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Student Expelled From Indiana High School For Tweeting Profanity 349

Posted by timothy
from the language-you've-probably-heard-from-your-boss dept.
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.
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Student Expelled From Indiana High School For Tweeting Profanity

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  • by residieu (577863) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @11:39AM (#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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29, 2012 @11:43AM (#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.
  • by residieu (577863) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @11:55AM (#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.
  • by JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @12:24PM (#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? |:

  • by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @12:28PM (#39511457)
    T(source)FA implies he used a school computer, on his own time, to tweet; and the school's tracking software flagged his tweet. If that's the case, TechDirt's fee speech argument falls apart - the school did not prevent him from tweeting, just punished him for using their equipment to do something that violated their rules; not unlike yelling the same thing out of a bus would get you in trouble. Is the punishment unreasonable? I would argue it is; unless of course anyone who utters a profanity on school property is similarly punished; even then i would find it excessive. However, using school equipment leaves him open to punishment by the school.

    Now, if as per HuffPost, he did it on his own time using his own equipment; then the school is way out of line.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29, 2012 @12:36PM (#39511589)
    Phone 260.357.4114 press 3 for the principle's office
  • by netwarerip (2221204) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @12:46PM (#39511721)
    Principle's office? Well, only if you have any interest in this.
  • Original Story (Score:5, Informative)

    by cforciea (1926392) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @01:05PM (#39511967)
    Here's the original local story:

    http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20120325/LOCAL0201/303259931 [journalgazette.net]

    It appears the confusion all over the place here derives from the fact that there were two separate incidents. First, last year, he used school equipment to post a profane tweet and was suspended. Then, recently, he posted the above linked profane tweet, but it was from home, on his own computer, not on the school's network at all. They just saw it because they were examining his Twitter account because of the last incident.

    Hopefully that clears up some of the confusion.

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