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High School Student Expelled For Profane Tweets

Oli Scarff, Getty Images

When I hear someone got expelled from school, I imagine they must’ve done something really bad, like punched a teacher or got into a major fight. I’ve never heard of someone being expelled for saying a cuss word…until now.

Indiana high school student Austin Carroll was expelled from school after he posted a profanity-filled tweet on his personal Twitter account. He didn’t threaten to shoot up the school, or blow it up. He didn’t threaten to hurt the principal, or anyone for that matter. He just made a simple statement. Granted, it wasn’t the classiest statement, but apparently the school though it was good enough reason to expel Austin from high school just three months before his graduation.

But that’s not what bothers me the most. It’s the school’s defense that really disturbs me.

The school claims it was done from a school computer. Austin says he did it from home.

The principal at Garrett High School claims their system tracks all the tweets on Twitter when a student logs in, meaning even if he did tweet it from home their system could have recognized it when he logged in again at school.

“I didn’t post the thing at school but their computer is saying that I did post it, and I shouldn’t be getting in trouble for stuff I did on my own time, on my own computer,” said Carroll.

This whole mess brings up a tricky issue: should schools really be keeping tabs on their students’ social media? Personally, I don’t think so. It is not the school’s responsibility to keep track of what the students are saying or doing when they’re off campus. That responsibility belongs to the parents. And just because a kid used profanity on the Internet is not a valid enough reason to throw him out of the school. If cussing was all it took to get you expelled from school, there would’ve been a kid kicked out every day at my school.

What do you think? Should schools keep tabs on their students’ social media usage?

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