waiting for a fucking cab
You fucking stay at fucking home
The fucking neighbors fucking moan
Keep The fucking racket down
This is fucking Chickentown

The fucking train is fucking late
You fucking wait you fucking wait
You're fucking lost and fucking found
Stuck in fucking Chickentown

The fucking pies are fucking old
The fucking chips are fucking cold
The fucking beer is fucking flat
The fucking flats have fucking rats
The fucking clocks are fucking wrong
The fucking days are fucking long
It fucking gets you fucking down
Evidently Chickentown

Re:It's their network (1)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | about 2 years ago | (#39510889)

Maybe it is their network, but that doesn't make it seem any less idiotic to me. What are they, oversensitive two year olds? Profanity!? Dirty words!? It's the apocalypse!

Step up that Expulsion (5, Informative)

residieu (577863) | about 2 years ago | (#39510525)

Sounds like the school is really behind. They need to get themselves in gear and expel the 90% of the student body that says "fuck" on a daily basis in the halls, in the cafeteria and on the buses.

No... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39510577)

Using profanity in the halls, cafeteria, and buses is safe, because such incidents are not visible to parents, school board members, or the general public.

Twitter, however, is visible to the whole world, so anything undesirable must be just as visibly punished.

Re:Step up that Expulsion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39510583)

Not to mention the teachers, janitors, administrators, substitutes and school resource officers who probably say "fuck" more than the kids do. Some of them probably say it in front of the kids. Make sure to get all of them, too.

captcha: instill

Re:Step up that Expulsion (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#39510801)

this gives me an idea for a device that would use speech recognition to detect profanities.
it could be an android pda in a box, rigged with a flashing light and a siren that would go off if they detected a profanity.

then the school would need those every 5 meters. think of the MONEY.. err children.

Re:Step up that Expulsion (5, Funny)

MatthewCCNA (1405885) | about 2 years ago | (#39511037)

this gives me an idea for a device that would use speech recognition to detect profanities. it could be an android pda in a box, rigged with a flashing light and a siren that would go off if they detected a profanity.

John Spartan, you are fined five credits for repeated violations of the verbal morality statute.

Re:Step up that Expulsion (4, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#39511389)

Twitter and facebook are not really private (unless you specifically block viewing by strangers). It's a public venue and what you post can be seen by your school (as this article shows). Or google.

BTW the school that was spying on students stripping naked in their bedrooms through laptop cameras never got punished. Nor the school with cameras in the boys/girls shower rooms. Hiring the ACLU to sue this school is like a waste; looking at public tweets is a far lesser crime.

Good schooling. (0, Flamebait)

gambit3 (463693) | about 2 years ago | (#39510563)

Sounds like good schooling (if by schooling I mean preparing him for the real world).
The same thing would probably happen if he used a company computer to post profanity: the company would probably be within their legal right to fire him.

Their compuer, their rules.

Re:Good schooling. (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | about 2 years ago | (#39510785)

It was their computer he was using at home at 2:30 AM? I'd say read the links (the top FA doesn't include that tidbit), but this is /.

Re:Good schooling (not really) (0)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#39511119)

The same thing would probably happen if he used a company computer to post profanity: the company would probably be within their legal right to fire him.

Couple issues with that:

1) Private companies != public schools; the students have an involuntary compulsion to attend. If the school requires the students to have school-provided laptops, then the same involuntary compulsion applies. I imagine one could attempt to argue "he could have used his own laptop," but that mentality belies a certain level of ignorance regarding the lack of fiscal security a great number of American families are forced to deal with these days. Also, it would indicate that whoever makes such a statement failed to RTFA, as it states:

[the student] says he doesn't think he should be punished by the school for what he posts on his own time and on his own computer.

Emphasis mine.

2) If a person working for a private company used a company computer to engage in a similar activity, any disciplinary action would likely be a result of the employees violation of the company computer use policy, and not for the specifics of the post; unless, of course, the post was damaging to the company's public image. Of course, I am curious to know what, if any, computer use agreement the parents (as minors cannot legally enter into contracts) signed prior to this incident.

On the fence on this. (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | about 2 years ago | (#39510587)

On the one hand, i've said it over and over again, giving punishments for writing on the bathroom stall door (aka twitter) is stupid. Will always and forever be stupid.
However, if he used the school's network/computer to do such, I can kind of see some punishment is appropriate.
I think expulsion was a bit much, some detention would have been just fine, but ahh well.

Re:On the fence on this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39510653)

"However, if he used the school's network/computer to do such, I can kind of see some punishment is appropriate."

Really? If he had uttered the word at school I doubt he would have been expelled, so even if we agree that some form of punishment was required (which I don't) then it should have been a detention.

Re:On the fence on this. (1)

jesseck (942036) | about 2 years ago | (#39510807)

In the hallways one can pretend to have not heard the comment. Publicly on Twitter, though, that same claim cannot be made- it's there for all to see.

Re:On the fence on this. (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#39511269)

It's also much easier to ignore on Twitter. You can close the webpage much more quickly and easily than you can get away from someone in a crowded hallway.

Re:On the fence on this. (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | about 2 years ago | (#39510831)

Yes, some.
Like I said, detention would have been more appropriate.
I had many teachers in my high school who would pass out such if they caught you using profanity in the halls/during class.
The only reason I remember that is because I got hit with it a few times.

Re:On the fence on this. (2)

jxander (2605655) | about 2 years ago | (#39511207)

Very much this.

Firstly, the kid posted from 2am at home. That's hardly "on school time." I'm an aerospace engineer, and there are people with whom I work that have trouble distinguishing home networks from VPNs. Expecting a high school kid to fully grasp that concept is ridiculous.

But aside from all that, the punishment does not fit the crime. The kid cussed. Kids do that all the time, and they usually get detention. I could even see a suspension, if the school wants to set a precedent... but expulsion? That's just asinine.

Re:On the fence on this. (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | about 2 years ago | (#39510809)

Well if the school ran a network connection to his house that he used at 2:30 AM, sure.

Re:On the fence on this. (1, Funny)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | about 2 years ago | (#39510891)

Did you even read the summary?

He did use a school computer, but it was set up to use the school network even when used outside the school.

I'm used to pointing people to quotes from the article linked, but this is the first time I've had to point to damn summary.

Re:On the fence on this. (1)

residieu (577863) | about 2 years ago | (#39510931)

That's in the summary, but doesn't appear to be supported in the story itself.

Re:On the fence on this. (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 2 years ago | (#39511095)

They are punishing them because they wrote on somebody else's bathroom wall with there permission, but used a tool provided by the school. They did it on there own time. I would have to side with it's unreasonable for the school to punish a student for what they do away from school, as that's undermining the role of the parent and they do not show that it was causing a disruption in the school. Last I checked profanity was not illegal and generally protected speech. Past that expulsion is a HUGE amount of overkill as far as punishment goes, worst case should be a detention with the parents consent.

We need a clear definition that schools authority ends at the property line and is very well circumscribed to what is required to get there job done. They are not nor should they ever be parents or into the business of indoctrination to political agenda's. The majority are forced to send there children to the public schools and thus exposure of there children should be kept as neutral as possible. The trend to teach morals, religious views etc is not a good one. I watched it start with MADD/SADD/DARE, while I agree children should be steered away from things the schools are not the place for indoctrination of any sort.

Re:On the fence on this. (3, Informative)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | about 2 years ago | (#39511379)

Last I checked profanity was not illegal and generally protected speech.

You surrender a lot of rights when you enter a school. He was only there virtually, but he was using the school's network none the less.
On top of that, yes you have free speech, but there are still consequences. I can't run into a crowded theater and yell "FIRE" and expect to get away scott free.

schools are not the place for indoctrination of any sort

You're kidding, right? The whole point of the American school is to turn you into a boring, uncreative, mindless drone.
If that doesn't qualify as indoctrination, what does? |:

precedents have been established (1)

Khashishi (775369) | about 2 years ago | (#39510599)

Unfortunately, there seems to be an increasing frequency of reports of punishments for online posting. The precedent has been set, and there's no rioting against it. It seems rediculous to me, but this is going to continue for some time until some lawsuit strikes it down.

Re:precedents have been established (5, Interesting)

oracleguy01 (1381327) | about 2 years ago | (#39510663)

Actually this is interesting, the school has clearly established the punishment for doing this. So the easy way to protest this would be get a sizable percentage of the student body to swear on their twitter accounts. What is the school going to do? Expel 30+% of their student body? If they did, it would make national headlines and the people that run that school would become a laughing stock. It would also energize the debate enough where we could finally sort this out. And if they don't expel them, they can't expel this student.

Re:precedents have been established (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#39510783)

Be very, very careful when pulling a "they can't punish everyone" stunt. Sometimes it turns out that yes, they very much can.

Re:precedents have been established (2)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 2 years ago | (#39511055)

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they used the opportunity to expel their low-scoring students, simultaneously increasing their federal budget due to federal test-marks-for-dollars guidelines and lowering their costs due to having less students to serve.

Re:precedents have been established (2)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | about 2 years ago | (#39511025)

It's not just the fact that he was punished for posting something that makes it seem idiotic to me. It's the fact that their reasons are always extremely petty. "Profanity." "Swear words." "Someone could get offended!"

Who cares? Are you seriously so oversensitive that you cannot handle the mere mention of a word?

Who cares? (5, Insightful)

webheaded (997188) | about 2 years ago | (#39510609)

All issues of who own what aside, honestly, who gives a fuck what the kid said unless it was like...death threats? Seriously...why would you expel someone for using profanity in the first place? A stern talking to, perhaps, but expulsion for this? Good lord.

Good life lesson (2, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | about 2 years ago | (#39510671)

Better that he learn this now as opposed to when he has a well paying job. When using equipment that is not yours, you have to follow their rules. This is the same when you borrow your parent car, or your friends pad for an overnight stay.

Schools loaning computers are still a relatively uncommon thing. These kids are being given an opportunity to learn to use a tool that will greatly increase their future opportunities. Encouraging the kids to use it wisely is a good thing. How many reports have we seen about an employee misusing equipment and getting into big trouble, including a ruined reputation through reports in the press.

Sure kids are in rebellion and think that they can do anything they want. They have not yet understood that gifts come with strings. They think that by taking a computer they are doing the school a favor. That education is favor they do for their parents and a favor that society gives to them. Sure, it is cheaper than jail, but we are more than willing to pay for and put them in jail.

That said expulsion might seem a bit harsh, but we really don't know what else this kid has done or not done.

Re:Good life lesson (4, Insightful)

tnk1 (899206) | about 2 years ago | (#39510967)

That said expulsion might seem a bit harsh, but we really don't know what else this kid has done or not done.

This.

In my mind, expulsion for this is the right punishment only if the student has a long record of other issues, including a suspension or maybe two. If so, I think it would be okay to expel him for even just spitting on the school sidewalk. If not, this is a ridiculous and difficult to understand result from a public school. Hell, I doubt even private schools are this punitive.

Swearing is bad manners and should be discouraged as a way of maintaining order and courtesy, but as far as I know, it has never impeded the learning of anyone or those around them. I sincerely hope this isn't some over-the-top punishment, and is instead, a measured reaction to a chain of incidents.

Re:Good life lesson (1)

tophermeyer (1573841) | about 2 years ago | (#39511165)

Yeah, I get your point.

But even in a corporate environment, you're probably not going to get fired for a single arguably offensive tweet. There are probably better ways to teach kids that lesson than expelling them.

What did he tweet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39510685)

While the punishment seems extreme if it was just some generic undirected profanity, I have no problem with the expulsion if the post was extremely racist or similar.

I know that citizens in the USA throw around rights of "freedom of speech" to justify saying almost anything, but in most of the rest of the world, you can't go around yelling niggerfaggott and expect no serious consequences. Twitter is no different.

Re:What did he tweet? (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | about 2 years ago | (#39510789)

he tweeted somethign along the lines of "fuck is one of those fucking words that can be used fucking anywhere in a fucking sentence"

Re:What did he tweet? (1)

tophermeyer (1573841) | about 2 years ago | (#39511205)

It was commentary on the unique qualities of this magical word that can fill various parts of speech. Shakespeare uses naughty words in creative ways all the time, and that stuff is required!

Re:What did he tweet? (0)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 2 years ago | (#39510829)

According to techdirt, he tweeted something like: "Fuck is one of the fucking words you can fucking put anywhere in a fucking sentence and still fucking makes sense."
Next time, RTFA, you niggerfaggot.

Re:What did he tweet? (2)

tnk1 (899206) | about 2 years ago | (#39511151)

Perhaps, but you don't get rid of racism by removing opportunities for education. This isn't going to stop people from being racist, it will just make them internalize it and express it even more viciously in their private lives.

Now, if this individual is an impediment to good order in a school, it may be tactically necessary to remove him to prevent strife, but as an impediment to racism, such a punishment would be ineffective. The vocal racists likely are not the ones you really need to worry about. I know a number of people who would never swear or utter a racist epithet in public who are perfectly happy to countenance nuking the Middle East and turning it into a parking lot. Some of them even vote Democrat and call themselves liberals. Not to mention their opinions about blacks or asians or whatever. People shouting "niggerfaggot" in public are just the tip of the iceberg.

Education is the only way of decisively defending against racism, and in this case, I feel removing that opportunity and throwing a kid in with the other miscreants in the alternate school/holding tank for expelled students is not going to help that issue.

Re:What did he tweet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39511255)

I skimmed the story and it's not clear if this is a public or private school. If it is a public school, then the school has no legal authority to regulate the speech of a student outside of school. The student does still have some rights (though less) in the school, but it's immaterial since this tweet occurred off campus.

The 'rest of the world' may prefer to do things a certain way, but here in the USA we have a tradition of allowing all viewpoints, no matter how disagreeable they are. Grown adults are capable of objectively evaluating the things others say. Maybe that's not the case in the rest of the world, so such draconian laws are required.

Ruin a kid's life - terrible school (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39510693)

What a terrible school. Profanity = expulsion? Are you kidding me?

What gives them the right to ruin the kid's life for a minor thing? I bet you that, statistically, some percentage of their teachers are committing adultery. Should we punish them too?

Pffffft. America? How about the United States of China

Re:Ruin a kid's life - terrible school (1)

aglider (2435074) | about 2 years ago | (#39510795)

How about the United States of China

How about death penalty?

Re:Ruin a kid's life - terrible school (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39511099)

Really! Why argue about it? Just let God sort it out.

His own computer? (1)

schitso (2541028) | about 2 years ago | (#39510721)

FTFA:

Carroll says he doesn't think he should be punished by the school for what he posts on his own time and on his own computer.

I can see how this would be acceptable if it were a school computer, but his own computer from inside his home?
That's just fucked up.

Re:His own computer? (1)

jesseck (942036) | about 2 years ago | (#39511073)

The school claims it was done from a school computer. Austin says he did it from home.

That was from the local paper [indianasnewscenter.com]. It seems that more questions need to be answered- who owns the laptop? If the school owns it, there is most likely an Acceptable Use Policy which prohibits profanity and outlines punishment (whether right or wrong). Austin seems to stress he did it from his "own account" at his home. It is very likely Austin has a school-owned laptop with a user account he has for homework.

If the school did own the computer, they would be held liable (right or wrong- I think this concept is crap) for "enabling" kids to do bad things with a laptop. Can you imagine the scandal if students were doing webcam strip shows with the school's laptops? Parents would sue the piss out of the school. So, to protect itself, the school would install monitoring software, and use a VPN at all times so the traffic could be monitored. That protects the school from liability for the student's actions. It also forces the student to follow the AUP 24/7 when on the computer, whether they are on their "own account" or in their "own home".

While I agree that the punishment is going too far (though there may be more to the story), if it was a school computer there should be no expectation of privacy. Kids should buy their own laptop if they don't agree with the school's policies.

Another Example (3)

pbscoop (2606071) | about 2 years ago | (#39510781)

Of educators, lawmakers having no idea what the internet is. "Hmm, since he said it from our address, it's like he's speaking for the school. The whole internet is going to thing we use bad language. It reflects poorly on me!"

Oblig (5, Funny)

Cobralisk (666114) | about 2 years ago | (#39510857)

I'm sure you've all heard this before, but it bears repeating here:

Perhaps one of the most interesting words in the English language today, is the word fuck. Out of all the English words that begin with the letter 'f' ...fuck is the only word referred to as 'the f word... It's the one magical word. Just by its sound can describe pain, pleasure, hate and love. Fuck, as most words in the English language is derived from German ...the word fuieken, which means to strike.

In English, fuck falls into many grammatical categories:

As a transitive verb for instance.. John fucked Shirley.
As an intransitive verb... Shirley fucks.

Its meaning is not always sexual, it can be used as...

An adjective such as... John's doing all the fucking work.
As part of an adverb... Shirley talks too fucking much.
As an adverb enhancing an adjective... Shirley is fucking beautiful.
As a noun... I don't give a fuck.
As part of a word... absofuckinglutely -or- infuckingcredible.
And as almost every word in a sentence... Fuck the fucking fuckers.

As you must realize, there aren't too many words with the versatility of fuck...such as these examples describing situations such as:

Fraud: I got fucked at the used car lot.
Dismay: ahhh fuck it.
Trouble: I guess I'm really fucked now.
Aggression: Don't fuck with me buddy.
Difficulty: I don't understand this fucking question.
Inquiry: Who the fuck was that?
Dissatisfaction: I don't like what the fuck is going on here.
Incompetence: He's a fuck-off.
Dismissal: Why don't you go outside and play hide and go fuck yourself...

I'm sure you can think of many more examples.

With all these multi-purpose applications, how can anyone be offended when you use the word. We say use this unique, flexible word more often in your daily speech.

It will identify the quality of your character immediately.

Say it loudly and proudly: FUCK YOU!

Re:Oblig (1)

foobsr (693224) | about 2 years ago | (#39511359)

is derived from German ...the word fuieken, which means to strike.

Actually, the word is 'ficken'. I am a native speaker (German).

CC.

Just plane stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39510861)

If was a tax payer for this school district I'd be very pissed. If they stick with their expulsion they are going to get sued, I guarantee it. I bet their are civil rights lawyers chomping at the bit to take this case, more then likely for free. This is going to cost the school a crap load of money and will not solve anything either way. Do schools not use common sense when dishing out punishment anymore?

Social media is forever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39510869)

I love that in 5 years when he goes to look for a job and his potential employer does a web search on his name all this crap if going to come up. Enjoy your social media.... in 20 years too.

Important life lesson (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#39510911)

When you use your company laptop or company phone, all bets are off w.r.t. freedom of speech and privacy. Even if its on your own time and/or off company property.

So lets leave those company phones and laptops at work after quitting time. And bring your own phone for use during lunch breaks. If they need to contact you 24x7, they can pay you 24x7, time and a half after 40 hours, of course.

This kid got a tough lesson. But at least he didn't lose a job over it.

Thank goodness it was for profanity only. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39510917)

Not like the equipment should only be used for school work.

The school was SPYING on his PRIVATE ACCOUNT (5, Interesting)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 2 years ago | (#39510939)

Remember kids, wiretap laws and the Bill of Rights don't apply to you when you're enrolled in school.

Anyone agreeing with the school here really needs to read TFA (specifically the TechDirt article). Apparently he Tweeted while at home, and the school had a system set up that tracked all Twitter logins, recording all Tweets on those accounts. The kid must have logged in subsequently to posting the Tweet, and their spy system picked it up.

I mean, what the fuck. The school is literally spying on its students' private accounts. I bet their system picked up Direct Messages too, all in the name of anti-bullying. I really hope this kid calls the ACLU and gets this shut the hell down. This is a huge violation of his and the other students' rights. If he had posted the Tweet from the school it may have been slightly different but still an overreaction. This is outright wiretapping, unauthorized use of an account, a declaration that students' private lives are subject to the school's rules... what the hell is going on here?

Re:The school was SPYING on his PRIVATE ACCOUNT (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39511295)

Remember kids, wiretap laws and the Bill of Rights don't apply to you when you're enrolled in school.

Kids routinely have their lockers searched without a warrant, because administrators like to pretend the 4th amendment doesn't apply in schools, and parents are apathetic about the issue.

Re:The school was SPYING on his PRIVATE ACCOUNT (1)

DaMattster (977781) | about 2 years ago | (#39511413)

According to the article, the student was at home when he tweeted. The school just put him on a watch list because he used twitter once or twice on a school network. This does not grant the school the right to spy on him after hours. My guess is the courts are going to get involved and whomever was involved in the expulsion will have their hands slapped and this extra spying system taken down. The bottom line is, as a society, we live in WAY too much fear. Since we live in fear, we look to governing bodies to grant us freedom from this fear and in turn give up liberties. We have to realize that much of this fear is HIGHLY irrational.

Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39510947)

I'm fucking tired of these goddamn cocksuckers who have nothing better to fucking do than tweeting nothing but profane shit.

George Carlin (1)

StoneyMahoney (1488261) | about 2 years ago | (#39510953)

Funny how the same issues seem to come back over and over again, just like the Swearing Police.
Under normal circumstances, school children stand far more chance of actually offending people when they swear at school than if they swear it tweets.
Can someone please help me dig up George Carlin now? He's spinning in his grave so fast, we could use him as a form of renewable energy!
Kan you see what I did there? ;)

At the edge of chaos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39510987)

Yes, risky behaviour at this age is part of the evolution of human species. They seem to ignore that the environment where they live has rules set and enforced to ensure stability. Selection is at work and some make it, some don't. It's part of life.

Re:At the edge of chaos (2)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | about 2 years ago | (#39511385)

They seem to ignore that the environment where they live has rules set and enforced to ensure stability.

You mean like pointless, arbitrary rules against 'profanity'?

It's only language (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 2 years ago | (#39511009)

Had he said the same thing in the hallway, at worst he'd have been told to shut up.

But because he "spoke" through a computer, he deserves explulsion?

The school's policies are seriously screwed up.

Sorry, in the vernacular of the students, "seriously FUCKED up!"

call them, let them know how you feel. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39511051)

Phone 260.357.4114

press 3 for the principle's office

an attack against protected speech (2)

sqkybeaver (1415539) | about 2 years ago | (#39511061)

As long as you are not referring to reproductive organs, sexual conduct, you can say "fuck" all day long. The words in question ARE NOT obscene, and therefore protected under the first amendment. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obscenity [wikipedia.org] "In short, freedom of speech means the freedom of fucking speech, you ignorant cocksuckers." Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Interesting... (1)

wbav (223901) | about 2 years ago | (#39511155)

I wonder if they'd expel him for writing profanities with a pencil from school on paper he got from school as well?

After reading things like this... (4, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#39511219)

...and stories like the assistant principal at a Lower Merion PA school district spying through the webcam on student issued laptops (remember that?), I have to say one thing about student-issued laptops:

Laptops are cheap enough. Use your own. Treat the school issued one as toxic. Refuse it.

They are simply too dangerous to even turn on.

And those in authority wonder why they are distrusted.

--
BMO

Why is twitter even allowed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39511225)

In my opinion choosing not to block twitter from the school network is implicit allowance of their use of twitter.

Unless they pop up a "You are accessing a social network from a school network (perhaps unknowingly) you are bound by the following rules of conduct: A-Z)" first, they've essentially created an attractive nuisance.

How much *less* work would it be to not have to eyeball every single tweet made by students?

uh (1)

buddyglass (925859) | about 2 years ago | (#39511401)

School's computer = school gets to set policy. Violate policy = school infraction. If my employer gives me a laptop and I VPN in then post obscene crap on Twitter, I'm not sure I'd feel justified in complaining if they fired me. Assuming the policy was written down and provided to me beforehand.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...