Student Blogs About School System, Faces Expulsion

On a second post on May 2, without mentioning the school the student wrote: “I feel threatened by you, I cant even have a public Web page with out you bullying me and telling me what has to be removed. Where is this freedom of speech that this government is sworn to uphold? … Did you ever stop to think this will start a community backlash? The kids at Columbine did what the did because they were bullied. … In my opinion you are the real threat here. None of us ever put in our xanga’s that they were going to kill or bring harm to any one. We voiced our opinions. You are the real threat here. you are depriving us of our right to learn. now stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

Ah – he mentioned Columbine – that’s the problem. The school system is terrified he’ll go on a shooting rampage – actually they are more terrified about the liability. Sometimes I think What about the children? trumps Do you want the terrorists to win?
Smart teachers would make this a case study and use it to show the history of free speech (and all of it’s challenges and problems – from sedition to book burning). But of course they won’t – they won’t step outside the conflict and see it is as opportunity for learning in action.

3 thoughts on “Student Blogs About School System, Faces Expulsion

  1. Gary Nitzkin

    I am a lawyer. While this is not my specialty, I do know that students surrender some of their constitutional rights at the door of the school. One such right is free speech. What I find very disturbing about this kid’s blog post is that he JUSTIFIED the Columbine massacre. If confronted by the parents of and families of the murdered at Columbine, would this kid be as cavalier in his analysis? He either misunderstood the unthinkable and incomprehensible slaughter at Columbine, or he was making a masked threat. Either way, his comment was not justified, nor is it defensible.

  2. Tanya McLaughlin

    While as a parent I certainly would defend this student’s comments, I would like to point out that blogging is a valuable tool in teaching students the importance of writing. I’m currently a graduate teaching assistant working on my MA in English and plan to use blogging as a replacement for journaling in my composition classroom next semester. Many in my department have found that blogging is a wonderful gateway to opening students’ views of the purpose and importance of composition. I think the answer is for adults, parents and teachers in particular, to be present to teach these kids what is and is not appropriate, considerate, respectable, etc. We need to allow free expression and be willing to accept the responsibilities that accompany such privileges.

  3. Clair Ching

    I didn’t that in America students surrender their freedom of speech.
    I think that the dilemma here is trying to exercise too much control over the lives of these students. I cannot help but relate with the school’s concern over this matter but the thing is that blogs are outlets of people to say what they want to say and I now wonder how we look at it.
    I am getting worried that too much emphasis of putting control over what others do in their free time or outside of certain borders (like outside of school, of work, etc) might hinder socialization.


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