People are getting in trouble for strange reasons just because of the way they choose to use social media. Just recently, a high school student in Indiana was expelled from school because he used profanity in one of his tweets. He was using his personal Twitter account and that too from his own home, not at the premises of his school according to The Register. This says much for the freedom of expression.
The disciplinary action was to altogether expel him rather than to talk to him about why it was wrong. The boy, Austin Carroll, said that he did not even send the tweet during school hours. However, what he forgot being away from school is that his school has a system of recording tweets by its students. This is how he was a caught because the system wrongfully showed it came from one of the school computers. To this, his fellow students protested in his favour, to the extent that the local police had to be called on the campus. Austin is very much upset and expressed his disappointment saying:
“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.”
Strange thing is, no one has taken the boy’s side. At least, no one from the authority. It would be great to see an internet body set up just so that it can save people such as this boy who were just expressing their thoughts freely. He had to move out of his former school and had joined a new one since then.
As a punishment, he is also not allowed to attend his school prom, a day that most college students eagerly wait for. Only his mother is voicing her support amongst the adults. Austin’s mother said:
“I totally didn’t agree with what Austin said but I didn’t agree with an expulsion either. I mean if they suspended him for three days or something, I would be fine with that but to kick him out of school, his senior year, three months to go, wrong.”