By John S. Wilson, Special to CNN
Editor’s note: John S. Wilson is a contributing writer for The Loop 21, Mediaite and Black Enterprise. He frequently writes about health and education policies and politics. You may reach him on Twitter: @johnwilson.
(CNN) - Last month, a few high school students sent out racist tweets about Washington Capitals player Joel Ward after he scored a winning goal against the Boston Bruins in overtime. Responding later in an interview, Ward, who is black, said, “People are going to say what they want to say," and he shrugged off those comments. But the students' high schools sure didn't.
Almost immediately after reports of the tweets, the schools began looking into ways of punishing the students for their actions outside the classroom. The schools absolutely should express their discontent with the offensive tweets. But should they punish the students? Do they even have the ability to do so? Not likely.
One official, Jonathan Pope of the Gloucester School Committee in Massachusetts, admitted as much in an interview with MSBNC.com: "We don't know whether we actually have any legal standing to implement any kinds of penalties for that kind of behavior done outside school on a private communication system."
Pope and other school officials may want to look toward the Supreme Court on this point. The 1969 Tinker v. Des Moines ruling held that students' speech was subject to punishment if it "materially and substantially" affected an institution's educational mission. These few tweets couldn't possibly pass that bar and thus qualify for the schools' disciplinary action.
Yet Richard Safier, Gloucester superintendent of schools, did just that and handed down suspensions from extracurricular activities and sports programs, saying, "Such misconduct contradicts the values and standards of Gloucester High School and the Gloucester Public Schools as a whole," according to The Gloucester Daily Times.
Random racist tweets from a few students would no more blight that school district than a commuter flipping the bird in the midst of road rage would indict a community of drivers.
Words indeed do matter. But censorship matters even more. When public schools begin to punish children for what they say or don't say - absent doing so on school property or with the school's equipment or express sponsorship - we're no longer on a slippery slope, we've already fallen and may not be able to get up.
This has been played out numerous times in the media over the past few months. Words that have offended many have come from the mouths of Rush Limbaugh and Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen as well as tweets from CNN contributor Roland Martin. Boycotts have ensued, and suspensions and apologies have flowed. The difference is not only that these men are adults, but as public figures they are accountable to their audiences and their employers. In those cases freedom of speech didn't apply because government censorship or punishment was never involved. They were private actors suffering the consequences of the free market - subject to their employers and the whims of their audiences. But this is different. Public schools have boundaries and must stay within them.
Students who don't break laws or their schools' rules are accountable to their parents, not an audience or the state. The public shame of this incident should be enough. Not everything that's offensive is punishable.
And, worse, by taking this action the Gloucester school district is opening itself up to legal liability if students decide to sue and protect their free speech rights. It's ironic that the school may be the party in need of a teachable moment.
The opinion expressed in this commentary is solely that of John S. Wilson.
Right on, panorain! I would like to add that the process could be streamlined significantly if we simply removed children from their parents at birth and transplanted them to gay households! Also, students should be uniformly taught strict Dadaism from preschool through high school.
this is america where do these liberal political correct A holes have the right to take away americans freedom of speach, time to take out their gay loving king ruler and let them know who's really in charge.
Get to it Nazi racist, let's see what you got. Put up or shut up.
Oof, you start out with a moderately solid argument, and then degenerate into a borderline racist and completely unintelligible diatribe, proving your opinion beneath the notice of anyone with an IQ above mayonnaise. Best of luck on your next attempt at forming a coherent thought.
Don't blame the kids. They've simply learned what their parents have taught them.
Why comments against blacks or gays are or racists or hate comments, but when Tevow , Gibson, Cavizel are insulted, blacklisted, atacked, or any Christian, Catholic, Whites are the butt of jokes, nothing is done.
The students should be publicly shamed, but the school has no authority to punish them. The school is literally providing aid and comfort to al-Qaida by infringing on free speech rights.
Society has every right to punish racists, and the school is part of the society, so should punish racist students. Everywhere everyone who understands that racists should be punished, should do what they can to punish racists.
Not punishing racists and racism is just condoning it.
Say what you want, you have free speech. Just dont cry like a b1tch when karma comes and kicks you in the @ss.
Any language that denigrates a person based on their physical characteristics should not be tolerated at any level. Enough is enough with this sick way of thinking. Choose to be a better person and not tolerate this language. Judge individuals by who they are as people, not by their race, creed, or orientation. Get it ?
None of the school's business. Free speech lets people be jerks and people will always be tribal.
You can't punish someone on a point of view but you can't protect people from the consequences of their actions which is the perception of freedom of speech. Yes you have the right to say what you want, but at the same time you become open and responsible to the consequences of your action or words.
State Control 101
Not a school issue. Sorry. That would be like the school punishing a kid for getting in a fight at their house with their sibling. Waste of already scarce school resources.
Racist is what you call someone who has a different point of view. In the old days they would just call you a traitor or guilty of treason against the government. It is all the same. Do you really believe in freedom of speech or are you a big liar?
Schools are not co-parents. Stay out of behavior that doesn't occur on campus or part of school activities.
If it's illegal to hate, then it's illegal to love. Can't have one without the other unfortunately.
Interesting logic you've got working there, Steve. So by you're thinking, it would also mean if it's illegal to kill, then it's also illegal to let live. Not sure I can go along with that logic, pal.
Ethically by in large racism is wrong and frowned upon in our society... However to punish someone for having a view point is also ethically wrong and ALSO frowned upon.
To punish kids for things they think, feel, or say is sending the wrong message.
The consequences for being racist are self fulfilling as it limits a persons interactions with people and alienates them to a very small social circle.
You can't change peoples minds about how they feel about other races by punishing them, all you can do is offer a counter point as to why it is not acceptable and hope that they come around, and if they don't then that is their prerogative and their right NOT to like some one.
The thought police tell us we must not be racist. They even put the military through Race Relations (as it was called then) training. But all of this seems to have it backwards. It seems that removing the reasons that people hang their racists hats on would yield a better outcome than telling everyone they must not be/act/think racist and punish them if they slip.
One more reason why we should not allow schools to stand in for parents, IE, schools now believe they are a higher power in a students life, than the parents of the children.
And is this a surprise as teachers are one of the only three classes of workers our president always mentions?
Teachers, police, and union construction workers.
Think about it, and you have who teaches our children, who potentially arrests our children, or not, and the union, which if it had its way, that who would control who our children work for, and for what cost.
Its time to reign in all three, take back our children from government sponsored education, police oversight, and control of their lifes destiny.
Of course, we all have a right to hate, to free speech, just as we have a right to receive an unbiased education, but the powers that be, would have our children have none of them.
The government is not out to get you. There is not some sort of secret teacher society trying to figure out how to take over the parenting duties of American students. There are however many educators trying to get increased parental involvement to no avail. If you want to take your child “back from government sponsored education” then do it. No one is stopping you. On another note, please define unbiased because for some reason I think that will go along the lines of “It’s what I believe”.
Was the school trying to mitigate the hurtful effects of derisive words for targets, or trying to mitigate negative attention to own reputation? Setting strong positive examples in school context 5 hours a day 5 days a week of positive respectful environment where all kids are well taught, and as such generally happy enthusiastic learners solves 99% of problems?
Not now and not in the foreseeable future, there will be no government mind control. We are, of course, headed in this direction, and technology is rapidly expanding. We're not doing so badly already, e.g., when a body murders someone they hate we will throw the book at that person. It will most likely grow worse, meanwhile you better not hate the person you murder. We are nearing the time when the government will legislate what foods we can and cannot eat. Perhaps they will first do so by dramatically increasing taxes on foods that are not good for us, this has already happened with regard to cigarettes, a legal product, creating an almost unbearable cost for the less than rich. Our government is steadily taking more and more control of our lives. And there are many who relish this.
Racism sucks, no doubt about that.
But the people who dole out the punishment for things outside of the school are the parents, not the schools. If the parents wanted to, they COULD go to the ACLU.
I mean, I'd be okay with the parents going to the administrators and saying, "suspend my kid from the football team for saying this, it's the best punishment I could think of."
Should someone hate another because of their color? No, but If they want to hate for that reason, let them. If they want to hurt someone because of their color then that's a problem. It's impossible and reprehensible to try to police thought!
Also remember that respect is earned not given, no mater what your color is.
Yes, racism is wrong. The school is also wrong for sticking their nose where it doesn't belong.
hey, if the school wants to consequence your kids for doing something stupid – what's the problem? I would hope that everyone would call my kids out when they are being hateful. Learn to be a parent.
Verbing of "consequence" means you flunk.
IApparently your school "consequenced" you by not teaching you anything. The school has no right to punish a kid for something they say outside of school.
Like weed seeds in the ground, these instincts lie within all of us.....We need to teach our kids to weed out hate at the earlier possible ages. Fighting racism and prejudice is why I started my weedouthate initiative...Kids relate extacting weeds in the yard and garden with the desire to root out one"s inner weeds. This makes room for sowing the seeds of peace, love, and respect. By the way, I have schools now accross the country holding weed out hate events as a means to stopping bullying.
Wow. I am truly surprised after reading this article and then having seen the comments. This is sickening. I am obviously on a higher evolutionary path than the majority of this country. All racism is wrong. Whether it is in school or at home. We are ALL humans. We all bleed the same. We all die the same.To a degree, we are all products of our environment, and it is up to each one of us individually to learn and grow. To reach beyond what we see hear. It is the journey of human consciousness. Even as a child, I was intelligent enough to know that people should be judged by their deeds and actions, not by the color of their skin. Keeping your parents parents hated and ignorance alive inside of you will only slow down your growth as an individual and as a person. The year is now Two Thousand and Twelve. It is not Nineteen Twelve. Right now humanity is at a fork in the road. We can either evolve...or we can die out (metaphorically speaking that is). What racism really boils down to is- people are different. And idiotic ignoramuses are AFRAID of what is different. Without putting aside differences, our societies would not even exist in the day and age.
You believed we are all the same because that is what your elementary teachers indoctrinated you to think. In fact we are quite different. Genetically even .001% of a difference results in vast differences in the way our bodies function and our brains are wired.
absolutely – there is no doubt you function differently than the rest of us.Just keep looking in the mirror and saying "I really AM special."
You're on the smug, self righteous, and arrogant "evolutionary path". I don't think anyone is arguing that the kids are right, only that they have the right. I guess your highly evolved brain doesn't comprehend simple things like boundaries. The school has no right to cross over into those children's private lives and punish them for things they say outside of school. It's simply not in their authority. That doesn't make what the kids said right, anymore than it makes your ignorant condescending statement right. How would you feel if your employer or your school read your comment and decided they couldn't tolerate your narcissism? Would it be okay for them to punish you for your ignorant comment?
That is a bunch of hokum! I don't believe in the "we are all the same"" BS.
Our cultures make us different, and culture are usually color driven
Gokai, I truly envy you for bing 'on a higher evolutionary path than the majority of this country'. You should be very proud of yourself.
thank you for this comment. We are at a fork in the road....The point I was attempting to make in my comment was that without incorporating the desire to harmonize with the spiritual by "weeding out hatred", no change is possible. We are beyond the point, in which ethics can control our collective instincts.
I never knew there were black people in NHL, sweet. Isn't this one of the last frontier dominated by white people? They should just put these students photos on a milk carton and label them as a racist. I wonder if these kids have black friends/classmates? Maybe they were just jealous that a black guy beat their hockey team. Sadly racism will never die, but with the shrinking white population in this country I think that'll put white people off of the high chair.
It's OK to be racist, period!
The "headline" CNN uses for this article is "Is it OK to be racist outside of school" – how ridiculous. Of course it's not ok, but that wasn't the point of the article either. The question posed is, does the school (which is part of the STATE government) have the right to control speech off school grounds and the answer is NO as that clearly violates the First Amendment. I hope the school continues in this ridiculous quest so that they can be flattened by the courts. And I also hope the parents of these mean-spirited kids tan their backsides really well.
Racism is natural, but extreme, violent, destructive. racism is wrong. I have my opinions about the various races, but the Golden Rule is always in effect – do unto others(regardless of race) as you would have them do to you.
Your suggestions for a better headline?
The school shouldn't punish them. But I sure hope their friends do.
Racism is not the problem, stupidity is. One will always be with us as long as there are stupid people walking around.
Since parents have mostly abdicated their responsibility in raising children to be responsible adults and we blame the schools for how they turn out in the world and it is the schools job to help prepare children to be prepared for work, etc.. I believe the schools have every right to monitor behavior that is reprehensible in or out of school or in society. Racism has no place in this Great Society so I have no problem with a choice to discipline a child for his/her behaviors AND, children are censored all the time by the adults in their lives and since they have not reached the "age of reason" (about 18 -26) when their Pre frontal cortex is fully wired, they need help in governing their behaviors. Also, they do not get a lot of "political rights" until they are at least 18 . So, again "no problem". Schools are the training ground for future citizens.
Well guess what? You don't speak for other's kids. Schools have no rights to discipline any child outside their property.
First and foremost, racism is never okay. However, neither is censorship, or a school asserting a certain authority where it has none. This has to do with parental supervision of the children's internet activity and all parties taking responsibility for their words. I think that is the most important thing here is accountability. The parents are accountable for being clueless to their children's activity. And the children are accountable for the Tweets. I agree with the school that these children should be held accountable for the tweets so that they can come to understand the power of words and the consequences of their actions. However, it is not up to the school to do so. It is up to the school to work in conjunction with the parents to make them aware of situations like these and allow these parents to use their discretion.
Racism is the last European White tool of conquest.
Says the 'other guy' who has NEVER done ANYTHING wrong. Really? Look in the mirror first.
I am confused, Isn't that a racist comment. Or are we still playing by the "only negative comments directed at non-whites is racist" rules?
Not quite, Arthur, the last White tool is that used for the denigration of Gay and Lesbian Americans as is being shown by some of those on the other side who oppose President Obama. But after all, that is truly all they have to show this country 'leadership' with, therefore, that is the only tool they are using in this election year. However, fair-minded people can see it for what it is and know that is patently wrong and will support President Obama in ending the hate, as the fella on the other side does not appear any too willing to support that at all now or ever, now does he, and such hate is as bad and wrong as racism. Facts are facts until the other side Shows us differently!
You mean obama the DIVIDER?
OMG... Here we go again. Can we read about something else for a change... I am sick and tired of hearing about gay and lesbian issues. Give it a flipping rest. There are other topics out there aside from that. I am glad that ur a big fan of OB. Good for u.
Same old White way. Making excuse for their troubling bad habit towards others.
Author, you are a racist.
Hate speech is never OK, not to be condoned or tolerated. I am glad the player's mindset is above the disturbing mentality of the students. The parents should be ashamed and alarmed that their children are behaving so disrespectful and criminally. I wonder why twitter allows such behavior on their site. Alas this is nothing new in this culture and it will be centuries if even that soon before hate speech is obliterated from the culture.
This comment blog is what's wrong with society. A bunch of uninformed, tactless, anonymous micro-bloggers who wouldn't speak a word of this in-person to anyone, but want some kind of shrouded soapbox to rant about the problem with everyone else but them. Read a book; your conversations are wholly ignorant and thus spurious even in their attempt.
A black man is defending white school kid's rights of free speech to make racist comments to another black man. That is something you dont often see, but kudos to him for stating what is right, even though the kids used their rights to do something wrong. I hope those kids see this story and learn something from it. I dont agree that the school has any authority in this matter, but the parents sure do, and I hope they take corrective action to teach these kids better. I would sure be embarrassed if my kid did something like that.
Where do you think the kids learned it from?
perhaps the post-apocolyptic human race will get it right.
That's a pretty broad statement Mr Holmes. Perhaps when you find your humanity, you'll be able to communicate more effectively.
You will never quit. There are people in every race that act like animals. Most racist people are not happy with themselves or don't realize their own shortcomings. It is easier to the see the faults of others than to see your own.
I agree that what a child does in their own home has nothing to do with a school and therefore should not be punishable by the school either. I can see the school making a person sit the bench for this stuff because they are allowed to do that but suspending them is not a right the school should have in this situation. As far as racism goes I have to agree that racism is equal to ignorance. You can't judge a person by the color of their skin or their orgins. I am white but I am not like every other white person. I have a German orgin but that doesn't put me in the same category as Hitler. You cannot judge someone because of where they came from or what they look like. Everyone deserves the right to be treated according to their own actions and behaviors. Only God can judge someone and I have faith that he will do a great job when the time is right. Judge yourself and when you are perfect then you can judge someone else. Until your perfect don't talk about anyone else.
The school really should have consulted their districts attorney before pursuing punishment of those students. If this annoys the parents / parent of the child enough they could always take the school to court for what ever damages they say were inflicted onto their child... Would the officials still feel justified after having to pay sum lump some of $$ to those students?
Shut up, you ol' fish-eyed heathen!
I agree with John. We do act like animals. It's time we quit calling each other Uncle Tom's for acting educated. That is how we should act. I'm sick of all of us "trying" when we talk, when we walk. We are just like whites in every way and yes I am saying it. Talk normal. Walk normal.
He has a point, Have you seen all the stories of mobs of black people beating up white people, mobbing 7-11s and stealing all the goods? did you hear about the black man going into Target, taking a butcher knife out of its packaging and stabbing a woman? Have you heard about the mob of black teens who chased a white boy to his house, caught him before he could get inside, poured gasoline on him and lit him on fire? Have you heard about the black man in Kansas City who broke into a TV station and stabbed two people? Have you heard about the last flash mob in Baltimore, they beat a manager and stole everything. Google black on white violence, go to youtube and do the same thing. Let me know what you find? If you can't see what is going on, then you are denial.
First off, we think what we want regardless of what anybody says or does. We say what we think is appropriate and won't offend others. The simple truth is its okay to be racist. Its okay to be who you are. If you choose to not like somebody because of the race instead of the dozens of other reasons not to like them then that happens to be your choice and that's fine. If you disagree with what I said then you then you are either brainwashed by your local school/church/media or just suffer from the iD-10T Error. You might be missing out or might not be missing out. Its not the public schools job to be our moral compass any more than its their job to make sure we all get jobs.
If the parents do not teach their children right from wrong then it is up to the schools and ultimately the police to do the job.
Yeah, because the schools did such a great job teaching math, language skills, history, and ...anything else; and the police aren't racist EVER!
The school is in the wrong. It's not up to schools to regulate off-campus conduct.
No it's not. Once the kids leave school, they no longer have to answer bound by the school district rules. This continued government overreach has to come to an end.
Betty..You stated.."If the parents don't teach the child right from wrong then it is up to the schools and ultimately the
police to do it." ......That sounds like a page right out a of Nazi hand book.
Nazi handbook? Are you serious? Since when is raising your children right considered Nazi? If parents DID teach their children right from wrong then there would be no need for police or jails.
The Police don't teach they enforce.
The school was wrong and should be sued to TEACH them.
Betty, is your last name Boop?
James-Louse! Get away from that wheelbarrow! You know you don't know nothing about machinery!
Let me tell you all something about racism. I've worked in a predominately black majority country for the last 23 years and I have to say that blacks are much more racist than any of the whites in the country. They are discriminatory to other blacks based on the degree of how black they are where being lighter in color and having "good hair" elevates them to a much higher status in society. But if a white person says anything even remotely considered as racist then the drum is beaten and accusations are made to protect their dignity. However if the black person makes the same type of comment it is ignored by management so as not show them that racism works both ways and that they have to be as responsible as the white employees,. It doesn't work that way though, only whites are racists and blacks are never held accountable for their racism. Let me tell you all something about racism. I've worked in a predominately black majority country for the last 23 years and I have to say that blacks are much more racist than any of the whites in the country. They are discriminatory to other blacks based on the degree of how black they are where being lighter in color and having "good hair" elevates them to a much higher status in society. But if a white person says anything even remotely considered as racist then the drum is beaten and accusations are made to protect their dignity. However if the black person makes the same type of comment it is ignored by management so as not show them that racism works both ways and that they have to be as responsible as the white employees,. It doesn't work that way though, only whites are racists and blacks are never held accountable for their racism. Let me tell you all something about racism. I've worked in a predominately black majority country for the last 23 years and I have to say that blacks are much more racist than any of the whites in the country. They are discriminatory to other blacks based on the degree of how black they are where being lighter in color and having "good hair" elevates them to a much higher status in society. But if a white person says anything even remotely considered as racist then the drum is beaten and accusations are made to protect their dignity. However if the black person makes the same type of comment it is ignored by management so as not show them that racism works both ways and that they have to be as responsible as the white employees,. It doesn't work that way though, only whites are racists and blacks are never held accountable for their racism
Varmit0, I agree with you, and betty is just a but plug
There's still a segment of individuals in our society that have been taught the laws of racial supremacy. They can interact with other's of color, but they cannot allow them (Black, Latino, Asian, etc.) to gain ranking status above those who are not of color. When Henry (Hank) Aaron broke "Babe" Ruth's record, he received death threats and was called all kinds of racist names. It won't go away as long as people think that they have been divinely given "supreme" privilege to be "chief" of everybody that does not look like themselves.
report it to their parants and put them in a tolerance training class to try to show them what they are doing.
What do you consider RACISM? Define it for me.
It seems LIBERALS & .LIBERAL BLACKS seem to consider anything they DISAGREE WITH to be RACISM.
If you really are a NaMVet527, that is such an uneducated thing to say.
It is true. Ever heard a black man called an "Uncle Tom" by another black man soley due to his conservative beliefs?
Part of Racism is generalizing a group, like when someone says Blacks do this or that, instead of focusing on an individual.
that would be stereotyping, not racism...fine line but a large difference my friend, racism is when someone is discriminated against solely based upon their race. Whites and Blacks do act and see the role of the U.S/Government differently, this is fact and cannot be argued, disagree? Go look up gallup or cnn poles on the issue throughout years and you will see. IMO it is ok to say blacks or whites or spaniards or asians to describe a particular group of people or how a group of people think because it is true that difference races act in different ways, it becomes racist when the description becomes derogatory or you blame the color of their skin for making them act in a bad way (robbery or violence for example), when everyone regardless of race can and does act in those ways at certain times
It can well be, NamVet, that since Liberals are seeing the obvious that CONServatives like those in Arizona and other similar states keep passing laws that are used to profile and denigrate Hispanics and Latinos to keep them away from that state, even if they happen to be born there, gives great credence to their seeing Real Racism in those places, something they sure do Disagree with! And just look at what one Sherrif in Arizona is going through right now with the Justice Department on account of just that sort of thing! Further, it sure appears these CONServatives are going all out to continue to marginalize not only Hispanics and Latinos but Gays and Lesbian Americans as well. In the end, when all is said and done however, since they have no real agenda to actually help the American people, that is ultimately the only thing CONServatives can hang their hat on which is to tell the nation they were working Hard for them by passing egregious laws to denigrate other people whom they dislike like Hispanics/Latinos and Gay and Lesbian Americans. Truly sad yet it's happening and Hispanics/Latinos as well as LGBT folks are well aware of it and can not/will not support any CONServative candidates in November and these CONS had it coming!
It's NEVER ok to be a racist, but it's also not a school's job to modify student behavior outside of school.
Racism is simply a belief and a point of view. You may like it or not like it, but if we are really living in a society that advocates freedom of speech, then people have a RIGHT to express their views, whether they are popular or not, whether they are true or not. I personally think religion is obscene, yet most people would say that they have a perfect right to express their religious views, whether I like them or not. What's more, an employer, or a school, simply has no right to censor or punish anyone for expressing their views outside of that venue. What I say at home, or on the net, or over my telephone, is none of any school's or employer's business.
OK I will take my OBSCENE RELIGION, my FAITH in JESUS CHRIST GOD ALMIGHTY, to HEAVEN with me while you take you CHRISTOPHOBIC HATE & HYPOCRISY to HELL with you for ETERNITY.
GOD BLESS YOU, oops sorry YOU DO NOT BELIEVE in HIM
Um...isn't there some crap in the bible about reserving judgement for God? You're swinging that axe pretty easily for someone who made a passive aggressive comment.
You need help.
If you really are a NaMVet527 LIAR. You are no more a Christian than those you flamewar at.
When you believe in something that has zero evidence of it, it is called scitsophrenia (sp) aka F-IG CRAZY.
NamVat, Do you love your enemy?
Racists can't love Christ's doctrine. Stop it already as well all the other so called followers of Christ.
so hes supposed to tolerate you, but not you him?
capnmike, people are free to express their views without being sanctioned by the government. That's what "free speech" means. However, your peers are certainly free to tell you what an idiot you are being if you spout racist views.
In addition, you cannot make your workplace a hostile environment for others. That can (and should) get you fired.
I freely admit I'm a racist... I hate NASCAR.
Nice! These comments just prove how divided our opinions are. Pat McDonough of Maryland got blasted for stating that mobs of black violent youths were causing problems in downtown Baltimore....then, this week, a mob of black youths "rushed" a 7-11, stole food, money, and roughed up the owner. Call it what it is.
Haha! That's a terrible pun, I like it!
A school administrator is not a parent, and he/she would be wrong to think he/she has the right to punish students for anything they did outside of and completely unrelated to the school. That job stays to the parent- even the administrator telling the parent about these tweets is going out on a limb. Now if the tweets were pointed at another student, it could be a different case, but they were not and it was not in the school's place to barge in like that.
Parents can raise and discipline their own children in their own way, and while the school has some form of control and responsibility over a child while it is on campus, that ends with the last bell.
Furthermore, I am a high school student and I know how it is with racist remarks(mostly toward african-americans)- 95% of them are jokes and are taken as jokes even by the african-american population. I hear them every couple minutes walking past the halls, and no one ever says anything- yet when it's posted on a social network and adults SEE instead of hear it, it becomes a huge riff raff.
Every couple minutes Aida? I wouldn't allow my child to go to that degenerate school until they changed that behavior.
Glad I know that we have freedom of speech and expression in this country. What a ground breaking piece. lol
Obviously you didn't read the piece. The point is that this superintendent felt that they should be punished for their remarks despite the fact that it was done outside school hours or property, hence violating their rights to free speech. While I am appalled at their behavior, I agree with this author that it isn't the school system's job to discipline these teens.
Do kids have a right to be racists outside of school? Of course not, they should only be rascists while in school.
The fact of the matter is,,,,you have the right to say what you want in the USA. It is called free speech and no SKOOL has the right to punish any kid for anything said in their private lives. that is the parents job if they chose to do so. you may not like what others say or how they feel, but that is their right, just as everyone will not like all you say or the way you feel about things. if anyone finds this to be unacceptable they also have the freedom to move to a country where free speech is not allowed. as for me, I believe the schools and a lot of the government agencies need to get their noses out of Americans private lives and get back to doing the jobs they are paid by the tax payers to do. the United States is not a police state country and should not be treated as such....
What is so suprising in America is that no one ever dares to say anything when an African American says anything racist re: white people.
That would be racist. LOL
so true its not even funny. Blacks are waaay more prejudiced than whites.
Ok I'm sure there are racists black people out there; there has to. Any person of any skin color can be racist. But where do you get that blacks are waaayy more racist than whites? Where are your stats? Can you show me a poll that sows this to be true? How aout a reserch paper or an article? Or is this just the conclusion that you have came up with? The research I've seen seems to say that it is the other way around. People like you crack me up I swear. You generalize with your limited and small minds as if you know how the the world really works but the comments you make could never be taken seriously by a person with half a brain. And if you and others really believe something like that I don't even know what to say.
I TOTALLY agree with you. I saw that more times than I liked when I was teaching college students.
Well perhaps they should start, web, after all, Blacks shouldn't see anything wrong with the fact that 'turn around is Fair play!' It is terrible to simply have to acquiesce to someone's derogatory remarks and not fight back, after all if they brought it on first, they have to be ready to see it through in whatever way is fair to do!
as hard as they might, blacks cannot be racist, because racism was never about race. it was more about white people thinking that those of color are uncouth, uncivilized, poor, and watever else u cud conjure up. Part of the reason behind that mindset is most white countries have been rich while black countries have been poor which sustains that perception. if racism was truly about race, you would see whites ganging up against chinese too but that doesnt happen as much.
One has a legal right to hold racist views, BUT our culture opposes racism as a value, so it is not "okay" to be racist outside of the school
the country also gives you the right to express whatever feelings you have, be they racist or not. that is what free speech is all about. being racist is a sad thing and it is shamefull that it exsist, but the fact is, it does. i do not have to like what you like and you do not have to like what i like, but we both have the right to say what we like or dislike. i do not like racist remarks and i do not make them, but that is my choice. if someone else feels differently, that is thier choice. america better wake up and fight to the finish to keep free speech, no matter what is being said.
Larry, you are right and that is exactly what the author is trying to convey.
People have the right to think on their own and say what they feel.
Punishing these students for the remarks will only enforce their racism anyway.
Whose culture? YOURS maybe. There are other "cultures" than yours, sweetheart.
No one has the right to say racists comments to hurt someone else. The racists actions speak for themselves whether black,white, Hispanic, Latino or whatever. Always have and always will. We don't need the folks like Sharpton, Jackson and many others to stir the bucket. All they do is makes matters worse. Race problems today are mostly brought about by a generation that has never been affected by it. People use racism when it benefits them, enough is enough. Grow up, start showing some ethics, morals and raise your standards no matter what race you are. This is not a one race problem it is muti-race problem and it has to stop.
Only negative comments from people I love hurt. Racist comments have no consideration in my world, they are ignored.
People have the right to say what they feel as long as they don't say bomb on a airplane or airport.LOL
Most of you folks posting on here need to get real. dont be hypocrits. dont lie to yourselves about your feelings.
just because something is PC doesnt mean that is what YOU are.
Anyone saying that it's not OK to be a racist should come say that to my face and see what happens.
What is you point?
anyone can call me a racist if they want.... and they would be correct.
but, no one can say they have ever seen me act on it. feelings dont need acted upon all the time.
But this isn't "in the bedroom" topic like some people suggest. This was done in a public forum, and anyone can see what they said. Hopefully the internet will remember what these people said. And when people look them up, this is what they find.
No one has a right ot be racist , Especially of it is directed to causse harm to the other person regrdless of their race.
Everyone has a right to be racist or not be. It's called freedom of association, Stalin.
I disagree. we can be racist BUT only if we dont act on it. it is possible to do that and also NOT be a liar or hypocrit.
we most certainly have the right to be racist.
ya mite lern ta spel................
I don't agree with that. These kids have a right to say and feel what they want. People always have. As a black man I've dealt with racism before but you know what, I know who and what I am. If some white person or whatever race they are wants to dislike me based only only my skin color, so be it. I'm a firefighter and before I even got into drill school I heard how racist my department was. When I started working soon understood how it really was. Some guys won't even as much say a word to me. Don't care. They have a rightto choose who they want to associate with.
Now If the same people try to affect my job then it's a problem.
So let the racists be racist. If they take it a step further by trying to harm someone or their livelyhood than that's when you do something about it.
Sure, be racist – get it out there – let everyone around you know what a narrow minded putz you are
What have you got against us narrow-minded putzes? HUH? Sounds like prejudice to me. Us Putzes got a right to be as narrowminded as we want, and if you don't like it, go stuff it.
If the state (in the form of the school) can suppress freedom of speech outside of its perview, then it can punish kids doing things outside of its perview.
Lets sue the school system whenever a teenager goes out and robs a store or steals a car. Why didn't the school system interdict? It had the power!
Obviously, that's ridiculous. So to is it ridiculous that the school has the authority to manage children outside of its premises at non school functions.
People need to take their kids out of these public schools that think they have more power over our children then the parents do. Stop letting them have control of your kids.
twhen itis done outside the school it is a poor reflecion of home training is this behavior condone by the parenta,If I was thier parent i would be upset.
I thought this was America!
And that means what?
it means freedom and PRIVACY for a start.EVERYBODY SHOULD MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS,besides,I think that player is a homely looking dude.
I agree completely that the school has no business handing down suspensions for this offense, but so often when kids do stuff outside of school the community looks to the schools to do something about it. In an incident in my home town several middle school students painted swastikas on head stones in a Jewish cemetary on a Saturday night. The community was outraged that the school didn't do something to punish the students. Society needs to make up its mind.
the people upset because the schools did nothing are part of this problem. the school has not right to do anything in a case like this. it is the parents place to punish the kids, and the courts as laws were broken.
what were the laws broken?
So, let's recap! To many liberals, those mean conservatives want to control what we do in our bedroom....but it is also right to punish children for what the do in their own privacy, and it is perfecly fine.
More CNN dribble! They love to portray whites as racists, and they go to great links to find these stories. Then, when an event like the Trayvon Martin case shows up, they even change around the aggressors to portray a...oh yeah, whites.
It's okay to be racist. We all have the right to dislike any race we want to. You can be white and hate black people. You can be black and hate mexicans. You can be Chinese and hate black people. Every race has cultural differences, and those cultural differences serve to seperate all of us. I don't like what certain races "do". How they act, how they behave, what music they seem to prefer. I don't like it. And I have a RIGHT not to like it. Sometimes I think the world would be a more peaceful place if races would SEGREGATE to their own countries. I am not into "multiculturalism" or "race mixing". When inmates go to prison, they "click-up" with their own RACE as soon as they get in there. It's just natural "human nature" to do this. So why resist who and what we are? It's TRENDY to be "multicultural". Screw that. Be yourself. Birds of a feather flock together. It's nature's way.
I do agree with you. The government cannot dictate who likes who-will never happen. Besides people will get along better if the government keeps it's nose out of peoples' business.
Famous quote "I don't agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to say it".
The problem with "freedom of speech" is that so little of it is worth protecting.
Agreed, just look at the racist comments made over the Zimmerman Martin affair against Zimmerman. All of this offensive speech should be controlled, ON BOTH SIDES.
You want to control speach? What is next, do you also want to control what a person thinks?
So glad I can say FO to you. That's DEFINITELY worth protecting.
These students' actions are abhorrent and they should be punished. Suspending them from sports and extracurricular activities is a fine punishment – BUT – it should be their parents' decision to do so, NOT the school's. There's a little thing called the Bill of Rights that is supposed to be taught in school, seems like the administrators are not aware that First Amendment rights protect even hurtful comments for the greater good.
Schools seem more fixated on their "brands" and the public reputation of their teachers, than of actually using these situations as teachable moments. Notice the wording chosen: It's about how the student's behavior reflects on the school, not about teaching children about life, shared humanity and a responsibility to consider the feelings of others.
Authoritarian discipline from schools, that reaches outside their boundaries of responsibility, will not change how kids think - it will only drive them into the role of "victim", "opressed" and build the kind of resentment that perpetuates these divides. Instead of punishing these kids, why not challenge them to explain their positions? Have them really think and talk about the words they've chosen, have teachers take the alternative position. I bet that soon enough, as they hear how ridiculous their arguments are, that perception will be transferred onto the racist behavior. Notice, as well, that these kids weren't using racial remarks to insult someone who failed, but to downplay their achievements - they insulted the player for delivering a winning shot. We hear the same kind of insults hurled at people of minority ethnicites who are high achievers in the maths, arts and Sciences - even at our own President, despite what he's accomplished as an individual. Why is that?
Kids need to learn empathy and see the fallacy of arguments in favor of racial discrimination, not just memorize the "right" social indoctrination cues. They need to undertand how absurd, cruel and unfair, racism really is.
Since extracurricular activities are a privilege and not a "right" the school administration was in line with the goals and philosophies of most sports programs in suspending the students from them. They weren't suspended from school, just the sports and other extracurricular activities. These extra programs should, by their nature teach students to embody a higher level of civil responsibility. Those who don't wish to live up to a higher code, don't have to participate in the additional programs. Simple.
So is it okay if the school prohibits children from participating in sports if they don't attend the proper church?
Should they have to go to only administration-approved political rallies?
Should the schools monitor their TV viewing, to make sure they're not watching anything the administrators don't like?
Where do you want this to stop?
And what makes you think it will stop where YOU want it to, instead of where someone else wants it to?
Well"guest", your first point is moot since separation of church and state laws already have eliminated that possibility. Do you study much or just spout off ignorance as fact?
Again this situation is about suspension privileges for unacceptable behavior, not rights. Desired behavior is rewarded, whether it's operant conditioning in the lab or guiding youth toward prosocial behaviors, if one does not desire the reward, one does not have to perform the behavior. No one is forcing them to renounce their opinions but by the same token, as ignorant morons have the right in this country to behave as such, the members of society who chose an ethical, prosocial mindset also have the right to keep a distance from those who profess ignorance. If the teens involved and their parents don't like being held to a reasonable civic standard, maybe they should homeschool and go live in the woods because they will probably be offended by anyone else who can adjust to living among other people from diverse backgrounds and philosophies.
Wrong. These kids were watching a professional sports team play on their own time and not on school property. it wasn't a school event. The school district has done nothing but open themselves to litigation. Making racial slurs over a play is completely foolish, but the school district has no right or position to do anything. This is a issue for the parents of those involved to deal with, not the school. What's next? The school hearing about a student was grounded at home for some offense and then for the school to add their own punitive measure? School administrators have the false impression that they have power over everything in a childs life and they are wrong. Whether it be this issue, or one the other day where they strip searched a child without a parent being there or police. If I was their parent, my lawyer and the school district would be having a long conversation much to the regret of the school districts checkbook. That usually is the only way they get their wakeup call.
You're entirely missing the point here. Who are school administrators to determine what is acceptable behavior and what is not acceptable behavior off of school grounds?
The kids are still being punished by the school for something that did not happen at school or on school property or on the school bus nor on school time-NONE of the school's business. That is like an employer firing you for your right to free speech at your home off work time. Is that fair?
Great point! This is the exact point I was going to make.
It is the parental responsibility not the schools!!!
So, this is a country whose citizens are afforded the right of "freedom of speech" ?
Yes they do. If you are in the privacy of your own home, you should be able to think and say anything you want.
It is never ok to be a racist. It shows ignorance, a lack of intelligence and education. How many of these kids are tweeting this garbage on cell phones paid for by their parents? If my kid ever tweeted such vitriol, I'd cut off her means of communicating this crap so fast her head would spin.
and you would be right to do so. The school is not.
Thank goodness white people invented the computer so we can have this conversation, eh?
I spent 20 years in the Navy defending this great country and your right to be a racist, even if I dont agree with your thoughts,
As obscene as their tweets may have been, the school system is overreaching their authority as many have seen "fit" to do in recent years.
Whether it's FB postings of drinking, or racist comments tweeted on their own phones, students have the right to act stupidly, and schools have zero authority over them. It's abhorrent to me that school administrators aren't being challenged by people in their communities.
Our society wants to treat kids as little adults, with all the rights that adults have, but the responsibility still falls on the parents when they do something wrong. And it seems like parent's hands are tied when it comes to being able to discipline their kids. So it's abhorrent to -me- that parents aren't able do more to teach their children differently.
You know of no way to teach children other than hurting them?
Yep, you can say whatever you want outside school and public life..... f*N duh G!
Wait a second... if employers can reprimand someone for their activities online, outside of work, than schools should be able to as well. I personally don't feel that employers or schools should be allowed to do either.
If it's done on personal time, the employer and school has the right to ask about it, but nothing more. Of course someone will take it too far and say that parents can't do anything about it either, which is just plain stupid. But that is for another article.
Schools need to stop overextending their roles and authority. I hate racism and it's really wrong (like what makes YOU better than any other person?)... but how is it in any way the school's responsibility? They just don't want to tarnish their names, therefore they are acting like a communist authoritative figure. I can't tell you how many policies don't make sense with high schools, colleges and universities. If the kid said some racial slur ON CAMPUS, then by all means I could care less. That's YOUR property for the college faculty and they can do as they like. However, places like twitter outside the school is NOT their problem nor is it even in their best interest. Schools should stop being so nosy and hands on. I thought we lived in USA, not Russia.
We need to get our schools and their faculty back under control. This is a huge overreach of their powers. Time for someone to slap them good in court and teach them that they don't run our lives. I don't care what they said, it was not on school grounds or at a school event, it is not the schools problem. This is for the parents to deal with if anyone.
Agreed. We should also tackle the rising tuition issue as well. I understand everyone needs to make money but some colleges exist SOLELY for profits only.
Think we need to protect our children by installing recording equipment on them so that anytime they say something wrong they get zapped. And if their own family can't get them to get with the program then we should give them to a gay family for penince
Folks, it is still a free country. You want to be racist go for it, you can do that. You have the right to be a fool and ignorant too. Others also have the right to judge you based on your actions and words, so if you don't get the dream job because you are a racist too bad. Good luck with that. It is not the schools place to do a damn thing about anything done or said outside of school or a school event. Teachers need to be reminded they are not in charge of our kids lives, only a small part of their day. Not surprised this is happening in MA and because of the schools overreach in it's want to control people I hope the families sue them and cost the town bundles. . . that is the only way these folks will learn the USA is still free for now they don't run things yet.
Why this just be your future T.S.A. agents in training. If you say you are not racist you are a liar, or a fool or you really have a low opinion of yourself! You little wussies that kiss up to people because of race always seem to be the ones you coddle like imbiciles unable to take care of themselves are beating up on. It's funny to see some white libby getting their butts whipped by the people they defend and cry for!!!! It's always the libbies you see the blacks beating up on, they know who the punks are and who they aren't!!
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