Indiana High School Student Expelled for Tweeting Foul Language, Says it Wasn't Posted at School
March 28, 2012 8:53 AM
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Austin Carroll was expelled for posting profanity on Twitter
The student said he posted it during non-school hours, but the school's computer tracking system says otherwise
An Indiana high school student was expelled for posting an inappropriate tweet on Twitter, possibly during non-school hours.
Austin Carroll, a former senior at Garrett High School in Garrett, Indiana, recently posted a tweet that used the F-word five times. But it's no big deal, since Twitter is a non-school-related account and the tweet was posted after school hours, right? Wrong.
Garrett High School's computer system is capable of
tracking its students' social media sites on the Internet
. According to
, the tweet was posted at 2:30 a.m. -- clearly outside of school hours -- but even though Carroll tweeted from home, Garrett High School's computer system could have recognized the tweet when he logged in again at school.
The tweet in question is the following, where all BEEPs are actually F-words: "BEEP is one of those BEEP words you can BEEP put anywhere in a BEEP sentence and it still BEEP make sense."
Carroll claims the tweet was posted from home, but the school claims it was posted from Garrett High School. Carroll lost this battle and was expelled with three months left of his senior year.
"If my account is on my own personal account, I don't think the school or anybody should be looking at it," said Carroll. "Because
it's my own personal stuff
and it's none of their business. I didn't post the thing at school but their computer is saying that I did post it, and I shouldn't be getting in trouble for stuff I did on my own time, on my own computer."
Carroll will now finish his senior year at an alternative school, where he will still receive his diploma. However, other students at Garrett High School are not ready to back down quite yet. Some students tried to protest Carroll's expulsion, but local police made sure to stop them quickly.
"I totally didn't agree with what Austin said but I didn't agree with an expulsion either," said Carroll's mother. "I mean if they suspended him for 3 days or something, I would be fine with that but to kick him out of school, his senior year, 3 months to go, wrong."
It seems schools and the government are both getting a bit invasive when it comes to social media sites, since a recent
report described how government agencies and colleges are
asking applicants/students to log onto Facebook pages
and other social networks during interviews.
Indiana News Center
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RE: Not offensive
3/28/2012 10:26:09 AM
I am curious to know if he has had multiple warning about this? Given the information we have it is clear that he didn't write the tweet at the school. Given the "danger" of swear words being in social network site, the school might consider banning them on their network. What if all of his friends checked his tweets at school? Would they have been punished this heavily as well? It just doesn't add up, we have to be missing a piece of the story.
What I hate most about this story is if this was the first offense, it is a serious overreaction to the situation. Whatever happen to a simple discussion? I would think that detention would be the "extreme" punishment for a first time offense.
RE: Not offensive
3/28/2012 11:32:53 AM
Even if it isn't, if you swear a hundred times in school at most you should have a hundred detentions, not even suspension. The punishment doesn't fit the crime no matter WHAT level of probation he might be on. This is unacceptable for a student both on and off campus with ANY history if you ask me.
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