A California high school student who was suspended for calling a teacher “a douche bag” on Facebook has been reinstated, following a legal showdown involving the American Civil Liberties Union. The youth, an honor student and star football player, apologized after school officials confronted him over his Facebook scrawling, …
And the school administration showed the teacher in question isn't the only douche bag in power at the school.
Since 2001SEP11 schools have overreacted in many ways
It is right that the ACLU challenged the school authorities over their extreme reaction to an opinion that may, or may not, have been founded on fact.
Even in England of the last century we all had names for teachers, each reflecting a consensus of opinion of a given class on the attributes of the said teachers. This student, no doubt a little unwisely, chose to post his opinion for all to see.
The school should draw a line between school activities and those in students private arenas. Did whomever find the comment do it on school equipment during school hours?
As for 'cycberbullying' - what a ridiculous charge - the teacher had many remedies that he could have used but chose to dramatise the comment instead of using it as a learning opportunity.
The ramifications could have followed a similar path to a case in Chicago: < http://www.tgdaily.com/business-and-law-features/41373-student-sues-to-expunge-record-of-cyberbullying-charge?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A%20tgdaily_all_sections%20%28TG%20Daily%20-%20All%20News%29 >.
Glad I didn't got to school any later, as it was I got in a lot of trouble over the content of a website I had. Now they seem to have all this extra stuff to hang you with
Its a shame that the school backed down...
I would loved to have seen this gone to court. Especially if the kid could produce evidence that his teacher really is a douche bag.
The Founding Fathers
"the First Amendment [...] bars them from disciplining students for speech unless it creates a significant disruption to the learning environment."
I hadn't realised that the Founding Fathers were so prescient as to couch the first amendment in 21st Century educational jargon!
Adults involved should stop being so freaking stupid. Simply call the lad in and parents if necessary. Ask him what his problem is, ask him if he will apologise to the person he offended and then remove the offending comment.
There, everyone happy, lad learns a lession to show a little more respect and some restraint next time.
Nah! Call in the full weight of the law and various rights organisations and make a big fuss! Jesus, what the hell is wrong with people?! "Quick kids are running rings around adult with this Facebook thingy, ahhhh! Moral panic! Ahhhh!".
School officials themselves guilty of bullying
First, extract an apology, then go ahead and punish anyway. So, what was the point anyway then, spite? Doesn't really sound like that good example school officials are supposed to give their students.
Oh the poor widdle teacher
It's hard to imagine how any statement short of claiming he intended to bring a gun to school could be described as "bullying" a teacher. Last I checked bullying normally required some kind of power imbalance. With the bully having more power that is, just to be clear, since some people are obviously foggy on this point.
In my experience
the large majority of kids I hear using the term douche bag have absolutely no idea what it is and when it's suggested that they google it, they tend to stop using it. Especially girls, of course.
But in my experience
we must've gone to different high schools
Where as in my experience...
...the kids knew what all these sort of items where and the teachers didn't.
One teacher in particular thought that "dildo" was slang for a condom.
I can't help but wonder what would have happened if the situation were reversed. Would the ACLU defend a teacher so rigorously?
Yes, they would
Every time there is a substitute teacher in *any* class, there is a 'significant disruption to the learning environment'.
Old Robert Heinlein touched on how the world was better after 'The Day They Hung All the Lawyers' and his thought that (paraphrase) 'Democracy dies when the people discover they can vote for Bread and Circuses'
It is much easier to discipline an honour student for something he wrote down and apologized for than go after someone who actually beats his fellow students up.