Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Online Antics Lead to Scholastic Suspension

Last week here in Georgia, a high school girl was expelled for writing a fictional story where an unnamed student dreams of killing an anonymous teacher. (She was reinstated after a public outcry.) Today, we learn that it's also a punishable offense in Georgia if you criticize a teacher online.

I've been posting on message boards for about six years now. It never occurred to me that what I wrote could get me in trouble with my school.

There is one mysterious line in the article, quoting the lawsuit as saying "The Web site contained...some hypothetical scenarios which visualized some fictional acts." Obviously, some of the details regarding these boys' posts must be a bit more inflammatory than mere criticism, as otherwise it would be unnecessary to describe the content in such terms. If these "hypothetical scenarios" are akin to Ms. Boim's, then I have no problem. On the other hand, if they were writing fanfic where their teachers were massacred by Spawn, I can imagine a little more concern. A month's detention, though, seems excessive no matter how this is spun.


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