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An Indiana high school senior was expelled for using profanity in a tweet. Was this the right decision, or a bit too extreme?
A high school senior in Indiana has been expelled for the content of his tweets.

Austin Carroll, a student at Garrett High School in Indiana used profanity in a tweet posted to his personal Twitter account. While he claims that the tweet was published from home, the school says it was posted using a school computer and is reason for his expulsion.

“If my account is on my own personal account, I don’t think the school or anybody should be looking at it. Because it’s my own personal stuff and it’s none of their business.”

Was this the right call?
Stephanie Lim's profile photoRobin Hall's profile photoAndrés Rodríguez (Trionix)'s profile photoBrian Parker's profile photo
Way outta line. It's none of the school's business (as long as the tweets were not sent from there).
Swearing isn't illegal and it sounds ridiculous no matter where it happened.
Yes. Regardless of whether it was done at home or at school, kids nowadays have no respect for themselves or others. It is a good message to send that you are responsible for your actions no matter where you are.
Detention? Yeah.
Suspension? Maybe.
Expelled? Ridiculous.
mm it depends on if the profanity was directed towards... I don't know... his principal! I mean from the school's perspective, writing a swear word on the back of the school toilets, or on twitter, are probably one and the same. Although personally I think it is a bit extreme...
A punishment of some kind if it was done from a school computer may be appropriate in some cases, but expulsion? That's ridiculous.
IMO...the student represents the school and using profanity therefore MISrepresents the school and its image. Using school property was unwise to begin also depends on school policy.
Expulsion is just what he deserved. Next time he will learn that his actions affect everyone.
I agree 100%. Next time students will watch what they say and do.
is that Travolta speaking, or the fan-who-created-a-Travolta-page speaking? :D
This is a tough issue. On the one hand the school has every right to maintain control over it's computers, servers, and user accounts.
The facts are still unclear if he made the post from home.. or from a school computer (as admitted by the Principle).
The school was extreme in it's decision, but the student also put himself in that position.. and they made a ruling.
Them's the chances that you take when going public in such a manner. He might also expect prospective employers to consider any application for employment negatively due to his behavior online.
But you know, if a student swears in class, or writes a swear word on the building or toilets and is caught, they get detention or worst case scenario, suspended a couple of days. Expulsion is extreme - there could be more background here that we don't know about. ie he might have already had a 'naughty' record or warning before? Anyway...
I think its ridiculous how there are almost no rules or etiquette on social media. Things that are said by teens today can cost people their jobs on the radio or networks, etc. Many can remember when fines would be handed out or people would be fired for saying some things. Its also pathetic how people on the left--like Bill Maher for instance--can say anything and get away with it but if a conservative so much as sneezes wrong the left cries foul. There are practically no boundaries people wont cross to draw attention to themselves.
too extreme. it isn't the school's job to teach acceptable behavior; their job is to teach skills.

why do schools allow personal computer use? or did this kid find a way around the school's computer system that allowed him on twitter?
Maybe next time he'll use Google+ with the appropriate circles and not a public twitter free for all...
For those who think that the penalty(expulsion) was extreme, if an employee used company property the same way-- is that grounds for termination?
good for this school. most don't even discipline kids for obscenities directed in the classroom at the teacher; or teachers for using it, for that matter. public schools are no place for children. get yours out.
+Jeff Angcanan he didn't use company property to send it, it's my understanding he sent it from his home computer at night.
You've got to be fucking kidding me.
+Jeff Angcanan this article says 2:30 in the morning from home

"The tweets had been sent from his home computer at 2:30 a.m. While she doesn’t approve of the obscene language and said she confronted him, what he does on his home computer in the middle of the night is his business.

But school officials said the tweets had the school’s IP address. She said she was told that if Carroll had his school laptop running, it would appear the tweet came from the school computer."
+Jeff Angcanan An employer pays you to be there... Kids are required by law to be at school, the circumstances are a bit different...
oh man, yet another reason to be embarrassed of my homestate
And even if he had done it from a school computer, swearing on the internet as grounds for expulsion? Give me a break. If a company wanted to fire someone for writing a profane word on the internet a single time from their computer, they'd be begging for a lawsuit. They either don't care about that specific employee or don't care about any of their employees.

Just like this school obviously doesn't care about this student.
+James Pakele I don't know if school policy has guidelines but the students still have to abide by them... +Shawn Dunn +Keith Heard a lot of companies do have internet restrictions...if you were an employer, would you want your employees doing work related stuff on company time and property or pay them while they do personal stuff...?
+Jeff Angcanan there's a difference between "want" and "completely understand that a human being will be a human being."

As long as an employee gets their work done as needed, and is ready, willing and able to take on more work at any time, what they need to do to keep their mind fresh is totally fine with me. To expect your employees to be 100% focused for every hour you pay them is to blind yourself from reality. Accept that we are all human beings, respect the realities of what that means, manage to that reality and watch your workplace productivity and employee happiness (and retention) rise.

Treat people like they're working in a sweatshop and they'll do the bare minimum to get by, constantly planning and looking for a new job.
+Jeff Angcanan As long as their jobs are getting done, no, I don't particularly care if they're getting some personal stuff done on company time.
Are you serious with that question +Pete Cashmore ? Because he wrote the word ''Fuck''?
At bit too extreme? How about totalitarian? Or borderline fascist? Is this the US where this happened? Where free speech is supposed to reign?
It's big brother time: "The principal of the school admits that the system tracks all of the tweets on a student’s account.....".
No detention, no expulsion, no nothing. Since when do schools dictate what students can say and what not, no matter on which computer the statement was typed. Can he use schoolpaper the next time he wants to write the word "Fuck", or is that also reason for expulsion?
Are the faculty or administration going to be held to the same standards?
después desde los eeuu se permiten darnos clases de "libertad" al resto del mundo.

que entienden en eeuu por libertad?
I've always wondered how schools believe they have jurisdiction over students behavior outside of the campus or after classes. It's a ridiculous notion.
THis is utterly ridiculous. As +gascuenha fidel says, "imposing freedom on the rest of the world, but how about at home"? (translated loosely I think)
At first glance, I would say that is a pretty extreme reaction for some expletives on a website. But, we don't know, was this student a problem, had they been warned, what else was going on here?

The student says that the school should not be looking at his account, and I would tend to agree with that, but a tweet is public.

This whole idea that tweets are logged from your account when you access it with school computers is terrifying to me, however.
+William Green unfortunately it's the same thinking that has employers asking for Facebook login credentials. I just keep thinking back to Gattaca.
No he was in school where he should have been taught that using that kind of langue was inappropriate.
Im guessing there isnt a British film club at this highschool....
Poor rationale and argument on the student's part, but he's right in that the school has no right to relegate the content he feels like publishing.
In my opinion, almost everyone, has pointed out more than enough reasons to defend either the school position (given that any details on the records of the student are known to us, which ultimately will play a big role in such a decision) or the student's behavior in a social network (where, because of its privacy, almost everyone is "free" to be him/herself). But a very important detail here is that, this was not a junior student, nor a sophomore, we are talking about a senior student, while it may not make any difference to any of both sides, whether he was a junior or a senior, the fact is that the system indicates that after you have gone through a series of academic levels you will be promoted to become college or university student, whatever the case it may be and eventually a member of the society, a professional. It is not expected a junior student to graduate, in normal conditions before the time stipulated. So it is expected that people progressively and gradually learn how to differentiate, childish or incorrect behavior and even more, profane way to express themselves.
So unless youre a professional writer, no profanity?
You're using a lot of words to say it's okay to expel someone from a specific facility because they are immature.
So what are we teaching the student here? That profanity is bad? Or that throwing a butthurt hissyfit over words gets you your way? Words have the power we give them. Punishment over words because they've been deemed "profane" is silly. The school is being ridiculous.
“if my account is on my own personal account, I don’t think the school or anybody should be looking at it." ... if you don't want anybody to look at your words of wisdom, don't post them! ... also don't post anything public, that you wouldn't want your grandmother to see! ...

though i am a great fan of #socialplatforms (though G+ is the only one i'm using regularly) it becomes clearer almost every day, that the anonymity of social media has their disadvantages too ... manners in general are degenerating ... generally speaking everything you post is public or at least accessible by a group of people ... in something like twitter, G+ and facebook and other situations people forget and they think that there's some sort of security around themselves ... they forget the basic rules of human interaction and manners ...

as +Vic Gundotra said: "there's a reason, that not everything that is in our head, comes out of our mouth" (or something like that) ... in real life (knowing that teachers or other adults are able to listen in) they wouldn't mouth of like that, but in the perceived security of their social network accounts they believe they can act any way they like ... people nowadays (and not only youngsters) are surprised that they get punished for some misbehavior, just because they did it, hiding behind a nym ...

on the other hand i find the punishment in this case rather extreme ... i agree with +James Pakele ... a detention or maybe even a suspension would've been more than sufficient ...
+Jeff Angcanan The school probably does have rules and they should be followed, that's not the issue though... it's the overreaction that is the issue...

We don't give people six months in jail for jay walking... because it's ridiculous... same thing here...
+James Pakele I'll buy that...but if the student had thought about the consequences, then maybe he wouldn't be in the predicament he is in now. Jaywalking may be convenient as long as they make sure they don't get hit by a truck. :-)
by hiding behind nyms in VL youngsters get taught nowadays that they don't have to worry about consequences +Jeff Angcanan ... this student was shown otherwise and i fully agree with it, though i find the punishment far too harsh ... this is probably down to the school wanting to make him an example ... i wish, this would be done more often (with a bit more leniency perhaps) ...
+Jeff Angcanan Which is fine as long has he knew what the consequences were. If the school shows any proof that the student was aware that his actions would result in him being expelled, mere months before his graduation... then good for him, he was warned and that's what he gets... However, the punishment he received is unprecedented which is probably why this is making headlines.

When you jay walk, you know you could be hit by a truck, you accept the risk, and if you do get hit we all point and say "dumb ass"... I don't think there was a way he could see this coming, though.

Doesn't make what he does right, and yes he should be held accountable, maybe even prevented from participating in the graduation ceremony, but kicked out of school... c'mon I'm sure the school doesn't expel every student that has a fist fight, and punching someone else in the face has got to be far worse than some cuss words on Twitter...

For the record, his counter argument saying that his "personal account" is none of the school's business is just as ridiculous as him being expelled for this.
Although I may disagree with you on some points, I do think you make a good, respectful argument. Thanks +James Pakele
Draconian? Harsh? Parents, are you kidding? Expulsion is practically a reward! The penalty should be execution. Or permanent exile. Or at the very least, waterboarding. For pete's sake, you people are missing a rare & precious opportunity to get these little pricks out of your house for good! <jk, for the humor-impaired... oh, sure, like you have never thought of it...>
Don't you know that F*** is a gateway word? It leads to harder words that can send a child on a downward spiral that leads to them selling their bodily fluids for crack.
he's a senior!!! you're going to ruin the kids life in order to have a firm policy???? man, the militarization of school policies is getting insane!
It's a fucking word. Whether or not someone deems it "bad" is simply shallow thinking. It's just a word and expresses how you feel!
+Shawn Dunn I know a guy that got fired for a post on twitter that said "Gina gives good head". It was meant for his friend Gina that was bartender and was obviously a joke "head is the foam on beer and she is a bartender". Company thought it was obscene and fired the guy. Point is, you represent your company like it or not and same goes for the school. What you do in public is a directly reflection of said job or school so YES, the kid should have been expelled to teach other kids lessons in responsibility and manners.
I agree that posting something on twitter isn't "private". At the same time, only those looking for his messages (or the tags in the messages) are going to see them. It's not as if he shouted the F-word aloud in the school's quad. For that matter, even if he had, the act doesn't warrant expulsion. Permanent ejection from a school should be the result of truly harmful action, not the immature and unwise exercise of free speech.

This school grossly overreacted.
has we Say in Portugal "Only in América ..."
In Portugal this would be considered harassment by the school to the student, no dean would have the gut's to even make a comment about it, in fear that someone would call him a prude, let me say the this guy is a wimp and this episode will earn him a difficult life for is non reaction!
Hope you are reading this kido and sue their asses :P LOL (sorry but this is BEEPing hilarious)
In my country, who studying in hight school is pupil
When I was in high school, if the faculty heard someone use profane language, the most that would happen was detention. Expulsion for profane language on a social network is simply ludicrous.

Will this school now expel every student who utters profane language on the premises, and if not, why was this particular student so harshly punished? And for that matter, what about the faculty and staff? I've heard more than a few four letter words from them in my years at school; will they instantly lose their jobs over something like this?
Precedents Precedents :P this will be a legal nightmare !
So a kid gets expelled for this in Indiana, but you can shoot a kid in Florida and get away with it?
+Rebecca Reine Well, all I can say is that is a company I wouldn't care to work for. I am well aware of the fact that I represent my company, I'm in outside sales, I am the face of the bloody company! But that is neither here nor there. Expulsion, for using profanity, is a gross overreaction, and shame on the Administrators and/or school board that made this decision. I still wouldn't personally agree with it, had it been a suspension, but I would have understood that.
This student— using the term with more latitude than Snookie's butt— is patently guilty of befouling the fragile beauty of Indiana School District English (ISDE), which is ostensibly on the Department of Education's "Endangered" list. Remember, that's just one step before extinction and apocalypse. (P.S.: +Shawn Dunn <snicker> You said "bloody")
+Keith Keber heh, I use that word all the time, I just like the way it rolls off the tongue...
+Shawn Dunn , LOL I have a few words like that myself, but I would NEVER tweet them on an Indiana school computer :-) I like to avoid public caning.
whats the school doing looking in his twitter account anyway? he didn't tweet on school property and they had no right to expel him! i hope his parents take them to court
Absolutely NOT!!!! While I do not think kids should be using coarse words, I also do not believe they should be censored when those communications take place outside school walls, whether that be the internet or whatever. Constitutional rights do not cease to exist at the school house doors.
Wow, these people should meet the kids I teach....jesus....little extreme indeed!
These teachers need to watch The Wire, series four. Now THAT's profanity.
+Tim Gummer, I can't think of anyone who would not do very well to watch all seasons of The Wire
Matt E
That's crazy.
Jay S
FUCK YOU corrupted government! Trying to control everything we do!
+Jason S What school do you go to so I can get you expelled too.
lol...What type of language was used when the post was made? Was it in slang? or was it "politically correctly"(lol) spelt? And whom was he tweeting? Ridiculous? Lol im getting my 7-8 chuckles like Katt Williams said to do...
Retarded that the school morally judges the character of a bot , the kid doesn't understand social obligations at all , This is no way to TEACH a child the right thing to do socially especially on the web.
+Hula Homes, true but it is a perfect way to position yourself as the moral superior (assuming your interest is not guidance, but punishment).
lol just another example of our freedoms being stripped. it is NONE of that schools freaking biz what he put on his twitter page-as long as he didn't mention,or criticize, the poor pitiful powers that be in that school... the school sucks and THERE U HAVE IT WHY KIDS R LEARNING LESS N LESS IN "SCHOOL" (HAH)! The damn principals n teachers r too busy checking up on those dreaded, God-awful TWEETS! geesh. someone needs to give those ppl SOMETHING to do!
you don't have the freedom to do whatever you want. You have to have logic and common sense. This student obviously has no common sense and probably his parents don't either. I caught my daughter with a facebook account and made her delete it immediately. Kids have no business on twitte, facebook or even G+. They need to be focused on school and grades and not talking crap on some website. He deserved to be expelled. Let this be an example to all the other stupid kids out there. Grow up and be responsible.
Well, agree with Merle, but I am now concerned about Austin's and such other kids' education. Will another school allow him to complete his studies in peace? He should have learnt a lesson and be willing to discipline himself. He need not be further penalized. I think it was a mistake, most definitely. We all make mistakes. Please help him and such other kids get back on track.
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