• Wed, Apr 3 2013

Texas High School Student Suspended For Writing YOLO On Test, Needs To Live A Little

shutterstock_127801001Kyron Birdine, a Texas high school student didn’t think the state exam he was being forced to take was worth his time. So he refused to take it and instead write, YOLO (“you only live once” for those not in the know) accompanied by a smiley face on his answer booklet under “I have the TAKS test to study for not this unneeded craziness.” The TAKS test is one that he will actually need to graduate.  If he had stopped there everything probably would’ve been fine. However, in a world where nothing truly happened unless it has been posted to social media Birdine decided to tweet a picture of his defiance which led to him being suspended from school for 4 days.

Not only did he tweet the picture but he included in his tweet the twitter handles for the Arlington Independent School District and the Texas Education Agency, they were not amused.

“Today there was an incident with a student tweeting a picture of an answer booklet for a STAAR field test. We have made an initial report of the incident to TEA and will continue to investigate further. The student has been punished in accordance with district disciplinary
procedures

Apparently it wasn’t the YOLO and smiley face that was a problem but the fact that the standardized test booklet is confidential. I personally think the punishment should’ve been a result of using such a lame acronym.

In addition to being suspended Birdine also had to delete his tweet. Maybe next time he should just share his cleverness with his friends, it probably would have kept him from being suspended. But I guess he figured if you’re going to give a virtual middle finger to the powers that be you might as well go all out. YOLO

(photo: Sam72 / Shutterstock)

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  • Cee

    Ugh! I hate that everyone is saying people need to lay off this kid and that hes some sort of cool hero for standing up to “the man.” Do you know how many teachers get fired because of low state test performance? I actually heard of the LA Times revealing the names of the teachers who got the lowest performance in LA, which led to one teacher actually killing themselves. http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2010/09/27/teacher-from-south-gate-missing-since-monday/ Do state tests suck? Hell yes. But, in some places it is a teachers life line. People should see teachers before testing. I just spoke to one a little earlier and she looked to be in the brink of tears. Should something be done about state testing? Yes. But this “hero” could have really determined the fate of some teachers and the way the district would fund and treat his school. Yea…yay him for doing such a heroic act. YOLO

    • Gangle

      Meh. The kid will survive a few days of suspension. He was a defiant little shit. He bragged about it on a public forum. He got in trouble for unwittingly posting a test answer on the internet. He probably isn’t the worst kid ever, but he deserved what he got. In real life you don’t get let off of messing up or doing the wrong thing just because you were ignorant. If you are going to be brave or idiotic enough to buck the system in this way then you also have to be willing to face the consequences.
      I’m pretty sure this kids resilience will see him through this ‘trauma’. Next time perhaps he won’t act like such a twat.

  • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

    This is in the city where I live. I went to high school in Arlington and public education in Texas is a JOKE all around. No wonder kids don’t take it seriously.

    • Justme

      Well. I assume the thousands of Texas teachers that put their hearts and souls into educating their students would beg to differ.

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      I taught school for a year. My sister taught for about 5. My mom taught until retirement. The state of Texas has made a lot of cuts in the education system while our governor lines his pockets. I’m not making a slight against the teachers, I’m sure most of them are doing the best they can. I am saying that our state government has crippled the education system. Badly. And it’s a joke.

    • Justme

      You’re absolutely right about the state and funding. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t teachers out there that are doing great and wonderful things despite the budget from the state.

      And as far as the students go – they really aren’t concerned with state cutbacks, are they? They judge their educational experience by the teachers they have and the lessons they are taught. So by saying the kids don’t take it seriously IS an insult to those teachers who are doing their best to prepare lessons that are interesting, informative and inspiring despite the curriculum confines from the state.

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      Well, I didn’t mean to insult the teachers, so I’m sorry it came out that way. I DO believe that the cuts made DO in some way affect the teachers and eventually the students. Like I said, I’m sure the teachers are doing the best they can with what they have, but they can only do so much when our government doesn’t give a shit.

    • Justme

      Well, it did.

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      And I’m sorry it did.

    • Justme

      Whatever. I’m just tired of the profession that I love being the scapegoat for everything that is wrong in the world.

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      Okay, keep pouting. I apologized, meant it and you can just “whatever” it. I didn’t say anything about teachers being what is wrong with the world! If anything, I stand up for teachers because they often get such a raw deal. I’ve been there myself, my mother was there and so was my sister and several of my friends. The world’s problems are a lot more complex than what goes on in classrooms and if anything, I happen to believe it starts at home. Again, I WAS NOT ATTACKING YOUR PROFESSION BUT THE GOVERNMENT THAT CONTROLS IT! Got it? You’re barking up the wrong damn tree.

    • Justme

      Unfortunately there are a lot of people out there that DO believe teachers and the public schools are the problem because they don’t understand the complexity of funding, family influence, demands of curriculum, etc.

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      And I think that sucks, I totally agree. You don’t need to be nasty to me when I was being nice to you. I often agree with you on here. I think you have a lot of wise and intelligent things to say and I don’t doubt you pour your heart into your profession. I did NOT mean for you to take it my statement personally. I KNOW people attack teachers, my sister got blamed every damn day by bitchy moms because they didn’t want to do their jobs as parents. It’s not your fault or any other teacher’s that some kids are just plain stupid and some parents are bad. I got so mad at that movie preview with Maggie Gyllenhaal playing a parent where she was ranting about how her kid can’t read (based on a true story). Well, hon, that is YOUR fault, not the school’s. Parents need to be teaching kids their ABCs before kindergarten starts, it isn’t hard!

      I GET what you are saying! I know there are people like that and I’m NOT one of them.

    • Justme

      We all have things that we hold close to our heart and are sensitive about – education and the school system is one of them for me.

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      I understand that. I’m not putting down your profession and we need teachers who do take their jobs as seriously as you do.

  • chickadee

    The STAAR test is actually supposed to be more comprehensive and a better measure of performance than the TAKS, which intellectually insulting, frankly. And this is story number 8000 where a teenager stupidly tweets something and subsequently gets in trouble. May I suggest teaching Social Media 101 freshman year?

  • Justme

    I gave the STAAR test yesterday and today. And for the four hours of the test, I cannot be on technology or sitting at my desk. I am up and around, monitoring students and making notes about what is going on in my room. I had to notate that a student sat for two hours straight without writing a single word. How did this teacher not notice that a) the student had his phone out or b) he was taking a picture and tweeting during the test? Yes, he should have known better….but teachers are the responsible adult in the room to set expectations and enforce the proper procedures.

  • missiemeghan

    What a twerp.

  • whiteroses

    “I always thought YOLO was like carpe diem for stupid people.”- Jack Black

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      It is. I hate that term.

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      Whoever voted down me AGREEING with whiteroses can just come out and say why. It’s a little contradictory, don’t you think? Whiteroses gets 6 votes up and mine gets one down? Whatever.

  • Lawcat

    Good God. Is there no editor on duty today? Did you proofread this even a little before it was posted?

  • Makabit

    Speaking as a teacher who’s had to administer a few of those things–they come with warnings about how your first duty is to ‘preserve the integrity of the test’–I can say that the young man is probably lucky he was only suspended, and not summarily executed.

  • IHateTexas

    I’m a junior in Texas. While this kid is an idiot, he did what we’ve all wanted to do. TAKS & STAAR are bull. My class is the last one to take TAKS, but my siblings take STAAR and it’s so unnecessary. But he risked his teacher’s job and risked voiding the whole room’s test and risked cutting his school’s funding, so he does kinda suck.

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