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: I don't get it....
3/28/2012 11:54:30 AM
Why should it matter if the computer was school owned or not? They have no business dictating what people can or cannot say in such a manner.
If it had been hate speech, online threats or otherwise abusive towards other people one might make a case that it'd be actionable, but this guy was trying to be clever (in a typical boneheaded highschool kid fashion).
Unless the school claims ownership over the students themselves they have no rights whatsoever to police the way students express themselves when that speech is still completely legal.
...And all this isn't even touching on the fact this guy actually got expelled for typing "the F-word". Christ! Overreact much?
The US has absolutely become a totalitarian state, no doubt about it.
RE: I don't get it....
3/28/2012 3:52:33 PM
Just another perpetrator of thought crime.
Nothing to see here move along sir.
RE: I don't get it....
3/29/2012 4:00:57 PM
if it a school owned computer I'm marginally ok with an "our toy our rules" kinda thing. Expulsion would still be an extreme but they would at least have some leg to stand on.
As is they have zero grounds for limiting his freedom of speach
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