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School District Wants To Expel Student Over His Blog

from the high-school-big-brother dept

While one school district in Illinois is asking kids to sign a "pledge" that will give the district the right to discipline them for anything they put online, regardless of whether it's done using school resources or not, another district in the state is going a step further. It wants to expel a student (via Slashdot) because of blog posts he made that are critical of his school's administration, his attorney says. The student was already suspended after writing a post that criticized the way another student had been disciplined, and now alleges school officials are trying to bully him into taking his posts down. The school contends it has the right to punish students for speech that "creates a disturbance to the educational environment", and of course, only it gets to determine what constitutes a disturbance. But whatever the school district believes it can do, courts have made it pretty clear that schools have very limited rights to regulate students' off-campus speech and expression -- and it's hard to see exactly how any of the very narrow exceptions could apply in this case. It sounds more like the school's administrators are trying to put a chill on any student who dares question them, which, last time we checked, wasn't a right on par with those guaranteed to the student by the First Amendment.
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  • identicon
    Rikko, 25 May 2006 @ 9:58am

    Sign of the times..

    Kids are getting smarter, and I love it. Disappearing is the little know-it-all punk who resents the world, growing are the insightful little brats who have something to say and are fighting for their constitutional rights.
    Sorry, teachers, you'll just have to start earning your salaries like the rest of us.

    (Ok, ok, unfair generalization, but there are far more mediocre and worse teachers still in circulation than there ought to be)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      SPR, 25 May 2006 @ 10:10am

      Re: Sign of the times..

      True, it may be an unfair generalization, however,,,
      There are plenty of teachers that should be in a different line of work. Just go to McDonalds or any other fast food chain outlet and you will see the students of the incompetent teachers. They can't even give change unless the computer tells them how much change to give. Pretty soon the computer will have to tell them what denomination of coins and how many of each to give as change.
      Why not just use a change dispenser, oh, excuse me,,, Super America already does!!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        widdy, 25 May 2006 @ 10:23am

        Re: Re: Sign of the times..

        Educating a child is not just the job of our overworked and still underpaid teachers...what ever happened to parents taking some responsibility and getting involved with their childs educatrion? For schools to be successful, we need cooperation with families and the communities in which they live.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 May 2006 @ 10:26am

        Re: Re: Sign of the times..

        Give me a break...have you ever taught? Some kids are just unable or unwilling to learn. The problems start at home w/ parents who actually pay attention to what their kids do and not just point their fingers at the State/Education System when their kids are not performing. The first guy made a gross generalization, but yours was insanely narrowminded and uneducated.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      JM, 25 May 2006 @ 10:23am

      Re: Sign of the times..

      ...Sorry, teachers, you'll just have to start earning your salaries like the rest of us... ...(Ok, ok, unfair generalization, but there are far more mediocre and worse teachers still in circulation than there ought to be)

      Sorry dude but you're perspective is way off - maybe if teachers got a little respect from the community and started earning salaries that were worth as much as the rest of us we might find far less mediocre teachers. Fact is, we have mediocre teachers because we pay them mediocre salaries. Very few people go into professions that pay terrible wages and are willing to be treated like crap for cheap simply because they, "love what they do." That all by itself demands serious respect for what they put up with.

      We need to pay our teachers a respectable salary before we can piss on them for being mediocre. The public needs to WTFU when it comes to our educational system and quit complaining that their children aren't getting a decent education. It's the damn public that keeps cutting the budgets!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Patti from Long Island, 25 May 2006 @ 10:35am

        Re: Re: Sign of the times..

        "Fact is, we have mediocre teachers because we pay them mediocre salaries. "

        Maybe that is the fact where you live, but not here on long island. We have teachers in my district making six figures...not to mention the administators (our superintendent makes a quarter of a million dollars!).

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Layne, 25 May 2006 @ 11:49am

          Re: Re: Re: Sign of the times..

          I'd have to agree, the school district matters on the pay. My mother who works at a smaller school district makes roughly 50-60k a year (thats with just a masters, doctorates almost double that).

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Stevie, 25 May 2006 @ 10:56am

        Re: Re: Sign of the times..

        Actually, the teachers have lost all respect, not because of the work that they do. It is a direct result of the negative impact that the teacher's unions and the school district officials have on education. When you protect lousy [and mediocre] teachers, hold back good teachers, pay huge salaries to worthless officials, it is no wonder that the education system in the US is falling apart.

        Even many 3rd world nations offer better education to their than the public education system here. ALL top educating nations utilize a privatized education system, does anyone get this. The best schools make the most money, pay the highest wages to teachers and the children win...

        What we need to do is to disband the unions, pay teachers based on merit, get rid of the teachers that shouldn't be [and there are lots of them], quit passing students unless they make the grade and get the get control over the school districts and their budgets. School officials should never make more than the average salary in their district. Six figure salaries for doing just a little more than nothing doesn't sit well with me. My hard-earned tax dollars should be going to educating future generations, not lining pockets in silk suits.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 May 2006 @ 11:11am

        Re: Re: Sign of the times..

        My sister just started her first year of teaching. She has a 3rd grade class. She just completed the credential program and has a BA in Liberal Studies. Her starting salery was in the mid 50's, not bad for a job that you only have to attend 3/4 of the year. Put that into perspective, if she worked the whole year that would be a beginning salery in the 70k range.

        I know it can be a thankless job. Teachers and good parents are the future of our society. I agree they should be paid more, but they should also have to have higher standards. Make the new teacher standards higher and the saleries will follow. "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach."

        I love my sister but I wouldn't want her teaching my children. Over lunch a few weeks back she explained to me that she now finally understands the math she is teaching, only after she had to explain it to her students. Sorry but how did she receive her credentials without this knowledge prior to teaching?

        Saleries are only currently so low because competition is so high for the jobs. They'll let just about anybody teach these days. Higher standards is the way to get better teachers. But hey, we don't have money to spend on our future, we have countries to take over today.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Grammer Natzi, 25 May 2006 @ 1:54pm

          Re: Re: Re: Sign of the times..

          Teacher "saleries" are unlikely to improve as long as their current/former students keep writing about their "saleries." Should we really pay higher "saleries" before they start teaching actual spelling "more 'then' kreativ spaeling/grammer?"

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          nachobidness, 26 May 2006 @ 7:24pm

          Re: Re: Re: Sign of the times..

          Pease don't apply for a job teaching spelling. People who earn a salary need to be able to spell it.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Dan, 25 May 2006 @ 11:46am

        Re: Re: Sign of the times..

        Gotta disagree! Have you seen a contract for a teacher, at least in CT, 20 days sick time for a job that works 10 months, average salaries in the 60's (for 10 months, more if they do summer duty!), teacher aides helping! How many teachers have deductibles in their health plan like the rest of us, sorry cry this tune somewhere else, I'm not buying the low salary stuff, they are wrong here!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Rachel, 25 May 2006 @ 11:54am

          Re: Re: Re: Sign of the times..

          Dan - Yes there are states that pay great salaries, but there are states that do NOT: North Carolina being one of the lowest in the country. A starting salary is in the upper $20K to lower $30K. I know, my mother works in NC as a teacher. Even with a Masters degree in education with specializations in LD (learning disabled) and AG (academically gifted) she makes no more that $40k per year. Additionally, the health insurance deductibles are outrageous (min $400 per month).

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      me, 26 May 2006 @ 9:21am

      Re: Sign of the times..

      tenure is the root cause

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 May 2006 @ 10:05am

    It is hard to decide without the details, but it sounds like they are basically blackmailing out in the open.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    future of US, 25 May 2006 @ 10:10am

    Its nice to see that bending over and taking it is a concept that schools are teaching early on. Its a valuable lesson that the youth of today must fully grasp in order to survive in the real world.

    Failure to understand + fear of possibilities = future of US

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bark Muckman, 25 May 2006 @ 10:11am

    Freee Speech anyone?

    When someone isnt happy with how things are being done, it's their god given right as an American to speak up! I had the same experience when developing RosenthalSucks (http://RosenthalSucks.com) which explains the details of my harrowing experience at a local Land Rover dealership in Vienna, VA.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bark Muckman, 25 May 2006 @ 10:11am

    Freee Speech anyone?

    When someone isnt happy with how things are being done, it's their god given right as an American to speak up! I had the same experience when developing RosenthalSucks (http://RosenthalSucks.com) which explains the details of my harrowing experience at a local Land Rover dealership in Vienna, VA.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    anonymous coward, 25 May 2006 @ 10:11am

    if students can criticize teachers, do teachers have a right to respond with information about the student?

    "little bobby says that i am a horrible math teacher, but little bobby is just upset because he has a low IQ and his dad left his mother, so bobby has trouble at home. it really isn't my fault at all. i think he may have fetail alcohol syndome."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Wolfger, 25 May 2006 @ 10:13am

    I don't see it...

    I don't see how anything said outside the "educational environment" can constitute a disturbance to said environment.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    LordVader, 25 May 2006 @ 10:13am

    I am not a big fan of the ACLU, I think that they are part of the problem as far as this countries sue-happiness goes, but I think that this would be the perfect case for them to get involved in. Come on ACLU step up and get involved in a real case that has something to do with Civil Liberties.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 May 2006 @ 10:20am

      Re:

      LordVader,

      Read the article the local ACLU has taken a position on the issue, supporting the studetn. When I read through it I didn't see if they were providing his coucil or if it was the families private attorney though.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Scott Emick, 25 May 2006 @ 10:21am

      Re:

      I think we need ACLU X 10 in this country. It's going down the tubes at a record pace, George Orwell 1984 style.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    people from state, 25 May 2006 @ 10:46am

    This kid shouldnt have been suspended because of a blog he posted. Like HELLO!!! it is his own opinion on the way his school is working things. The school has no right doing something he did on his spare time. Stupidest case ever, even stupider then that one with the mcdonalds coffee.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 May 2006 @ 10:46am

    SAT scores nationwide have been declining since the 60's .....and we should pay teachers more? Seems a simplistic view, but where I work I get paid for RESULTS. The real world.

    So some students are hard to teach, well some projects I get are hard to do.

    The last thing you do with an area of low productivity is throw more money at it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Paul in AZ, 25 May 2006 @ 11:01am

      Re: Results

      Very true, from a narrow perspective. There are also some projects that are impossible to do. And there are projects that are not worth doing. Not to say that any child is not worth teaching -- they all are, and they all should earn an education -- but society doesn't put enough emphasis on education and kids think the big money is easy to get. Who wouldn't want to pull down the kind of jack that Kobe Bryant, Bruce Springsteen or Tom Cruise get? While they might not make the megabucks liek those stars, they also know that pro sports rookies, club entertainers, and B-list actors make a pretty good wage as well. So who needs an education when you think you can easily get the money other ways -- without all the "work"? We've bencome a lazy society -- and it'll be our undoing.

      You can lead a horse to water ...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Rachel, 25 May 2006 @ 11:30am

      Re:

      SAT scores nationwide have been declining since the 60's

      Did one ever think that the SAT might not be a good test and the only thing it tests is how well students do at taking tests?

      Yes, there needs to be an educational overhaul. In many southern states (NC & TN with which I have experience) the school systems are sub-par and only cater to those that cannot afford private school to properly educate their children.

      As for the topic on-hand: no school should be allowed to sanction what a student does at home or outside of school. Maybe if schools were more receptive they wouldn't be so uptight about what is said about them. What do they have to hide? Do they have something to hide?

      Instead of complaining about everything that's wrong with the system, why not buck up and DO something about it. It's great that students can be critical of what's going on around them, but the next step is ACTION. We're fast becoming a nation of complainers and not doers.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Paul from AZ, 25 May 2006 @ 10:50am

    RE: Sign of the times

    Patti - that's WAY above the national average. I'm going to be a new teacher next year (after completing 20+ years in the military) and know that is definitely not the norm. In Arizona, a 1st year teacher with a masters can expect in the low- to mid- 30s. My wife, also a teacher, is in her 8th year with a BA and makes just a little more. Sure, it depends on the location and the emphasis on education -- for instance, in San Antonio we could each make $7K-10K more per year.
    As a parent and prospective teacher, I think the onus is on the parents first and foremost to ensure their child sees the importance of an education and puts forth the effort to earn one. Yes, the teacher has to be able to create an interesting and effective educational environement, but if the student doesn't care and is just "attending" school, then no amount of effort from the teacher is going to make any difference. Unfortunately, we're seeing more and more of this in our society...

    Just my two cents...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Aaron, 25 May 2006 @ 11:08am

    From A 2004 Graduate's point of view:

    Whoever that student is, I commend his/her actions as a proper way to vent anger and frustrations against a society which often is run by ignorant people who incorperate poor judgement into their every day lives. Thank you for not shooting up your school. Whether his judgements are correct or not, it is every person's right to be able to express themselves. The article is very vague as to details, so it is hard to tell if this student is intelligent and motivated or a troublemaker. Either way, I agree fully wth them and regret not making a blog myself. My highschool cut ALL of the performing arts programs in order to fund more football games. They also banned backpacks, and do not allow anyone to stand during lunches. I guess its getting harder these days to train hard working robots from intelligent youths. What is a government to do?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jeremy, 25 May 2006 @ 11:20am

    Stevie hits in on the head

    I'm not a teacher but I am very good friends or related to 4 teachers. And Stevie hit it right on the head with his comments.
    Actually, the teachers have lost all respect, not because of the work that they do. It is a direct result of the negative impact that the teacher's unions and the school district officials have on education. When you protect lousy [and mediocre] teachers, hold back good teachers, pay huge salaries to worthless officials, it is no wonder that the education system in the US is falling apart
    Their biggest complaint isn't the parents or the salary or the students their biggest complaint is being blamed by the community for the poor decisions of the school administration, teachers are simply the target everyone can see.

    My brother-in-law has stopped teaching after only 4 years out of college. While his reasons are varied his #1 reason for leaving is the school administration has gone out of there way to make teaching (and disciplining) students nearly impossible and the local union officials spend way too much time and energy protecting mediocre if not downright dangerous teachers. His #2 reason is money but it's a distant second and he's taking up a job that pays only marginally better.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Student in "our" school system, 25 May 2006 @ 11:25am

    I the way of pay for the teachers, I think there should be a national minimum wage that all districts have to pay regardless, that wage should be on par with the national average and it should be the up the districts whether to raise them. Second I think we need to take both the students and the teachers accountable, there should be a standardized test, which only takes one period to take, every nine weeks. This test would be graded by the district to prevent corruption. The test would have two parts; the first part would be an ensemble of multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank questions, the second part would be a battery of essay questions. The first half of the test would be to determine if the student knows the material, the second to see if he understands the information (It is the student job to know the material and the teacher’s job to make sure they understand it). If more than 65% of the class passes the first half but not the second three times then the teacher should be fired. Their pay would also be based on this test. It would not be like the pointless FCAT or any other state standard test that could be passed with your eyes closed, but would be difficult and require studying (oh my, what a concept). As for the article that is simple violation of the 1st amendment and the person that brought up the charge should be fired.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    BigEd, 25 May 2006 @ 11:26am

    They think they do...

    They think they have to much power and control and can violate the civil rights of kids. The schools and the people who run them need to be put in their place. They work for the parents to teach our kids and only teach and not run their lives. We parents will control our kids out and off of school and as a matter of fact even while in school. Their actions are what these kids are going to grow up with and think is ok to do in the real world. We're heading for a very bleak future when they kids are running the country.

    Any and all kids... I recommend all of you not sign anything for the schools. Stand up to them and say no. It's your right !!! If the schools don't want you to access certain sights then they will block them at the school. What you do on your own time is your right. I just hope you use it right. And remember, Free Speech is also your right and parents can sue the schools for trying to take that right away from you.

    The other day my daughter had her cell phone taken away by a school principle for calling her mother during lunch. I had to go pick it up and also advised this person that I will and would press criminal charges against them if it ever happened again. They are not police and the child violated no laws and the schools position was nothing more than strong arm theft of personal property.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    LordVader, 25 May 2006 @ 11:49am

    Teaching

    In Texas to fail a child the teacher has to have a "good reason" and the child not doing the work is not a good reason. This is from a frustrated teacher who has to pass kids no matter how stupid they are because it might hurt their self-esteem if they get held back. The education system in this country is so out of whack that it is no wonder that more and more parents are home-schooling. I know I have.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    MEOIP, 25 May 2006 @ 11:54am

    Letter to the editor

    The kid should put his thoughts in a letter to the editor then watch the school back off because even a school wouldn't take on a newspaper.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      SPR, 25 May 2006 @ 12:08pm

      Re: Letter to the editor

      Wrong MEOIP, (The kid should put his thoughts in a letter to the editor then watch the school back off because even a school wouldn't take on a newspaper.) It is the Newspaper that won't take on the School System, The Union and the rest of the Liberal Establishment.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Randall, 25 May 2006 @ 11:55am

    I remember many years ago while in high school looking at how many horrible students surrounded me. I was pretty good friends with a few of the teachers, who by the way, were WONDERFUL teachers. They had drive, motivation, creativity, intelligence, the whole ten yards.

    Now, while this may not stand for the rest of the country, here is a little observation on one teacher in general. Ill call him Mr. Sinclair for these purposes.

    Mr. Sinclair was a new teacher, he started teaching at my highschool during my sophomore year, he was going to be teaching US history and world history, with one Honors US history class. He was a really cool guy, mid thirties, had lots of interesting things to talk about, he had seen a lot of the world, and was a generally optomistic guy. His goal in the classroom, as he told me on the first day I met him, was to get kids "interested", in what they were learning.

    Mr. Sinclair had a novel approach at teaching, he pretty much threw the book out the window. He wanted to bring in speakers, take us on trips to local historical spots, have us write stories from our own perspective of events, all kinds of things. Most other history classes in our city basically consisted of you filling out a worksheet after reading a chapter in the book, and taking a test at the end of each unit. All of the questions were usually planinly stated with their answer at the end of the book. Unless you were blind, deaf AND dumb at the same time, it was impossible to fail these classes.

    It was an interesting semester. In particular I remember one speaker. A friend of Mr. Sinclairs was a veteran of the Vietnam war. He came and spoke to us not about battles, or dates, or leaders, or any of that crap. he told us about how the people felt. How they felt about the war, about the soldiers, how he was treated, what he saw. I cried. I honestly did. I was never so touched or moved by any story like that. Ill remember that history class and what I learned for the rest of my life.

    After just the first year of this class however, it became evident that I was part of the minority. Most of the students actually complained about having to pay so much attention and attend class so often. They woudl rather have the simple worksheets to fill out and pass without trying. This slowly began to wear down Mr. Sinclair.

    After three years or so, he had all but given up. Not so many speakers came in anymore. The book was used more than his voice, and the classes more often than not turned into paper grading sessions for Mr. Sinclair while the students made out in the corner, talked about their TV shows, and walked right out of class to go hang out at the coffee shop across the street. I know all this because I stayed on as Mr. Sinclairs TA the year after.

    I stopped in at lunchtime to visit Mr. Sinclair the year after I graduated. While I was going there, Mr. Sinclairs room was always full of students, talking with him about his experiences, their experiences, happenings in history, what they thought about great leaders, how civilizations fall, all kinds of things. There was always a good dozen or so students in there at lunchtime, TO LEARN! And they enjoyed it! When I walked in that day, I saw no students. I saw a clean blackboard that obviously hadnt been used all day. Mr. Sinclair himself was sitting at his desk, grading papers, head in hand. I talked with him for a while. It seems that it just wasnt worth going through all that trouble for the extraordinary lesson plans, when none of the students gave a crap. He had finally just thrown the book at them, and was thinking about quitting being a teacher, and going out to travel again.

    I saw firsthand, the fall of a would-be great teacher. Was it the money? Well, could have been, but he never complained, he actually enjoyed the money he made he told me at one point, even though it wasnt a gross amount. Was it him? Far from it. I never learned so much from a teacher as i did from him. No. I lay it back at the students, and the society that formed the ideals in their head.

    Yes, America has become a lazy, uncaring nation, and it starts with our youth.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      emichan, 25 May 2006 @ 3:18pm

      Re:

      I saw firsthand, the fall of a would-be great teacher. Was it the money? Well, could have been, but he never complained, he actually enjoyed the money he made he told me at one point, even though it wasnt a gross amount. Was it him? Far from it. I never learned so much from a teacher as i did from him. No. I lay it back at the students, and the society that formed the ideals in their head.

      Your story is quite sad, and unfortunately, probably not uncommon. But I think we have to look into why the students felt the way they did about his class. The fact is, we expect far too little from most students, and our educational system bases its curriculums too heavily on facts and rote learning. There is not nearly enough analysis and critical thinking taught in our schools. The students' reactions can probably be ascribed to the fact that they had never had to pay attention or actually think in a class before.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sadistic Freek, 25 May 2006 @ 11:59am

    Well maybe...

    Maybe if our government stopped deciding to put war before education we'd start having a decent f***ing education system in this country. Instead of investing so much money into needless BS like the current administration is doing, we need to start investing into the things that will better our country, like education.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    kilroy, 25 May 2006 @ 12:03pm

    a matter of priorities

    You cannot place the blame entirely on the shoulders of the teachers. Maybe if it wasn't so cool to be stupid kids might try harder to learn. They figure that they do not have to learn, and never consider the consequences of their own choices.

    It was wrong of the school to punnish the student for anything he writes on his blog that is not libelious or slanderous. If it was not illegal, it does not merrit suspension.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Wicky, 25 May 2006 @ 12:46pm

    Re:Re: Letter to the editor

    If you put it into a letter to a newspaper its likely that it wont get covered cause so much more is goin on and a newspaper has a limited reach. It is our right to bring up a problem and have it corrected. To Even Try to suppress this is violating the God given right of free will and the ability to speak freely coverd in the bill of rights. Schools have no right to try and stop students from posting about things like the school's staff and administration. It is an unethical unreasonable action.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    M. Owen Santy, 25 May 2006 @ 12:54pm

    20 Years later - Public Schools Still Suck!

    Hold the phone here cowboy… What in the hell is this school district thinking by attempting to pass it’s rule off on what a student does on his off school hours. Not to mention that the teachers and administration are Public Servants and open to criticism from their constituents. In my humble opinion.. either put up with the heat or get out of the fire. Perhaps if you were doing your jobs correctly you wouldn’t have to worry about negative criticism from your student body.

    Kudos to this kid whoever he/she is. Someone better be looking to give you a scholarship to the private high-school of your choice, and get you out of the rat-hole you are stuck in. A free-thinking mind is too beautiful of a thing to simply have burocrats piss away.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Paul in AZ, 25 May 2006 @ 12:59pm

    RE: Letter to the editor

    Actually Wicky, the school (or individual's therein) *DO* have the right to stop (ok, challenge) students who post things about the school staff or administration -- if the student is just venting, name calling and blowing smoke, it could be taken as libelous. They say Mr. So-and-so is gay, or touches the kids or something, and it isn't true, then the teacher and/or administration has every right to pursue that legally.

    Consequently, as someone wrote earlier, the same could be held against a teacher that (unprofessionally) decides to berate his/her students in a public blog. Unless the information is accurate or positive, then it's also held to the same legal standard.

    Don't get me wrong -- I think the student has every right to go and and write a blog, but the student also has to be careful of what they write. Factual isnofmation is great -- the teacher gave me an "F" on my test, wore dorky socks to school, or even is having an affair with so-and-so -- those are all ok as long as they're true and can be backed up. EVERYONE should have free speech on their own time, but we're still a society with laws that need to be observed. (Or so we should teach our kids! LOL!!)

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    • identicon
      Wicky, 25 May 2006 @ 1:07pm

      Re: RE: Letter to the editor

      True, Thanks bringing that into a more focused view for me. I sometimes get irrataed with issues like this becuase i goto a strict private school.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Kelly, 12 Jun 2006 @ 12:07pm

      Re: RE: Letter to the editor

      Reading this I can't believe that we live in a free country. What about the right of free speach? He is not stating fake facts in the blog he just shows unsatisphaction with the regime. There is nothing illegal in it.
      http://www.alpha-school.com

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  • identicon
    Wicky, 25 May 2006 @ 1:10pm

    BTW the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Reno v. ACLU (1997) that speech on the Internet receives the highest level of First Amendment protection. The Supreme Court explained that “our cases provide no basis for qualifying the level of First Amendment scrutiny that should be applied to this medium.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Paul in AZ, 25 May 2006 @ 1:24pm

      Re:

      I hear ya, Wicky -- and it should be protected. A lot of school districts try to get their fingers into that which is not under their jurisdiction. I was just reading the link about the underground papers and off-campus speech and it has a pretty good perspective. Unless the school is actually threatened or damamged by the speech (i.e. how to hack the school computers) then the school has little-to-no right whatsoever in trying to challenge free speech generated off campus.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Wicky, 25 May 2006 @ 1:31pm

    Thank You That Was Exactly was what i was thinking i just am not very good at my delievery and choice of words. Of course what do you expect from a teenager.

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  • identicon
    Paul in AZ, 25 May 2006 @ 1:38pm

    You're actually doing great, Wicky -- and I think your argument is pretty concise. This all just makes me wonder what I'm setting myself up for in trying to become a teacher. After "doing 20" in the Air Force (and writing from work right now) and still not having a very fun time dealing with authority, so now I think about going into teaching where I'll still be under the thumb of "the man" ... which I guess would essentially be the situation unless I open my own business. At leastif I went into a tech job or something I could be making more money for the suffering! LOL!!

    But honestly, I look forward to getting into the classroom and hopfully being one of those good teachers that can actually interest students in what they're learning and make a good impact on their life. :-) Ok, hokey, right?! LOL!!

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  • identicon
    Wicky, 25 May 2006 @ 1:48pm

    That is a good goal. But becareful u have to make a clear line btwn ok that prank is funny or serious violation of rules. U cant be 2 soft or 2 hard. its a balancing act. But I can imagine u'll be able to do it easily and will enjoy making an postive impact on future generations. I praise people who strive to do good and make change to this world.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pongidae, 25 May 2006 @ 2:38pm

    Wow ... where to start.

    It is hard to believe that anyone replying to this story would slam the teachers. First off this is a story about rights and one that was about a school administration (not a teacher) potentially trying to take away a students rights outside of school, so where is the teacher involved. Secondly, it is a fact that teachers are underpaid! It is also a fact that there are not enough quality teachers! Every year less and less people enter the teaching field. In many urban areas there is such a shortage of teachers that the districts are forced to hired unaccredited "teachers" just to have a person in the classroom with the children. Suburban areas do tend to have a bit higher salaried and fewer openings and therefore better teachers tend to move to those areas and guess what they also tend to have higher test scores. You want to be able to say "those that can, do and those that can't, teach", ask yourself why? Rather than slam the teacher, why do you think this is true? Do you think it could be because they are underpaid and under appreciated? A teacher isn't underpaid because of demand; they are underpaid because we as a people have said to our politicians that education is not a priority of ours. We (and by this I mean you) have slashed the education budgets thereby causing larger classes and less time per student. America does not look at its teachers as educators but rather as babysitters if you as a parent think you can do a better job teaching the children than go do it - become a teacher (but that would mean you either have to be better educated than you are or take a pay cut). Or better yet take your child/children and home school them that would solve two problems your kid is out of the system (therefore fewer students per class) and then you would actually have to take responsibility for your own offspring.
    Now I have no idea what was actually said in this student's blog but if a parent was involved in the kid's life and aware of what was being said would they be supportive or would it have been unacceptable to them as well? Also remember if anything in the blog can be construed as slander than the parents are liable for the student's comments since he/she is still underage. Now the question here is does the blog cross the line? Or rather the lesson here is Parents get and stay involved with your kid's so that the teachers don't have to be the parents of your children and can concentrate on teaching the rest of our children as well!

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  • identicon
    A Teacher, 25 May 2006 @ 4:43pm

    I say us teachers deserve a pay cut. We should be earning minimum wages as we fail in properly teaching todays youth.

    We only work 9 months of the year.

    Imagine what we would want if we worked 12 months!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Teachers are Underpaid???, 25 May 2006 @ 5:03pm

    Fuk You!

    I sit daily and drink with alot of teachers. They are losers. My deceased grandfather could teach better than the schmucks who are employed in the schools today!

    I say the teachers should pay us, based on the students who fail their classes and turn out to be idiots!

    Fuk the teachers. They are lame losers who want to live off of taxpayers!!!

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  • identicon
    Teachers are overpaid babysitters..., 25 May 2006 @ 5:06pm

    Word up!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Teachers should earn..., 25 May 2006 @ 5:10pm

    About $22,000 a year. They are overpaid now!

    It's the hard working dude or dudette at McDonalds that deserves the big bucks.

    Without the grub, we would all be dead!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ACalcutt, 25 May 2006 @ 8:20pm

    overstepping their bounds

    I don't think schools should be allowed to deal with matters that are outside the walls of the school. If it is allowed by the parent and not illegal in any way...then the kid should have right to post on a blog about the downfalls of his school/administration

    I went to a trade school...the major problem was not the teachers but the lack of funds(my electronics shop teacher bought parts for our exercises out of his own pockets and still the budget was cut more the next year)

    Another problem i found was the MCAS standardised testing they forced upon the school....it led to teachers teaching to the test

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 May 2006 @ 8:34pm

    "School officials should never make more than the average salary in their district. Six figure salaries for doing just a little more than nothing doesn't sit well with me."

    School administrators aren't educators. They're managers and typically have more responsibility and accountability than teachers. An inept principal or superintendent can do a lot more damage than an inept teacher.

    I am neither a teacher nor administrator (but definitely "old school"), and agree that there are plenty of unqualified people in both positions, but the gross generalizations voiced here are mind boggling.

    As for salaries, you need to consider the cost of living in or adjacent to the school district. There are plenty of towns on Long Island where average houses in average neighborhoods start at $400K.

    As for failures in teaching, well damn, look at some of the responses posted here. Certainly enough to fill a remedial English Comp class.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Not Here, 25 May 2006 @ 10:03pm

    Opinion

    The teachers have nothing to do with all this. It's the school board administrators who are F'd up. All of the rules they put on students each year just limits their freedom, and their willingness to learn. The only thing in a students mind with all the rules is "damn I can't wear this, damn I can't buy this, damn I can't do that, damn damn damn." With that going through their minds, you think they always want to learn? nuh uh.. Making it harder on kids just so that it makes it easier on the schoolboard and their functions isn't the right thing to do. School's rules are going a bit too far now a days. It isn't like it was when I was in school, that's for sure.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jawaiah, 25 May 2006 @ 11:32pm

    First Amendment

    Though I feel much remorse for the student, you must realize that your justification for your argument is, in a word, whack. Have you ever actually read the first amendment?

    CONGRESS shall make no law restricting freedom of speech (is what the amendment says). This has nothing to do with the opinions of school administrators.

    However, the administrators in question clearly are not mature enough to deal with their position, and should themselves be threatened with expulsion for their childish acts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chris Longley, 26 May 2006 @ 6:31pm

    School Rules

    My school used to make up rules all of the time (we never actually saw a copy of the mythical "school rules"). If they decided you were guilty of something, that was that, no appeal, no jury, no anything, when new 'offences' arose, rules would magically appear that outlawed same.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    csou, 26 May 2006 @ 9:22pm

    The poor teacher thing is one of those old myths. This is a quote from the AFT: "The AFT teacher salary survey found that the average teacher salary in the 2003-04 school year was $46,597..." It is part of a complaint about not getting enough money. Another quote about what is average: "...found that the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average annual wages in the U.S. as $36,764 for 2002." Note that was the year before the AFT quote. It is a $10,000 difference and you can do the stats on what that is in percentages. $46K and 3 months off? Hmmm...
    Teaching is one of those industries that has resisted QC and attracts the best and the worse (teachers reading this are, of course, the former). A broad sweeping statement would be to say that the Ed system is authority-sistic and hopelessly reliant on force instead of inspiration. Worse, it is a political issue with our kids as hostages and trained to be victims.
    New Zealand underwent Ed refrom a few years ago and I heard good things from that. It is something to think about...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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