Should a Student Be Expelled for his Tweets?

Are Teens Mature Enough to Handle Social Media

According to Mashable, a high school senior from Indiana was expelled for tweeting something the school found inappropriate. I’m with the school on the tweets’ inappropriateness. Frankly, if one of my kids had tweeted what this child tweeted, being expelled would be the least of his problems.

Austin Carroll told his local news, “One of my tweets was, BEEP is one of those BEEP words you can BEEP put anywhere in a BEEP sentence and it still BEEP make sense.”

I get it. Cursing is a right of passage for teens. I, like Austin, used profanity often when I was a teen. It made me cool. Oh yes it did. The difference? Only my friends heard me. 

Austin broadcast his words with the megaphone known as Twitter. 

“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.”

And that? Is the problem. Twitter is not personal. It’s everyone’s business. It is a platform to speak to the public. Anyone has the right to see what you post. Including your school. Clearly Austin does not grasp the concept of Twitter and it’s reach. Most teens don’t. It’s a hurdle of modern day child rearing and something we are struggling to parent one tweet and wall post at a time. 

That said, he was expelled. Forced to attend another high school for the last three months of his senior year and not graduate with his class. Do you expel a student because of something they say on a social media platform? He didn’t say anything derogatory about the school. He didn’t call out a teacher or fellow student. He wasn’t using violent language. Were his tweets so harmful that they required his expulsion from the final months of his senior year? 

Give me your thoughts in the Ooph Facebook poll or leave your comment below. 

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Coming next week: What You Should Know About Your Teens and Twitter