Fresh off the recent outrage about Constance McMillan, and the disgusting behavior of her town, school board and classmates, the ACLU is stepping in regarding the treatment of another high school senior.
This time, it’s here in good old central PA.
Honestly? I think they’ve taken it too far, but I’ll let the Interwebs be the judge of that.
The Student’s Case: He created a parody of an interview with the high school principal and posted it on YouTube.
The Principal’s Case: The principal had suggested that dancing at the homecoming dance had gotten too out-of-hand (sexually), and she asked that the students keep it more appropriate at Prom. She then asked the Student Council for the opportunity to clarify her remarks in an interview to run on the student tv channel. Jordan (the student) got permission to conduct the interview with pre-approved questions, and did so. He then got his friends to make up fake questions, and put the parody interview on the internet.
The School District’s Case: He used school equipment to do so, and used it inappropriately. He was suspended for 9 days and forbidden from going to prom.
The ACLU: His first amendment rights were violated, because he was actually being suspended for WHAT HE HAD TO SAY, not for equipment use. It says that this ruling gives school administrators too much control in what kids can post on computer networking sights.
I see what the ACLU is saying. However, there needs to be some perspective in this case. They just went to bat for a young woman who was banned from prom simply because of WHO SHE IS.
Taking the case of this young man feels like a slap after their championing of Constance. I think that the administration is perfectly right for punishing a student for using video of the principal to make a parody without her permission, and for the misuse of school equipment. The kid is a PUNK, plain and simple, a spoiled little white boy who didn’t realize that by being disrespectful he would face consequences.
Trust me. I went to school with kids like him. They’re assholes who get petted and pampered and brought up to think they could do no wrong. The fact of the matter is he created a video that was hurtful and embarrassing, and then put it on YouTube where it WENT VIRAL. He made this woman look like an asshole. Maybe she is, maybe she isn’t, but it was disrespectful and cruel. As long as he’s a student at that school, he is subject to disciplinary action for using their property. His behavior had consequences, PERIOD.
He’s being banned from prom as a direct result of something that he did. Not because he has blue eyes, or wanted to bring another guy as his date. He misbehaved, and he deserves the punishment. Whether he deserved both the suspension and being banned from prom is the only point of this case that is a grey area to me.
For his parents to coddle him and say that he was wronged is a joke, and will give him the impression that his behavior through life is beyond reproach. It’s their job to be teaching him the difference between right and wrong, and it seems that the father is just pissed because the school administration stepped up and disciplined his kid. Had this young man been taught the proper level of respect for figures of authority, he wouldn’t have conceived of something like the stunt that he pulled. If he had done something similar to a boss? His ass would be FIRED. Plain and simple.
The Constitution promises free speech and the right to bear arms, but it doesn’t guarantee him the right to go to prom. It is a priviledge that can be taken away if the person exhibits poor judgement or bad behavior, especially in regards to authority figures. To say that he is not responsible to be respectful is setting a more dangerous precedent for students across the country than worrying about their use of social networking sights.