High School Senior Expelled for Twitter F-bomb

    March 29, 2012
    Chris Gabbard
    Comments are off for this post.

An Indiana High School Student has been expelled for using the F-word multiple times on a twitter post. According to Austin Carroll’s tweet:

“F*** is one of those F****** words you can F****** put anywhere in a F****** sentence and it still F****** makes sense.”

Though the comment is not directed at anyone, and is in a playful, rather than derogatory tone, Garrett High School still found it to be inappropriate enough to warrant expulsion.

The Tweet is certainly inappropriate, especially for school, but Austin wasn’t in school at the time. The tweet was sent at 2:30 A.M.

The principal has said the school may track a student’s tweets no matter where it is placed, from school or from home. The offending tweet was probably tracked from the school’s watchdog system when the student logged in at school, even if he wasn’t there when he posted it.

“If my account is on my own personal account, I don’t think the school or other people should be looking at it. Because it’s my own personal stuff and it’s none of their business,” said Austin, in and interview with INC Now.

The Senior was just months away from graduation, but that did not seem to phase the school board. Austin is now finishing school at an alternative facility, but he admits that he is missing out on the things that make senior year special.

This situation begs the bigger question: How much authority does a school have outside of school grounds? To me, they have far exceeded their power in this case. If every kid was expelled for cursing outside of school there would be practically no one left. It is not illegal for a student to curse, especially on his own time. This goes far beyond the typical monitoring of student social media activity, which is typically in place to deter bullying and harassment. He committed no violent act, and the use of the word wasn’t even confrontational in this case.

He also happens to be right. “F***” is one of the most versatile words in the english language. It can be used in basically any part of speech.

What do you think? Did the school board act responsibly in this case? What role, if any, should a school take in monitoring student’s social media habits? Tell us in the comments below.

  • Tye Tyson

    I can see a detention. I could even stretch and see a suspension. But expulsion is just ridiculous. I have 3 kids, worked in Law Enforcement, was in Iraq, and have A LOT of perspective. School really has no business punishing something that happened outside of its walls. That would be the parents job. Idiotic school board there, I must say.

    • yvonne

      It is Bull S—-, that is his personal page and it had nothing to do with school. There for it had no effect on the schooling. It is just like a teacher coming to your home and reading your diary. Then holding it against then. I am outraged at this. All the worse thing that the school should be taking care of. and they have to be concerned with this. How F–ken stupid are these people running our schools today. No wonder kids to not want to stay in school anymore. I hope that kids parents sues the crap out the the city the school and the dumb ass who expelled him.
      Austin you did nothing wrong. I guess they need to take out our rights of . Freedman of speech.
      How could this have happened..

  • KryptoniteBalls

    Wow, high school must really suck these days. Being able to be expelled for what happens outside of the school’s premises…What is this, Russia? This isn’t Russia is it?

  • BrendaOf6

    They didn’t have Twitter when I was in high school, but if we’d gotten kicked out for cussing, I would have been expelled many times over. And I was a good kid!

  • Outraged

    This goes way beyond the responsibilities of the school board. Teenagers cuss. This is fact. And if this boy posted the tweet from his own laptop on his own Twitter account, it’s only his parents’ business to address this with him. Expelling him from school is ludicrous.

    Now – perhaps there’s more to this story? Some other reason behind the board’s decision? The student’s previous record? Other, more inappropriate behavior on school property?

    If not, I hope there will be plenty of outraged parents and students protesting against this decision.

    • Jack

      There was a little bit of history with this student. He was warned in the past about using “ribald” language when using school issued computers. He also fought to be able to wear a kilt on Irish holidays(and won). You might say he was a “trouble maker”. The tweet was from home but when he logged into twitter the next day at school ,the f-bomb(now already on the internet under his name) was caught by the schools monitoring system and, well the rest is history. My take is, since he was warned in the past about this behavior, he knew full well what school policy was,i.e. tweets, etc are monitored. That is if they come from the schools IP address. Do they have that right? I don’t know but it’s not like this kid didn’t know about it. If he wanted to do some under the radar tweeting at school he should have brought his own laptop from home. I thinks this kid knew perfectly well that his “private tweet” would show up. I suspect the kid must feel some culpability given the fact that for a somewhat rebellious guy, he didn’t fight the schools decision. But should any of this be a factor? Does the school have the right to monitor a kids speech when in their building? At any rate it’s just a fucking word and I find the whole thing rather….yes, fucking silly.

  • Sara

    Although I think that expulsion, especially during a student’s senior year without other reasons is a bit extreme, this is a perfect example of parents needing to teach their children that anything you do or write on the internet can be viewed by anyone and does have consequences for the rest of your life. Colleges and future employers look at facebook and twitter before making decisions and more people need to realize that posting something they think is cute or funny now will affect them later in life. High school seniors should be mature enough to make smart decisions or live with the consequences of their dump actions.

  • http://webpronews.com Susan Coppersmith

    Good Golly I worry about peoples judgement.. We need to take a closer look at the people at the school making this decision. Hey, I heard he didn’t clean his room either..

  • Karin Wilmot

    Well I am glad twitter/facebook didn’t exist when I was in school. The prophecies of 1984 are becoming more real all the time. This is ridiculous and kind of scary. What kind of society are we becoming??

    Better not say what I think of that school board…I might use the “F” word.

  • Terry

    This is ridiculous and it’s none of the school’s business. This is a clear violation of his right to freedom of speech since he was neither at school, nor using a school twitter account. I see a law suit coming on.

  • http://japotillor.blogspot.com Joe Potillor, Jr. (@verbumveritatis)

    This tweet was off school grounds. The school has no basis to expel him for the tweet. Now the fact that he used a school computer to log into his twitter account later is different. He shouldn’t have done that….I can see a detention warranted in this case, but not expulsion or suspension.

  • zsa zsa

    I believe there is more to the story. The parents, the faculty at school etc. should have been more involved in resolving the issues previously. Outspoken some might say with his antics but fully aware of whats happening at his age. Technology can or won’t be a friend depending on how we use it- hmmmm wisely I would say. We usually learn from our mistakes at what cost? We have the technology to monitor things and people but do we have the smarts? I have three boys who turned out well and I would suffice to say it’s because I cared to make sure at EVERY turn. I think from what I read expulsion was a bit much…..but we do not know the whole story. There’s a right place and a right time to stand out I say.

  • Rene

    SEVERE ABUSE OF AUTHORITY. This was none of the school’s business UNLESS the tweet was sent from a school computer which it obviously wasn’t.