School expels student for swearing on Twitter during non-school hours
From Facebook communications to tweets, you’re no doubt already aware that nothing you do online is truly private. But should you have a reasonable expectation that your superiors aren’t actively spying on you? That’s the question a lot of people are asking after Garrett High School in Indiana expelled a high school senior for cursing over Twitter during off-school hours.
The tweet in question dropped the F-bomb a number of times, but was otherwise non-threatening. It was posted at 2:30 a.m. — a time when the student in question was most assuredly not at school. Still, despite the evidence, the school stands by its decision to expel the student.
How did the school discover that one of its students dared to tweet an offending word during the middle of the night? Simple: Garrett High School’s computer system actively tracks the social media presence of its students. Because the student logged on to his account during school hours, the system was able to find and report the foul-mouthed tweet, leading to the expulsion.
“I don’t think the school or anybody should be looking at [my account]. Because it’s my own personal stuff and it’s none of their business,” said the student, who will be attending an alternative high school to finish out his school year and earn his degree.
Predictably, students at Garrett High School did not react favorably to news of the expulsion. A student-led protest was put down by local police after school administrators clamped down on the students’ First Amendment rights even further.
March 27, 2012