Shut up high school students. Seriously. Another day, another case of people shrieking about their first amendment rights because their special snowflakes were behaving like assholes. This case involves a group of 20 students who were suspended from school for re-tweeting a tweet that claimed one of their teachers flirts with her students and who her son is. Some of the students felt the need to share this gossip with their peers on social media and were suspended as punishment. The incident took place at McKay High School in Salem, Oregon and the administrators at the school said that by retweeting the posting it was an instance of cyber-bullying. And, as you can expect, parents and students are all upset over the suspension. From the Huffington Post:
Still, parents and students involved say the punishment is an overreaction. Parent Patty Davis told local outlet KPTV that while she thinks her daughter should have been disciplined for the retweet, suspension goes too far.
“I think it needed to be a learning experience for them,” said Davis. “I think the school should have got them together after school or Saturday school, something that wasn’t so strict as far as the suspension thing that goes on their permanent record.”
And it’s not just parents who are all in a tizzy:
On Friday, the American Civil Liberties Union wrote a letter to the district, condemning the suspensions and saying they should be expunged from the students’ records.
“In discipling those students because of their off-campus expressive activity, McKay High School officials have infringed on the students’ rights to free speech under … the First Amendment of the United States Constitution,” wrote the ACLU, per KOIN.
I’m sorry, but whatever happened to school age kids having respect for their elders, including their overworked and underpaid teachers who work so hard trying to make them learn something? Suspension does seem a bit dramatic, but where do we draw the line? There has to be a way we can make our teens understand that spreading this sort of gossip about their teachers and peers is unacceptable and that their actions do have consequences. If they merely made the students attend a Saturday seminar to discuss the incident I doubt they would have learned anything. They would have just gone home and taken to social media to complain about it.
I defend teenagers a lot because I own one, but the thing is, when he acts like a jerk I call him out on it, and I punish him. I am teaching him to respect his elders and his teachers and to not be one of those kids who spreads hateful gossip on social media or off social media. What the kids in Salem did was thoughtless and stupid, and they should be punished for it. There have been many cases where we have discussed the type of things teens are reporting on social media, and the horrible effects this type of bullying leads to. In this day and age there is no excuse for teens to retweet these types of things, if their parents are doing their jobs and explaining to them how they should behave online and how they should treat this sort of gossip when they encounter it.
So the parents failed their kids, their kids got suspended, and now the parents are all mad at the school for discipling them according to school rules. Give me a break.
(Image: Huffpost video)