T Nation

Schools Punishing Kids



As a parent (and teacher), this would push me over the edge. I'd beat my kids down for being stupid and cruel, but I don't think I could let the school punish my kid for something he did at home...


This is similar to the issue where kids were punished by schools for talking about drinking on their own time, though they were underaged.

I just don't think the school is set up to play the role of the police either. The school should deal with at school behavior -- they are not the ward of the students 24x7.


What a bunch of crap.

Our school systems are so fucked up.

They constantly overstep their bounds.


i know I just spoke at length about the Harper case and Tinker, but the fact that the administrators cite Tinker here seems much more wanton.


I think the schools are totally out of line punishing students for what they say on my space.

But...what about the kids planning a Columbine-like attack that were thwarted because of what they posted on my space? It wasn't the school that stepped in, but Law enforcement.

Or what about using My Space when doing background checks on prosective employees, or scholarship candidates? Is that an invasion of privacy, or infringement on one's right to free speech?

I say if the school district is controlling free speech by punishing what is said on My Space - that is wrong.

Schools need to teach kids how to read, write and count. Anything more is a waste of my tax dollars.


That involved criminal activity, not mean words that could make a fat chick cry.

It's not an invasion of privacy if they candidates placed it on the web. It's just being prudent.

How far do the schools think they can extend this. Putting the two incidents we've discussed recently, it seems like the schools could punish students for voicing opposition to homosexuals in Church on Sunday.


My vote, if it's a legal matter and the school wants to get involved, give it to the proper authorities... otherwise known as the police.

Otherwise, it's just life. I mean, kids get in fights and say mean things to each other all the time, since when has this had anything to do with school?

What a crock of shit.


I wonder if the article tells the whole picture .It may be a technical issue, the students use the name of the school in there profile. And possibly if they were to misspell the name of the school then the school would have no jurisdiction over the students.


Why in the world would using the name of the school in their profile give the school any right to punish them? Unless you are saying they made it look like it was officially endorsed by the school.


I am no legal expert but the school could claim their name as a domain. For example if you used the name of Testosterone Nation in a derogatory sense, TC may have some legal recourse.


This seriously pisses me off.


The principle at my school just suspended a student for holding a beer in a picture that was on his myspace. He also has his own myspace and I heard he has been tricking kids into being his "friend" on his myspace.


These kinds of people need to get a life.


facebook is based on networks, geographic and school. So for those of us in college, we had to join w/ our school email address and we would get put into our school network. Then you set your geographic location, and decide who can see your profile.

Not sure how high school works in facebook, I assume you have to select it from a list of some sort since high school's don't provide each student an email address.


Administrators and teachers in the schools are likely the same people that got fucked with when THEY were in school, and thus trying to "protect" the larger body of students. Maybe it's a matter of todays parents not exactly "parenting" as much as feeding the kids. It would seem that the schools are more influential now that home life, and we now have kids being raised more by other people, not the parents. Large groups of parents are going to need to go to the school administrators and tell them to back the fuck off. Being mean and cruel is just a part of every school. There is always some ass clown taking joy in your suffering and misery. Kids will always do mischief and fuck with each other. It's life.


This is just wrong for public school. I can understand and agree with my prep school for enforcing rules about it, even though I may not like them.

Public school isn't allowed to deny your constitutional rights.


minors don't really have rights, dude, hate to break it to ya - I struggled with it for YEARS until I turned 18, gave everyone the finger, and dissapeared into the woods for a few weeks.


Another case, from http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/internet23.html

A 17-year-old student who posted on his blog site that he was being bullied and threatened by the Plainfield School District will face an expulsion hearing this week, a local attorney said.

Superintendent John Harper, who cannot comment on student cases, said the district will take action if it believes there is a safety issue. Meanwhile a spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union said school districts must be careful not to discipline students on matters that occur outside school. The student's attorney believes Plainfield School District is overstepping its boundaries.

"The district is going to take away the student's education for exercising his freedom of speech," said attorney Carl Buck. "I feel like they are trying to control his freedom of speech. ... He is saying, 'You can't bully people and we have a right to object and you can't throw people out of school for voicing their opinions.'"

On May 1, the student posted a letter to Plainfield School District on www.xanga.com , telling off the district, using vulgar words and saying he could put whatever he wanted on his site.

On a second post on May 2, without mentioning the school the student wrote: "I feel threatened by you, I cant even have a public Web page with out you bullying me and telling me what has to be removed. Where is this freedom of speech that this government is sworn to uphold? ... Did you ever stop to think this will start a community backlash? The kids at Columbine did what the did because they were bullied. ... In my opinion you are the real threat here. None of us ever put in our xanga's that they were going to kill or bring harm to any one. We voiced our opinions. You are the real threat here. you are depriving us of our right to learn. now stick that in your pipe and smoke it."

Sites like www.myspace.com and www.xanga.com are blocked from most school district computers. These sites are controversial because students often post too much information -- everything from addresses and phone numbers to provocative photos -- making them vulnerable to sexual predators.

"Our beef is it wasn't a threat. It wasn't at school," Buck said. "He doesn't name any individuals. What he is commenting on is their disciplinary action on the Freedom of Speech."

The student's mother said the district suspended her son for 10 days for inappropriate comments and vague threats. She thinks the school is overreacting. "I asked, 'If this is such a serious threat, did you call the FBI?' They said, 'No, we don't have time for this.' I asked, 'Did you call the Joliet police?' and they said, 'no.'"

In most cases, posting strong feelings and opinions on the Internet is not a crime, said Fred Hayes, deputy chief for Joliet Police Department. "Now, they can post it on a Web site. We are not seeing an explosion of new feelings or expressions from students. What you are seeing is the availability of technology to share that with quite a few people," Hayes said.

"It is not a crime to write things on the Internet ? though we find them offensive, troubling and disheartening, it is not a crime," Hayes said.

Still, it's a very fine line. "If a student wrote, 'I'm so frustrated I wish the school would blow up' ? that would not be a crime," Hayes explained. However, "if a student were to post on a Web site ... at 2 p.m. a bomb will go off in a school -- that would probably cross a line to a crime."


I agree. The schools are not teaching kids morals, they aren't being babysitters, and they sure as shit aren't cops.

Of course, they'll whine about being babysitters and how parents aren't involved and blah blah blah...

Someone needs to sue the shit out of them to keep them out of the home...that seems to be the only thing schools will listen to nowadays