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Canada Censorship Education Media Youtube Your Rights Online

Student Suspended For Posting On YouTube 375

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-bring-none-of-that-innernet-'round-these-parts dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A Canadian student has been suspended from school and had the police called on him due to satirical animations that he posted to YouTube. Jack Christie, a 12th-grade student at the Donald A. Wilson Secondary School in Whitby, Ontario, Canada, created the videos in his own time, off-campus."
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Student Suspended For Posting On YouTube

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  • by tsa (15680)

    While I agree with Jack Christie that it's ridiculous that he is suspended for posting some videos on YouTube, I don't like the video featured in the article at all. Juvenile nonsense. Grow up Jack.

    • Re:Not funny (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 05, 2011 @05:36AM (#36341182)

      Considering he's not 18 yet, he isn't out of place if he's acting as juvenile.. as he is by definition of his age.

      You're getting your panties in a twist in the same way as the board is.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by toetagger (642315)
      In your opinion, what is an 18 year old supposed to be doing, other than growing up? I think he's learning something very valuable right now - for example: It pays standing up for your own rights against authority - something most other grown ups have never dared to try themselves.
      • No, he learning a much more valuable lesson: If authority wants to screw you, bend over and drop your pants. If you fight back, they'll just make it all the harder on you - and even if you win, you lose.
      • by tsa (15680)

        That's right, but he should make better videos ;)

    • by Spritzer (950539) *
      While I have to agree that the video was garbage, I can't seem to figure out why they're so offended by a penguin hanging out with Jesus. Or was it the language? Yeah that's it....or no. OH JESUS!!! It's that the fucking phone kills bears. Somebody stop this kid!! Don't let him anywhere near a supposed institute of learning! Fur is murder and the Fehely 6900 is the fucking devil Bobby.
      • Honestly, while I've visited Canada I've never lived there. However, being from the uptight US midwest, I have to say the part that would have bothered most schools where I'm from more than anything is the offer of cocaine to school children near the end of the video.

        BTW, while everyone is comparing it to South Park, the time-setting exposition in the titles seems much more inspired by the opening sequence of Aqua Teen Hunger Force the Movie to me, with equally confusing opening titles.

    • Re:Not funny (Score:4, Interesting)

      by LWATCDR (28044) on Sunday June 05, 2011 @07:17AM (#36341570) Homepage Journal

      Actually I would say it is offensive mindless crap. But then so is much of what is on YouTube and frankly Slashdot. Sorry but the people that did this should be dismissed. I don't know how they thought that they could get away with punishing a student for putting this on YouTube. If the goal was for people to not see it they failed completely. The student is now a hero and more people will now see this crap than ever. If was to protect the school that was also a failure. But then I still don't know how that school district got away with spying on those kids with their laptops! No jail time and no mass dismissal in that case so I guess anything is possible. I hope Canadians all over the country protest this action. Too bad that they will be fighting for crap like this video but in this case it really is the principle that matters and not the actual content.

      • by Jesus_666 (702802) on Sunday June 05, 2011 @07:23AM (#36341588)
        Who needs Transformers when you have a school that can turn into Barbara Streisand?
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          schools, like governments, big business and other bad guys, only understand one thing. POWER AND FORCE.

          they are thugs and they only understand thug language. hit them with a painful lawsuit and they'll 'learn'.

          thugs won't learn any other way; their way is that of the street or violence (physical or economic). so throw some econ hardship their way. perhaps they'll think twice next time.

          the same goes for suing your local police when they step out of line. a nice heavy lawsuit can change a lot of things (

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        "Funny" is in the mind of the beholder and is completely subjective. Lots of folks think Monty Python is mindless garbage, I think it's hilarious. But whether or not one thinks it's funny or garbage is completely beside the point. The point is, this kid was denied his rights, and that's just plain wrong.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        Sorry but the people that did this should be dismissed

        Dismissed? They should be jailed for abuse of power, harassment, etc.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      I'm 59 and it got a couple of chuckles out of me. We'll get off your lawn, sir. How are those new knees holding out?

      • by scdeimos (632778)
        I got a couple of chuckles, too, but I must be guarding my lawn too closely because I felt most it was utter crap. Invade Sweden because it has 69% of the worlds' untapped ass? Funny. Kill all black people? Not so much.
    • I don't like the video either. I think it blows. But - hey - I think a lot of things are equally stupid, juvenile, and generally lacking in taste. Want some examples? Well, you could start with a google of "rap", or almost any celebrity's name, or "blockbuster", or "action movie". Jack Christie's little video is mildly offensive to my sensibilities, but I can find more offensive material at any theater for which people pay good money.

      The school is most definitely overstepping what limited authority i

    • does whether or not you like it have anything to do with the story, his rights, or what the school board did?

      I guess I just don't understand what contribution your opinion concerning the quality of the video has for this discussion. I doubt anyone here was dying to know what the might tsa thought about the video. And as you so adroitly pointed out, how good or bad the video is has no bearing on his right to post it.

      I am actually being serious here. There really is no need for you to comment on it. There

    • Or maybe certain people just have a different sense of humor than you. It is, after all, opinionated.

  • Happens every time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rijnzael (1294596) on Sunday June 05, 2011 @05:38AM (#36341192)
    Schools in North America at least--if not everywhere in the West--seem to think that their disciplinary powers extend to any actions committed by students anywhere during their years of attendance.

    In my opinion, the only time a school should have the ability to initiate disciplinary action for an act committed off school premises should be after trial and conviction of a crime. Free speech protections often don't apply in schools (don't get me started on that), but a school has absolutely no right to restrict a student's speech off school grounds, and this would be aptly enforced by requiring disciplinary sanctions for off ground behavior be the result of a conviction in a court of law. This school would get laughed at if they even mentioned prosecution of this student for this behavior to a DA, so there's no reason they should be allowed to do this.
    • by Haedrian (1676506)

      Schools in North America at least--if not everywhere in the West--seem to think that their disciplinary powers extend to any actions committed by students anywhere during their years of attendance. .

      I remember seeing this young person tossing stones near a car, and this old guy came and shouted with him, demanded to know what school he attended and went off to complain to the headmaster.

      I think its the idea that since you're spending most of your day at school, they're in charge of making you a 'good person' and not just imparting knowledge. At lower levels anyway.

      • And that headmaster should have shown the man the door and tell him to ask for the youngster's parents' names next time, since it's neither his responsibility nor his prerogative to dictate what he can or cannot do outside the school area.

        A school has no business imparting "values". That's what parents are here for.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sl4shd0rk (755837)

      Schools in North America at least--if not everywhere in the West

      Dude. Canada. RTFA.

      Besides, if TFA were about a US school, the kid would be from Texas and the video about Charles Darwin.

    • by houghi (78078)

      Schools in North America at least--if not everywhere in the West--seem to think that their disciplinary powers extend to any actions committed by students anywhere during their years of attendance.

      My school did not allow me to smoke within 5KM of the school. I told them that I lived within 5KM of the school AND I was allowed to smoke by my parents. (I can't forfit something I do myself. Just understand that it will kill you)

    • by WCMI92 (592436)

      I am so glad I was born in the 70's and graduated in the early 90's. There is no way I could have made it through the fascist regime that is modern government education.

  • by Mabbo (1337229) on Sunday June 05, 2011 @05:41AM (#36341208)
    "Gavin Russell, prime minister of the student government, gathered scores of signatures on a petition supporting Mr. Christie before two staff members warned him that, if he continued, he could also face punishment."

    I am ashamed of my country when I can read that, and it isn't followed by "The staff members were promptly fired". Believe it or not, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms applies even to high school kids, and no, your petty little school rules do not trump those Rights.

    • by toetagger (642315)

      A spokeswoman for the Durham District School Board ... obliquely explained the school’s actions: “If something is considered detrimental to the positive moral tone of the school, it doesn’t necessarily have to happen inside the school [for us to get involved],” said Andrea Pidwerbecki.

      Looks like at least one more person to add to the list of people who should be fired!

    • by Pharmboy (216950) on Sunday June 05, 2011 @07:14AM (#36341554) Journal

      In this instance, the "kid" is 18. He is an adult in the eyes of the law. That is what makes this extra messed up. They can't even use the "he has limited rights because he is a minor" argument.

      He is old enough to sign contracts, join the military, and vote. Just not old enough to express himself, apparently.

      • by Mashiki (184564)

        Unless I'm remembering my YCJA incorrectly at 18 he's still a kid in the eye of the law until he turns 19. In Canada 12-18 you're considered a child under the law. At 12 the mens rea fairy hits you in the head and you get the magic ability to tell right from wrong. At 19 you graduate from kiddie sentences to adult ones.

        Sure at 18 he can sign contracts, join the military and vote. But the law doesn't follow that. Actually in Canada you can join the military at 14 with parental permission, and sign contr

    • by bwcbwc (601780)

      Seems like some of those school administrators spent their winter holidays in Florida and got infected. I thought we had cornered the market on this kind of stupidity.
      1) We're talking about high school students here, not elementary or middle school. Even more-so, the student is 18, and is therefore not a minor under the law. Seems like the teachers at this school are doing their job encouraging critical thinking, but the administrators have a completely reversed agenda.
      2) We're talking about (sometimes crud

  • Right... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Haedrian (1676506) on Sunday June 05, 2011 @05:42AM (#36341214)

    The summery says: "Created the videos in his own time, off-campus."

    The video says: "This was done up back in November of 2010, for an economics course project."

    So I don't think its as independent from school as this summary wants to make you believe.

    • by oji-sama (1151023)
      How exactly does that matter?
      • by Haedrian (1676506)

        I dunno, if you presented something like that as part of your project, then your school has a right to 'butt in' of sorts.

        I don't think that the headmaster was just browsing youtube, found this channel and decided to pick on someone.

        • by janimal (172428)

          This could even be done for school purposes.. I don't remember there being some sort of copyright agreement between me and my high school that gave the school special rights to my essays. What difference does it make if it's done as homework?

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          If it was homework, the school has a right to give it a low score and nothing else. And someone earlier mentioned "moral tone". The schools shouldn't be trying to teach morality, that's up to the parents. Some people think drinking is immoral, some people think there's nothing wrong with adultery. The school has no right shove its morals down your kids' throats -- that's YOUR job.

    • I don't know if you realize , but FOR a campus project, you can fully work OFF campus. this is done all the time when a teacher give you stuff to work at home, home exercise, projects, documents etc... It does not matter if it started by havign a etacher giving a püroject at school, if the WORK is done off campus 100% then the school has no right to say anything about the subsequent publication.
    • Re:Right... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Maestro4k (707634) on Sunday June 05, 2011 @06:54AM (#36341492) Journal

      The summery says: "Created the videos in his own time, off-campus."

      The video says: "This was done up back in November of 2010, for an economics course project."

      So I don't think its as independent from school as this summary wants to make you believe.

      That doesn't mean the school owns them however, so they have no right to threaten him with calling the police over the videos if he didn't take them down, which the same article tells you they did (emphasis added):

      He said his teachers had no problem with the content – one even lent his voice to an animation – and he didn’t get in trouble until he uploaded the videos to YouTube. He was swiftly given a one-day suspension. A few days later, his principal laid out an ultimatum: Take the videos down or the police would be called. He refused to budge.

      And since they didn't have an issue with them when he did them for the class project (and a teacher even participated in them), they're going to have serious trouble trying to get anyone to believe they only felt like they were a threat to the school's moral values after they were put on YouTube. If they were truly a threat they should have done something when he made them for the class project.

      So that has no bearing on the case. All the signs are that something in one (or more) of the videos made fun of the school principal and he's got a burr up his ass over it and is punishing the kid for refusing to bow to his perceived authority. (And given all the circumstances, I seriously doubt the school's going to win here. Their not doing anything when he presented them for the class project is going to damage any case they might have had irreparably. The fact that a teacher participated actively in one video will destroy any remaining chance they might have had.)

      • by wrook (134116)

        The summery says: "Created the videos in his own time, off-campus."

        The video says: "This was done up back in November of 2010, for an economics course project."

        So I don't think its as independent from school as this summary wants to make you believe.

        That doesn't mean the school owns them however, so they have no right to threaten him with calling the police over the videos if he didn't take them down, which the same article tells you they did

        It's not just the summary that's inconsistent, but the article as well. What this points to for me is that the article is garbage with respect to actually getting facts on the issue. Nothing about this makes any sense. I watched the video linked in TFA. Personally, I don't see why a school would demand that it get taken down. I didn't see any mention of the school (but it's possible I missed it). But, some schools are staffed by jerks. It's possible they went overboard.

        The really weird thing is that

    • So the worst they could legally do is give him and F for it. At least if the video does not match the specs given, else he should be able to appeal it.

      Unless something seriously changed since I went to school, you can't really get kicked out for doing your homework.

  • I still can't wrap my mind around the concept of "suspension" as a punishment for someone attending a public school. First and foremost, wouldn't truant student be "suspending" himself? Second, if a student missed any essential classes because he is suspended, wouldn't it make all subsequent classes pointless because student won't be able to understand them (or, worse, misleading because student will misunderstand them)?

    • by Haedrian (1676506) on Sunday June 05, 2011 @06:08AM (#36341330)

      Second, if a student missed any essential classes because he is suspended, wouldn't it make all subsequent classes pointless because student won't be able to understand them (or, worse, misleading because student will misunderstand them)?

      Right, so in order to combat this, a student has to either:

      a) Work extra hard in his free time to study the topic enough to understand them
      b) Fail miserably and have to resit/restudy or waste a year.

      Both of which are punishments.

      Its also rather symbolic. Kinda like being "Suspended from work with pay". Its meant to warn you that you might end up permanently like that.

    • Though used as a punishment, it doesn't really feel like one for the student who gets time to sit at home and play computer games. It's used as a way to get rid of unruly students who disrupt the teaching or pose a risk of violence to others, and as a way to make sure the parent knows very well just how much trouble that pupil is in.
      • by Maestro4k (707634)

        Though used as a punishment, it doesn't really feel like one for the student who gets time to sit at home and play computer games. It's used as a way to get rid of unruly students who disrupt the teaching or pose a risk of violence to others, and as a way to make sure the parent knows very well just how much trouble that pupil is in.

        Some schools nowadays use in-school suspension. The student is sent to a different facility and has to spend the day studying. No gaming, no reading books for fun, it's actual punishment.

        • by Velex (120469)

          Undoing some mods to reply, but c'est la vie.

          I thought being forced to go somewhere and spend time around people who were routinely abusive towards me was punishment.

          Seriously. I'm almost 30. Some scars never heal, I guess. At least I didn't go through with killing myself.

          I've been in and out of talk therapy since I got away from that torture, but talk therapy isn't worth a damn.

          Yeah, I know, someone's going to call me a pussy for posting this. I don't care. Bullying is a problem. For me, bul

  • by drolli (522659) on Sunday June 05, 2011 @06:11AM (#36341334) Journal

    The question should not be if he did it in his free time, off campus, but if it was related to the school.

    I can imagine a lot of things which one can do "during my free time" and "off campus" which should get you fired from school, even if there is no crime which can be persecuted.

    For example: contacting or ridiculing teachers in an inappropriate way (yes, these are employees and they have rights), the same for students (nobody should be forced to sit besides somebody bullying him at facebook, and if school is the primary contact for this person suspension is the right thing to do).

    All the news messages like "xzy got ... for doing ... on facebook" withou specifying what the content of ... was are as stupid as saying "he got in jail for swinging a piece of wood through the air", which may be technically correct, but could also be a baseball bat hitting the face of somebody after swinging through the air.

    Please dear media: separate means, motivations, tools, and fact of crime more carefully. It really does not matter today if you write somebody an insulting letter which you put up 1000 times in you town to lampposts or post an insulting video.

    • by MoonBuggy (611105)

      The article also said that "Gavin Russell, prime minister of the student government, gathered scores of signatures on a petition supporting Mr. Christie before two staff members warned him that, if he continued, he could also face punishment."; if they're threatening members of the student government (pointless as such organisations usually are, it's an issue of principle) for daring to circulating petitions, they sound like a bunch of authoritarian thugs and I see absolutely no reason to give them the bene

      • by jopsen (885607)

        they sound like a bunch of authoritarian thugs and I see absolutely no reason to give them the benefit of the doubt.

        And that is exactly how they are presented. You don't known the wording for the petition in question, it could very well be inappropriate.
        That said, if the School weren't out of line, they should have agreed to an interview.

        • by drolli (522659)

          Not necessarily. Giving an interview in a situation where you may enter a legal fight may be seen inappropriate by the court, especially if there is a special student-school relationship involved.

          Telling their reasoning behind the suspension may easily do him more damage than the suspension itself. If he for example referred to the video when threatening other students etc..

          Also it could easily violate the rights of the teachers involved.

          And one important point to state: "Free speech" means you may say what

      • THAT is the actual outrage. As soon as the organization ceases to be utterly pointless, the members get threatened to stop being useful.

        It's a bit like unions here, now that I think about it...

  • by TechBCEternity (561141) on Sunday June 05, 2011 @06:17AM (#36341356) Homepage Journal

    Andy Sanberg said on the nerdist podcast. Film school is where you get out all your bad ideas. so we shouldn't care whether its funny, the only reason we're even watching his stuff is the principal hasn't heard of the Streisand effect

  • It seems the attitude of this school is "we have the authority, and you are worthless little shits who have to obey. ". At my school, they had the attitude "we have the authority, and you are young citizens of this country who need to learn how to fight and succeed against authority, and we will do our best to teach you".
    • I work at a school. I wish we had the first attitude, because a lot of our pupils are worthless little shits. But, being British, our attitude is more 'Do as we ask you, or we'll have to tell you again.' Sort of like the UN. There is no fear of the staff, so the pupils run riot.
      • by MoonBuggy (611105)

        Yet when the schools crack down, they seem to end up hitting precisely the wrong set of pupils - the actual troublemakers (at least those who aren't truly unbelievably stupid) become marginally more sneaky, delivering a constant and untraceable stream of snide comments and punches that the teachers never see, the majority of average students continue to plod along doing very little, and the good students who actually think for themselves grate against the increasingly invasive and obsessive authority until

  • "This video contains content from PIAS, SME und Kontor New Media. It is not available in your country." This is what Germans see when trying to watch the video. Just a reminder that Germany is a third world country youtubewise.
  • They called the police FOR WHAT???
    Isn't that a gross abuse of power?

  • If the reader's comments on the article are any indication, this suspension grows out to be a mayor PR disaster for school and school board. Not a single positive remark for the decision, as far as I can tell. Maybe next time they will be more careful.

    As the latin saying goes: HOMO SAPIENS NON URINAT IN VENTUM.

  • He is damn lucky he only got suspended. He blasphemed 'The Penguin'. The punishment should be far more severe.

    There is no OS but Linux.

  • So a kid that attends your school made an offensive video rife with juvenile humour. So what? You say he posted it to Youtube? Wow, what a catastrophe! Now the rest of the world's population who shares his level of humour can laugh with him. So what?

    Here's a news flash for you school administration types.... you're not the primary authority figures in this young man's life. You are tasked with teaching him academics and their application, not with guiding his sense of humour into approved channels. Fuck off

    • the school needs to be, uhm, schooled.

      at 10k feet, I can't tell who is in charge. a child who has the age of an adult or a child who has the age of a child.

      I really can't tell! at this distance, the school and its contents all look the same to me. yelling, screaming, pulling hair; and that's just the older grey-haired ones.

  • Every time that we hear about another incident like this, it turns out badly for the school (and for the student, since later vindication never makes up for years of trouble).

    So why don't school officials stop doing it? Do they know that there are hundreds of such cases each year where the intimidation wins early and the media never hears of it? No, more likely, they are just ignorant of the dozens of school officials who have lost jobs and elections for trying this.

    Some one needs to write a Continuing Ed

  • Gavin Russell, prime minister of the student government, gathered scores of signatures on a petition supporting Mr. Christie before two staff members warned him that, if he continued, he could also face punishment.

    Apparently petitions are also banned by the cryptofascists who run this school.

  • by RogueWarrior65 (678876) on Sunday June 05, 2011 @10:31AM (#36342470)

    1) How is it that school administrators had the time to look at this drek? Is this what we're paying them unhealthy sums of money to do?
    2) I dare say that if this happened in the good old U.S. of A., the ACLU would be all over the school like stink on sh*t bleating about First Amendment rights.

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