I think that this snooping by schools goes far beyond any reason to know and violates the basic rights of students. I hope that this principle and the school is sued for everything they have
An Indiana student has been expelled from school after sending a profane – if rather witty – tweet from his personal account. "Fuck is one of those Fucking words you can Fucking put anywhere in a Fucking sentence and it still Fucking makes sense," it read. Austin Carroll, formerly of Garrett High School, claims he sent the …
To be fair, it IS in most school codes that profanity is not allowed (just as lewd clothing is not allowed--you're there to LEARN, not to pick up girls/guys). If the tweet had been done on school equipment (and thus public property), then it is likely well within the school's rights to discipline the student for breaking the conduct codes.
That said, outright expulsion seems VERY extreme for profanity. Detention, a weekend detention, or perhaps a day of in-school suspension would've likely sufficed to let the student know that spouting obscenities on school property is not proper behaviour.
The grossly out of proportion punishment makes me wonder if he was really expelled for the profanity, or for being unapologetic about it. To certain kinds of authorities, refusal to submit and refusal to acknowledge their Moral Rightness when confronted is a far worse crime than whatever prompted punishment in the first place.
"Resisting arrest....FORTY YEARS."
Expulsion for swearing, even on school equipment, is so ridiculously over the top that there almost has to be more to the story here.
@Josco - My father was a headmaster and had a similar incident where he was reported in a Sunday paper for expelling someone, I won't go into details, but they spun it so it appeared that a boy punched a girl and the girl was excluded. The actual story was that they were both excluded after a series of incidents, escalating in nature complicated by a decades old rivalry between the two families involved. The final fight was just the last straw, I suspect that something like that has probably gone on here.
That's what the student claimed. The school has _evidence_ to the contrary. This isn't "his word against theirs", it's "his word is plainly a lie".
In all probability, that is why he was expelled. Not for the profanity but for mis-use of school property. But why let the facts get in the way of a whipped up controversy born from deliberate misrepresentation of the facts, eh ? Especially if it gives license to print profanity and gain interest, traffic and ad revenue from prurient onlookers.
This is a story that hits close to home - Literally, as the school is a only a few miles from here and I've been following the story for over a week.. He posted the tweet from his home computer at 3 am, not from a school computer. When he had later logged into his twitter account at school the filtering software did a grab of what had been previously posted. This principle of the school already admitted that their software does this.
A controversy being whipped up by misrepresenting the facts? No. Someone who has NO knowledge of the facts, falsely calling someone a lier? Most definitely.
There is much more to the story, such as the principle using automated dialing equipment to call EVERY STUDENT, and EVERY PARENT to inform them that ANY student who does anything to support or protest the expelled student, even so much as sponsoring a facebook page to discuss the issue, was grounds for expulsion. Oh, and he called them all TWICE just to make sure that they got the message.
" To be fair, it IS in most school codes that profanity is not allowed (just as lewd clothing is not allowed--you're there to LEARN, not to pick up girls/guys). If the tweet had been done on school equipment (and thus public property), then it is likely well within the school's rights to discipline the student for breaking the conduct codes."
You have got to be kidding, have you ever been to a UK comprehensive. That's where you learn to swear and in a gramatically incorrect way.
The kid tweeted from his home. The tweet was routed through a school computer that 'monitors' what the kids tweet. The school is lucky they aren't being sued, because typing the word 'Fuck' at home in the phrase that the kid used is not grounds for expulsion, much less detention or suspension. This did not occur on school grounds nor did it occur during a school function. The fact that the tweet was routed through a school computer doesn't give the school any weight in the matter as this falls under the first amendment and the kid was not disrupting the functioning of the school (yes, even kids retain most of the rights afforded adults). It could probably fall under the fourteenth (equal protection), since I'm doubting that the school punishes anyone who says swears during school and on school grounds, with expulsion.
If he was tweeting from home, why would the school computer get involved? You'd be going through the parent's consumer ISP, so the school doesn't get involved unless they're performing some ISP-like role like a content-filtering proxy.
We've had all this argument, but a few key unknowns remain. First, if the student really did tweet from home, then he did it after school. What was the TIMESTAMP on the original tweet? Second, if the student really did tweet from home, then the tweet's origin address should indicate that rather than a school machine. What was the source IP of the tweet?
That would be the school codes in whichever country you're in, and which I would personally consider rather backwards.
In the country where I live in the south of Europe, there is only one law and it's the same for everyone (save for the very rich and the very powerful, of course) so schools don't go around making up their own "codes".
It also happens that what some would call profanity is perfectly accepted and part of normal familiar speech here, including in the classrooms, where a teacher can use a colloquial expression such as "Oh, sorry! I fucked up!" and nobody bats an eye.
I of course respect cultural differences, be it towards the more liberal or more conservative sides of the spectrum, but why would a country that likes so much to wax lyrical about the right to freedom of expression and which so readily condemns what they see as human rights violations in some (but not other) nations would resort to systematic surveillance of pupils' personal communications? That does not look to me exactly like promoting freedom of thought and expression, and that's not even considering that actual punishment is handed out on the basis of that monitoring.
Well done to the little fellow for not backing off. May he have a great future and help his country out of their misery.
In the UK we have a similar problem. For instance the creator of Fireman Sam stopped at an airport for making an observation. Eventhough he had said nothing wrong someone took offence and he was told by a policeman 'you can't say that anymore'.
I reserve to right to freedom of speech and say whatever I want either to comment, insult or express an opinion however stupid , idiotic or rude.
I also defend the right of anyone who wants to insult, express an opinion or be rude to back to me. That is their right of freedom of speech.
Though be aware that if I am bigger than you I will give you a good belting and expect it in return if you are bigger than me.
Sod the censors and pontificaters.
"If you claim telling a copper to fuck off as a human right, then I've got some bad news for you. Section 5 of the Public Order Offences Act 1986, to be exact. Trust me on this one."
Actually, not any more. A judge ruled that a copper is quite unlikely to be offended by swear words (they hear them all the time) and as the law in question is using language likely to cause offence then you can't really be charged with it (as the coppers wouldn't be offended).
On topic though, indeed fuck[ing] can be put anywhere in a sentence and it still makes sense, however, if you put it in the wrong place it can make the sentence bad. Hey you going to see Maggie Thatcher fucking? <-- see!
Just for precision:-
A person is guilty of an offence if he—
(a)uses towards another person threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or
(b)distributes or displays to another person any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting,
with intent to cause that person to believe that immediate unlawful violence will be used against him or another by any person, or to provoke the immediate use of unlawful violence by that person or another, or whereby that person is likely to believe that such violence will be used or it is likely that such violence will be provoked.
Or to put it another way - you won't be arrested for simply saying "fuck" in public. You won't normally even be arrested if you just tell a copper to "fuck off" - unless he feels threatened. If a cop arrested someone every time he was told to fuck off, he'd literally have no time to do anything else.
Frankly, why should coppers - or anyone else in public service - have to put up with "threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour" when they are just doing their job?
"The term for that is assault. There are laws against that."
Yes, and the term for not insulting someone in the first place is "respect". If you're going to forfeit that (as you are in principle entitled to do), I would expect you to have the balls not to hide behind a judge.
Not to put words in someone else's mouth, but I think that's what the other poster was hinting at. That said, I'm one of those "can't we all please just get along" sort of people.
That statement is actually why I have a big problem with the new movie The Hunger Games. It's a story of teens having to kill each other in gruesome ways (the book included having a boy being eaten alive over a period of days according to Wikipedia). This story is aimed at young teens and all the media seem to love it.. Yet, if there was just one scene of two of these teens actually making love, then watch the uproar it would cause.
The book mentioned that an incident of cannibalism had occurred in the past. It did not dwell on it.
And it's not wholly a book about the fighting, it's a book about the lengths that those in authority will go to to control a population and (ultimately) about the resisting of that authority.
Read the book if you want to cite it, don't rely on second hand reports from the internet.
"And it's not wholly a book about the fighting, it's a book about the lengths that those in authority will go to to control a population and (ultimately) about the resisting of that authority."
It still involves teens having to kill each other. I stand by my original statement.
Could you please explain to me how it is "snooping" to read something that someone tweet's ?
What goes around comes around - if you don't want anyone and everyone reading your "witticisms" then don't post them via a medium that exists to broadcast to anyone and everyone.
Yes, the punishment was harsh, but the discovery that lead to the punishment was no invasion of privacy or violation of any rights. Sheesh.
Oh yeah I love these fucking people, they've never made one single, regrettable mistake in their lives have they! This was some smartarse kid who simply needs slapping down, so now his life in a of mess that will take weeks to iron out instead of simply calling him and his parents into the school office and having a word with them all. Suspension for a week, embarrassed parents, kid gets home, gets another mouthful of mum and dad, no allowance/pocket money for week as well, job done. We all move on like proper grown ups and with any luck kid learns valuable lesson not to be such an arse next time.
What really gets my goat is that these are kids, kids make mistakes. When you're young you make a fuck-up, you get slapped and you learn. It's how I learned the most from my most stupid mistakes when I was growing up. I was lucky enough to grow up in a time when adults knew this, knew kids were dopey sods who would make mistakes and be allowed to learn from them. These days we seem to demand that the second a child is ripped from the womb that they must be treated as an adult. How about these tosspots in charge of our kids realise that it's not until you hit your mid 20's that you start get some common sense and starting thinking properly?!
"Oh no, we can't have that! Kids cannot be allowed to make mistakes and learn! THEY MUST LEARN OUR RULES AND ABIDE BY THEM! NO SECOND CHANCES! GET IT RIGHT FIRST TIME OR ELSE!!"
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The student is in the real world, they were expelled from a school in an actual country that exists on a planet that also exists.
Oh I get it, you were pointing out that the bag of shit place you work for would punish you in the same moronic sense as an out of touch authority on another continent. Well played, serious kudos.
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Consider this: Indiana is the must industrial of the 50 US states; it has the highest percentage of the workforce in manufacturing. However, the strongest union BY FAR is the teacher/education union. You can't win an election and even question things they're doing. The lobby is that powerful.
Which means they can do things like this.
Now, if he wrote this on a school computer, then a three day suspension seems fair if a touch harsh. But kicking him out for this? One of the foulest mouths I ever heard was from a principal on a community golf course; she swore long, loud, and colorfully enough to be a Baptist preacher. (I've played golf with my cousin who's a Baptist preacher, so I know whereof I speak.)
I've been to your home state several times & extend my sincerest condolences for the unfortunate location of your current manifestation.
Giant billboards on the highway by some huge RV outfit that sold trailers to FEMA for Hurricane Katrina victims - dilapidated trailers that were hazards. What patriots!
Easter egg hunts at the Tippecanoe battlefield & 'Trail of Death' marker - not a monument it's a plaque on a stone - commemorating the oriiginal inhabitants being force marched to Oklahoma to rid 'Indian-a' of same. What fun!
Oh I've been there.
McCormick Creek State Park in Indiana, yes, I will grant that is very enjoyable & wouldn't mind returning. Somehow out in the woods you can forget you're in Indiana.
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by George Carlin - The History And Many Uses Of The Word Fuck - which has lone been a favourire of mine.
Perhaps one of the most interesting words
in the English language today, is the word FUCK.
Out of all of the English words which begin with the letter F, FUCK is the only word referred to as the "F" word, it's the one magical word.
FUCK as most words in the english language,
is derived from German,
the word "fricken[?]", which means to strike.
In English, FUCK falls into many grammatical categories.
As a transitive verb, for instance.
John FUCK-ed Shirley.
As an intransitive verb, Shirley FUCKS.
It's meaning's not always sexual;
it can be used as an adjective, such as
John's doing all the FUCK-ing work.
As part of an adverb,
Shirley talks too FUCK-ing much.
As an adverb enhancing an adjective,
Shirley is FUCK-ing beautiful.
As a noun, I don't give a FUCK.
As part of a word abso-FUCKING-lutely,
And, as almost every word in the sentence,
FUCK the FUCK-ing FUCK-ers.
As you must realize,
there aren't too many words
with the versatility of FUCK.
As in these examples describing situations
such as fraud,
I got FUCK-ed at the used car lot.
Dismay, Aw FUCK it.
Trouble, I guess I'm really FUCK-ed now.
Agression, Don't FUCK with me buddy.
Difficulty, I don't understand this FUCK-ing 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!
Cant help feeling there is a message in there for those who decided the punishment.
When will people start to realise that we're rapidly entering a post-privacy age? The more populations become wired into the internet the more others (the public, the authorities, businesses, etc.) will be able to know everything about them. I think it will take time for people to realise they shouldn't be so revealing through what they type. Unfortunately the internet is too good an opportunity for the government & businesses too miss. I'm not saying it's a good thing, but it's a reality that can't be rolled back.
When I was in school, I could carry a knife and aspirin, and my life outside school was my own.
My feelings on these over-zealous school folk can best be summed up with a line from Brunching Shuttlecocks:
"... Or, as almost every word in a sentence:
FUCK THE FUCKING FUCKERS!
How the hell did the school know it was his account anyway?
Jesus if my school had known the stuff I used to write when I was his age they'd have went ballistic, but they would have found it incredibly difficult to prove any account was tied to me. People do need to remember that in any school or workplace machine that you log onto, all subsequent actions are potentially recorded and known to be you.
not that it excuses the insane behaviour of the school, but why not just post from his mobile? don't all the kids have huge smart phones nowadays? it seemed to be going that way when I left.
Had a website and a few other people knew about it. Teacher caught someone looking and looked themselves. I'd called a couple of teachers dickheads and other things.
They weren't impressed! But, I wasn't expelled. Nah, they sat me in isolation with one of the teachers, and made me write a letter of apology! The other one as much as threatened to kick my head in (and then a few days later asked if I'd thought about web design for a career!).
Those were the days, the punishment more or less worked for me and what I did was probably far worse than tweeting the word Fuck!
I thought the education system had hit the pan, but fuck me it's not dying gracefully is it?
Back in the dark ages -- late '80s I think -- a buddy of mine touring a plant under construction spotted an instrument mechanic tearing apart a monitoring device. Since my buddy's team was doing the data communication and processing that would be slurping the gadget's output he went over and asked "what's wrong?"
And received the answer "This fucking fucker's fucked."
Beautiful! a sentence that hit the gong in three out of four words and transmitted exactly zero information since the very fact he was disassembling it suggested it might be broken.
When will they realise that they shouldn't be trying to turn children in to perfect models of virtue at any cost? If they want to stop pupils using the f word do they want to stop them wanking too? I bet they don't ever mention that in lessons. It's a pointless and unnecessary exercise because kids just aren't ever going to be perfectly virtuous (except maybe the boring ones). They'll learn what's appropriate anyway, so it's a waste of everyone's time to over react like this.
They're supposed to be teaching them useful stuff that really matters and is harder to acquire like maths, engineering, science, etc. This lot seem to be teaching their kids that their teachers are a bunch of stuck up puritanical wankers who talk bollocks and can't prioritise effectively.
And isn't it properly weird that the school is snooping on the kids in the first place? Anyone else doing that would get arrested. Children need privacy as much as anyone else. They also need adults to not over react when their private life is necessarily opened up to adult scrutiny, otherwise they'll be disinclined to ask for advice and help. And that really is not good at all.
Most, but not all, some of us are descendants of German emigrants that came there to escape fascism. If Santorum becomes president, where can we go to escape his flavor of fascism, back to Germany? When will the vicious cycle stop?
On the subject, doesn't Twitter time-stamp tweets? Also what lesson are they teaching him, by permanently expelling him from school? It seems my country is full of morons as of late.
Seriously... they didn't make up a majority of the original wave that came here and subsequent groups wouldn't have fallen into that category. On the other hand, there are those of us that wish they'd stayed put so the present day nutters wouldn't have even the smallest excuse to distort history (i.e. founded on chrisitanity) any more than they currently do.
> "If my account is on my own personal account, I don't think the school or anybody should be looking at it. Because it's my own personal stuff and it's none of their business," Carroll told Indiana News Center.
Perhaps edtted down from:
"If my fucking account is on my own fucking personal account, I don't fucking think the fucking school or fucking anybody should fucking be fucking looking at it. Because it's fucking my own fucking personal fucking stuff and it's none of their fucking business, fuckers!"
And if not, then an opportunity missed.
A couple of other articles on this incident mention that Austin says he sent the tweat at 2:30 AM. If true (which is easy enough check) that would mean there is no way he could have sent it form school as they claim.
Oh well, it's not like getting kicked out of school is much of a punishment. But considering it's supposed to be a serious punishment, you'd they would play along and save it for serious situations, just to keep up appearances.
"Schools in the US have deiced that they have the right to discipline you kinds"
Remember back when reading, writing and maths were grade school subjects? It's a crying shame that the religious right have had such a large input into US public school systems over the last thirty or so years.
And, Sir, had you paid attention in school, you would recognize "kind" as the German root of "Kindergarten" and the etymological ancestor of "kid".
It's a safe bet the Mr. Preacher's first language is German, or a closely related tongue, and he made a linguistic slip on the keyboard.
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We made nitrogen triiodide and TNB (big brother of TNT) in the Upper Sixth chemistry lab. It wasn't authorized; we were supposedly using the Lab to do homework. Our Chemistry teacher figured it out after we blasted a limb off a tree behind the sixth form common room and eyeballed what chemicals we had out of the unlockable cabinets ... Made a hell of a bang! :-)
We were given a "talking to" by the Chem teacher & the Sixth Form Headmaster. That was it. Our parents weren't even notified. Nor was the school's actual Headmaster.
Now you get kicked out of school for saying "fuck you you fucking fuck" online, from your home computer? The nanny-state is getting worse ...
Ah, I remember that! Our chemistry teacher just seemed amused that we'd learned something. He made us clear up the spill (oops!) and then told us that when he was at school they'd spread it, wet, under the centre part of the lino in the library. By the next day it was dry, class filed in around the untouched edge, and were obediently seated when trhe teacher walked in. An explosion at every footstep :)
I suppose if we'd blown someone's fingers off we'd have been in a bit of trouble...
Nitrogen Triiodide: yet another one to get caught doing that between 6th form chem sessions. The teacher came back early, gave me an earful for not telling him and then proceeded to wash the precipitate. Down the sink? No, just geting rid of the excess ammonia.
At the end of the next session he lost his shirt cuff getting careless with the largest chunk.
Sadly he left that year, his replacement was a dour Scot of the belief that we had been taught "too much practical and not enough theory."
I imagine if I'd done that in recent times I'd have been plasticuffed and hauled off to the nearest cell with the papers printing garbage about a 'terrorist' found at a school.
stood by a crowd of teenaged school children and listened to their exchanges. Enough to make a docker blush.
It also highlights how far things have changed for it wasn't that long ago that the BBC excised the word 'bloody' from Flanders and Swann's rendition of their "It's Bloody January again" sung in their 'The Drop of a Hat' album.
The BBC even banned the song "Foggy Dew" from the airwaves as it contained the phrase: "Oh, I am a bachelor and I live with my son, and we work at the weaver's trade" which disclosed that the son was a bastard! (See: < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foggy_Dew >) The late Burl Ives was once imprisoned in Mona, Utah, for singing it in public, when authorities deemed it a bawdy song!
How times have changed!
How would those prudes have coped in the UK a few years ago when all our High Streets had FCUK shops, and people wore FCUK T-shirts?
(when our shop closed down and got boarded up, I really wanted to spray "FCUKed" on it!)
This said it best -
expelled? you think thats bad?
Funny how this story arrived the same day as that total ass-clown who bad-mouthed the Bolton football player who collapsed - He's in Jail !
ok, what he said was worse but he did just say it.
This kind of harsh sentencing would be better if it worked, or was applied evenly - the chavs who run round the estate hassling pensioners and breaking into cars are lucky to get an asbo
I suspect that he may also be a victim of the adoption of "zero tolerance" polices by schools in the US. I lived in the US for a few years 10-15 years ago and I remember every few months there'd be an article in the news about some previously outstanding student who'd had their education destroyed by an immediate expulsion because they'd inadvertently brought a knife onto school property (One example I remember was one where mother had borrowed son's backpack for weekend picnic and left a knife in it, son found it in class, realized he shouldn't have it so immediately informed staff and as a result found he had an automatic expulsion. Another case was senior student who'd used his pickup truck to move a relative into a new house then gone to school in pickup truck next day only to be summoned to head's office to be expelled as school security officer and spotted a knife that had fallen out of a moving box in the back of the truck).
Then, taking a step back, the reason for "zero tolerance" is that with a policy that required no judgment of context etc but simply detects an infringement and enforces an automatic penalty then there is much less recourse to legal arguments that they are only been punished on basis of race/colour/gender/etc/etc which seemed also to be a common story.
Firstly, schools have always expelled students for things they do out of school if they find out, and if they think it reflects badly on the school.
Secondly, swearing is obviously a small thing, but publishing it to the world is different. If the student had made flyers with this and posted them all over the school/town, it would not be newsworthy.
The issue is people claim Twitter is their personal 'voice', yet it it is visible to the entire planet. Nobody can decide what traditional way of being a dick that corresponds to.
However I do not like the idea of automated twitter surveillance and for the record, it seems unworthy of more than a suspension at the most. Unless of course he's on probation for being a prat in the past, which would conveniently not get reported.
The young lad should be applauded for his demonstration on the creative use of language. To expel him is beyond insane.
I remember an English lesson at school when I was about 15, where the teacher impressed upon us the flexibility of the word 'fuck' by reminiscing of the time he overheard a frustrated motorist, whilst kicking a flat tyre, shout "the fucking fucker's fucking fucked"
How many words can you say that about?
Coming from a country where it's legal for schools to spy on their pupils getting undressed via a webcam.
Why has the US decided that schools own their pupils? Is it a cultural thing, or are good schools so hard to get into that parents will give up their children's rights wholesale to get into them?
Considering that they are mostly public schools, and that (depending on the state) you are assigned the school based on where you live, it's not a matter of choice which school you go to. There are few options other than your regional school. A lot of parents will research the school districts before moving, and a redistricting can greatly effect property values.
In short: Parent's are not giving up their kids rights (such as they are) for a good school, but rather when the school extends its authority, they have nowhere else to go. ..Unless they can afford ~$10K per year for private school. ($10,000/year is what the one down the way from me charges).
"If my account is on my own personal account, I don't think the school or anybody should be looking at it. Because it's my own personal stuff and it's none of their business,"
No one else wonder about this? Why did he tweet it if he didn't want anyone looking at it? Surely the point of exercise is to get people to look at it...
On another note, any information on how many kids get expelled from this school for swearing in the corridors/playground etc?
If the tweet was sent from a school computer, they were right to punish him but expulsion is a grossly disproportionate response.
If it was not sent from a school computer, it is none of their bloody business.
Either way, calling in the Police because some students were offended by his use of the word fuck, absolutely wrong and the Police should've told them where to go rather than get involved.
Freedom of what?
Mine's the one with "fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck" embroidered on the back.
I hate to be a wet blanket, but only one person has suggested the possibility that the act in question is the last in a long line of acts which was the final straw.
I know, it's America, it's the Internet, it's monitoring pupils, it's spying (although how looking at something which is published for everyone to see is spying, I don't know), but maybe there is a little more to it? People here seem to suspect that authority or "The Man" is always in the wrong, there is very little, benefit of the doubt, or investigation in to what actually happened.
I am greatly interested to learn what The Register considers to be witty. The hacks must have chronically sore ribs from laughing.
Probably the nearest to anything said on the matter of strong language is Robert Graves's essay "Lars Porsena, or the Future of Swearing". Most of us use it, but as Sturgeon's law predicts, most of us use it badly.
Having said that, I agree that the punishment is ridiculous. I went to a private high school where one occasionally heard the teachers--not always, but generally coaches--say things that would get El Reg hauled up before the press council.
"Easter egg hunts at the Tippecanoe battlefield & 'Trail of Death' marker - not a monument it's a plaque on a stone - commemorating the oriiginal inhabitants being force marched to Oklahoma to rid 'Indian-a' of same. What fun!"
The tribes marched off to Oklahoma came from the south--Georgia and Alabama largely, as I recall. If one can believe (for example) Robert Southey, Tippecanoe is not the first battlefield where later generations played.
I think its fair to say that he probably broke the schools IT acceptable use policy. But expulsion, for this seems harsh.
That said, if the schools IT acceptable use policy clearly states the consequences, he will have known what could happen for breaking it.
As for any foul play or talk of violating his human or constitutional right to privacy or free speech, I don't think so. Its standard practice for companies to monitor employees activities on their systems, why should an educational establishment be any different? His comment was posted on a publicly accessible site, the School broke no laws or even moral ground in monitoring it!
--posted from my employers IT systems ;-)
This is an excellent example of a First Amendment violation. No laws were broken and the school had no jurisdiction in the matter. The punishment was punitive and far beyond what would have been called for if the tweet had originated at the school, during school hours or at a school function. There was no disruption during school hours. Even if it had occurred at school, the student still doesn't lose their rights because someone disagrees with what was said. The comments by SCOTUS for Murray v. Curlett will give you an idea of how student rights are seen (it may be about prayer, but there is a bit about a student's right to pray even if the govt. can't lead them itself... speech is an extension of this).
There is no way that the school can show that this student's tweets violated free speech and disrupted the school. His comments were not targetting anyone, so what is left for the school to expell him for... typing swear words at home and then viewing them at school???.
Not so much "obscene" as "patently offensive". It's a grey area because it's a matter of conflicting rights. What one person may consider passe (consider a six-letter word beginning with the letter N), another would consider mortally offensive because it has a bad history for the person. There's also the matter of the "FIRE! in a crowded theater" scenario: speech intentionally meant to spark rage or panic. Then there's the matter of context. If the speech was generalized and more in the nature of "The USA SUCKS &%(&^!", it would probably be let go as a protest (and protected), but if it went more like "%(&^)( BOMB THE %*(&%)# CAPITOL!" then you're inciting riot, and you're in trouble.
I live in the United States and my freedom of speech seems to be under attack everyday. The kid tweeted off school grounds and therefore the school should have had nothing to say about this other than a phone call to the parents informing them that the tweet had been flagged and a copy sent to them by email. This is a gross error on the part of the school and the PARENTS are at fault for allowing that kind of language to get to public screens-no matter how funny it was. I am of the mind that profanity is forbidden even in public and is used when emotionally charged situations are a byproduct (or as the byproduct of such). In short the school spied on the kid without warrant and the parents failed to set a good example of EDUCATED speech in relation to manners in a public forum. However, the kid should go to college and take journalism classes because we need more clever people to get the news to us in a way that is untainted and shockingly blunt. Way to go kid- you have perhaps found your career by accident.