High School Student Expelled for Cursing in Tweet

Considering the things some kids (or even just some people) get up to these days, swearing isn't exactly a heinous crime. Sure, there's a time and a place, and school is neither of those, but is it a crime worthy of expulsion?

One teenager in Indiana was recently expelled from school for using a certain four letter word on Twitter. Austin Carroll posted the following from his Twitter page:

"F*** is one of those f***ing words you can f***ing put anywhere in a f***ing sentence and it still f***ing make sense."

Not exactly Yeats, but not surprising when you consider the poster is a teenage boy. Carroll was forced to face serious consequences at school. Though it was his personal account and Austin claims the message was sent while he was at home, the school says otherwise. Indiana NewsCenter writes that the principal of Garrett High School said their system tracks all the tweets on Twitter when a student logs in, so "even if he did tweet it from home their system could have recognized it when he logged in again at school."

Austin's mother said that while she didn't approve of the tweet, she thought a suspension would have been a more appropriate punishment. Her son is now attending another school but is said to be disappointed that he will miss out on the last three months of his senior year and the events (such as prom) that go along with them. Meanwhile, students at his now former high school are apparently unhappy with the revelation that the school is tracking their tweets. INC reports that police had to be called on Friday as students threatened to protest.

Read the full story here.

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Jane McEntegart works in marketing communications at Intel and was previously Manager of Content Marketing at ASUS North America. Before that, she worked for more than seven years at Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware, holding such roles as Contributing Editor and Senior News Editor and writing about everything from smartphones to tablets and games consoles.

  • chronicbint
    This invasion of over zealous authorities into the online world is becoming ridiculous, first the muamba tweeter is jailed(way over the top) and now this. The freedom of the internet is slowing being eroded and turned into a police state.
  • casualcolors
    So she thought that suspension would be a more appropriate response to her son posting something on the free internet while at home, as opposed to expulsion? Possibly consider that neither of these would be appropriate and err closer to offensively intrusive?

    Their school seems as misguided as that absolutely insane school district that sent kids home with laptops and used the built in webcams to spy on the students at home.
  • alhanelem
    getting in trouble for swearing online is like getting in trouble for farting in your own house
  • psaus
    This is absolutely ridiculous. Trying to make an impression on a 9yo is one thing (but even then expulsion would be too much), but this guy is in his senior year (17/18yo?)! And quite frankly, his tweet is 100% correct... that word can even be nearly every word in a sentence and still be grammatically correct. This principle needs to be -expelled- fired.
  • molo9000
    Welcome to 1984.
  • namecnassianer
    GJ, fascists. Just another example of the self-aggrandizing secondary school system frelling up a kid's life before his life even gets started. And for what was intended to be a private semi-artful attempt at self-expression! Want to apply to college? Good luck, kid.

    Now, once again, why does the American educational system lag others?
  • awood28211
    Schools have become jails for children. As a father I've noticed the school is more worried about discipline that about education. It's all about control. Blanket policies are not effective. They do not allow children to be children and children will make mistakes. If the known bully gets in a fight he should be more severely punished that the quiet kid who was the victim of the bully's taunting. Schools are horrible institutions.
  • kinggraves
    In b4 media attention brings in ACLU lawyers and this school gets rolled into the ground. Don't sweat it kid. When the attorneys are done, you'll be able to afford your own personal prom.
  • trumpeter1994
    This is ridiculous, I myself am a high school senior and i watch my classmates post much worse things on facebook on a daily basis. I agree though that schools have began to worry way to much about discipline as opposed to actually teaching students.
  • john_e
    Personally I find the principle and the school were out of its jurisdiction in expelling this student. I would even say that the principle and the school are stalking their students.
    How do we know that this principle is not some pedophile getting off on his students tweets?

    What makes him or the school so morally righteous? Both the principle and school should be sued for invasion of privacy and stalking, what the students do on their own personal time at home or off school hours is not the school business period.

    I also feel the same way about companies who interview their candidates and then do a back round check on Facebook and some other social network sites, again for me this is invading someone privacy and we the people should put a stop to it.

    It is the parents job to discipline their own kids, granted some parents are too soft, but then again when you do have parents who are very strict their kids threaten the parents by calling child protection. So for the parents its damn if you do and damn if you don't. Enough with child protection laws and let the parents do their jobs as parents.

    Coming from an Italian background my father was strict and when i was out of line it was the belt, as he often said "my house, my rules" "you don't like my rules then leave with the cloths you have on you" lesson learned. Heck he kicked me out of the house for not getting a haircut when told.