The Washington Post

High school that monitors students’ tweets expels senior

A high school in Indiana that tracks students’ tweets made through the school’s computer system — even if it is done from a teen’s home — expelled a senior close to graduation for what it said was a message with foul language.

The school is Garrett High School in Garrett, Ind., and the senior was expelled is named Austin Carroll, according to the Indiana News Center.

The senior was quoted as saying that he had tweeted a message with a four-letter word from home on his personal Twitter account. The principal of the school was quoted as saying that the school’s computer system can track tweets whenever a student logs into it no matter where the student is working from.

Austin, who was close to graduating from high school, will finish out the year at an alternative school, but said that he was sorry not to be able to go to prom and participate in other activities at the school from which he was expelled.

His mother, Pam Smith, was quoted as saying that she could understand if her son had been suspended for a few days or even fined. But, she said, “to kick him out of school, his senior year, three months to go, is wrong.”

The senior said he shouldn’t be penalized by the school for a message he sent on his own time. In fact, expulsion for a tweet laced with profanity during school time seems extreme, doesn’t it?

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Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.

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