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My opinion regarding social networking posts being used as a source of punishment for students.

Recently, I disagreed with a decision that was being made by students of a board in one
of my school clubs. I was not the only one, as the vast majority of the group felt the same exact
way. I decided to post my opinion on Twitter. This is the series of tweets I posted, which were in
screenshots due to the excess of characters:
“ My opinion to the tri-m mandatory performance:
1. The board made this decision without any input from the entire group, which is totally
against everything each candidate said when they were running for office.
2. Not a lot of people are going to want to perform especially when you’re saying it’s
mandatory. It’s going to be something that leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth and
when new people are applying the people in it are going to say “don’t do tri-m it sucks.”
3. No one is going to want to listen to fifteen more minutes of music at what is already a
meeting on a day of 5,000 other meetings and practices. People are either going to leave
or it is going to be pointless because no one will even care.
4. I, along with everyone else, have 5,000 other things already going on, which is only
going to get worse as the school year goes on. I don’t have time to practice and perform
something for 5 minutes just for shits and giggles and not embarrass myself.
5. If you MUST incorporate playing then it should be on a voluntary basis where as college
auditions, nyssma, and all-state come around, if someone would li[k]e to then they should
be given the chance to perform, and then it can either be used as group constructive
criticism so as to point out things that can be improved upon, or a person should be able
to not ask for any comments from everyone and just play for the sake of getting nerves
out.”
This tweet was completely calm, and did not include any profanity and any direct insult or
reference to anyone except the student board members, of which I expressed a discontent with.
However, this tweet was somehow brought up to the teacher of this group, who believed it
completely inappropriate that I put a rant like this on twitter and that he has “no respect” for
someone who does this. He was only stern for a little, and throughout the conversation he
became less angered by my actions and more friendly. However, I was very annoyed. It was
implied if not directly spoken to me that I should not tweet these thoughts any more. (None of
the blacked-out words were curses. The curse in “shits and giggles” is a common phrase, which
is not insulting anyone. )
The fact that he said this was a “rant” makes it seem to me that someone told him about it
and he did not see the actual tweet, as it was far from a rant. It was very composed, and in fact I
was very emotional about the situation, but I removed myself for a certain amount of time so I
could tweet in a detached manner.
This tweet was not insulting, nor rude, and did not slander the school in general at all.
However, I was still specifically told by I a teacher in the school that it is not appropriate.
Why is it up to the school to tell me what I am and am not able to post on my social
media or any website or forum that is not directly owned by the school? Twitter is not owned by
the school, and I am not using an account that is affiliated with this school or that tweets on the
behalf of it. I simply stated my opinion of discontent, which is what social media is used for.
Social media allows the world to express opinions and thoughts on events, and in this case, I
expressed my opinion about something that goes on in school. I have this natural right to
freedom of speech and expression that is my inalienable human right as a person on this planet
and as a citizen in the United States to express my thoughts and how I feel. The freedom of
speech is in the Constitution to protect this right.
When the school tells me that I need to take away a tweet that expresses discontent, they
are essentially then taking away mine or any other student’s right to expression, thought, and
speech. It is not the job of the school to tell a person their beliefs are wrong, and it is not
anyone’s job to do that because every person’s beliefs and opinions are all tantamount to each
other. It is also not the job of a teacher to act as a parent and directly tell students how to live
their lives. That is completely inappropriate and essentially brainwashing. Essentially, when the
school acts in this manner, they are violating law and acting analogously to a communist nation
that makes all efforts to suppress political dissent. These are my problems with this:
1. You are taking away my right to freedom of speech which is clearly stated in the
Constitution.
2. My tweets are on my personal account that has nothing to do with school, and the
tweet did not put anyone in danger, threaten danger, and it was not a tweet that
bullied or belittled anyone. The school should therefore have no reasons to punish
me for it, and at the most should approach me human-to-human and express
possibly a counterargument, discussion, or disagreement on the matter.
3. This is an invasion of privacy. Teachers and parents claim that there are stalkers
and bad people in the world that will take your information and manipulate it and
use it for their own benefit. However, if there was a means of looking at the ratio
of times as to this actually happening and a parent or schoolteacher “stalking” a
post, then it would be seen that stalkers aren’t interested at all in what I have to
say. There is a very low percent chance that people will actually steal my
information, and there is actually a greater chance that my parents or teachers will
look at my posts without my permission. Maybe this is a little “acceptable” for
parents, as they are looking at the posts of their own child, but this is not
acceptable for teachers. You are becoming too far involved in my personal life,
which is something that is not allowed, as seen through the banning of nepotism,
favoritism, and just a restriction on inappropriate student-teacher interaction. If a
teacher says that kids should watch out because of stalkers, then the students
should not trust these teachers, who should be ashamed of their hypocrisy.
4. Teachers often think that when a person tweets, they are broadcasting it to the
whole world. This is not the case. They are unaware of the scope a tweet reaches
and therefore over exaggerate its consequences. For example, the only amount of
people who saw my tweets were my followers, and of my followers there are only
a fraction of people that still use Twitter, a smaller fraction of people who care
about my tweets, a smaller fraction of people who are involved in the club, a
smaller fraction of people who care about the matter at all, and an even smaller
fraction of people who were even on Twitter at the time and saw it or have looked
through my tweets t find it. That is at most 20 people.
I should not be penalized or reproached for my actions regarding social networking. They are my
choices, it is my personal life, and teachers should not have the right to reproach me for my
beliefs, opinions, etc. I did not cause harm. It is an invasion of privacy that should be stopped
immediately.