MyPanic.edu

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The AP reports from Costa Mesa, California:

A middle school student faces expulsion for allegedly posting graphic threats against a classmate on the popular MySpace.com Web site, and 20 of his classmates were suspended for viewing the posting, school officials said.

For viewing it? What?

[Assistant Superintendent Bob] Metz said the students' suspensions in mid-February were appropriate because the incident involved student safety.

Oh. Well, I guess that's OK then.

[Via The Agitator.]

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  1. The next time somebody yells “I have a bomb and I’m going to blow it up,” let’s also punish anyone who hears the threat.

  2. They should just expel all the students at the school, since they’ve certainly heard the news by now.

  3. And of course, now if a kid at this school actually does see an online threat, like “I have a gun and I’m going to shoot my science teacher, Miss Jackdaw, tomorrow,” the kid will be reluctant to say anything about it for fear of getting in trouble.

  4. What’s REALLY fucked up about this is that these kids allegedly viewed this webpage ON THEIR OWN TIME! So, not only are kids considered property of the state during school hours, but 24-7.

    This conditioning is terrifying. My teenaged stepdaughter is very intelligent, yet she sees absolutely no problem with schools randomly drug testing students for any reason whatsoever.

    I think we’re risking having a population of kids who are either brain-dead robots or totally, totally pissed off. Not too much room for middle-road here.

  5. Aw, crap. I saw one of those bin Laden videos. Guess I better report directly to Guant?namo.

  6. Funny that I was saying precisely the same words Jesse wrote right after the first pull quote.

    And of course, now if a kid at this school actually does see an online threat, like “I have a gun and I’m going to shoot my science teacher, Miss Jackdaw, tomorrow,” the kid will be reluctant to say anything about it for fear of getting in trouble.

    “Thank you, Billy, for bringing this threat to our attention. Now call your parents to pick you up, you’re suspended for a week.”

  7. This conditioning is terrifying. My teenaged stepdaughter is very intelligent, yet she sees absolutely no problem with schools randomly drug testing students for any reason whatsoever.

    I had students like that too. It is frightening, how many people see no problem with the government treating adult citizens the way parents treat five-year-old kids.

  8. Guess I better report directly to Guant?namo.

    Am I in trouble for knowin’ that you’re goin’?

  9. Hey, I just got suspended for reading about the kids who were suspended for reading the threats. Kind of a meta-suspension.

    Does that answer your question, Rich Ard?

  10. “Thank you, Billy, for bringing this threat to our attention. Now call your parents to pick you up, you’re suspended for a week.”

    “OK. I’ll be back next week to report on some of my other classmates. See ya!”

  11. I think we’re risking having a population of kids who are either brain-dead robots or totally, totally pissed off. Not too much room for middle-road here.

    If those are our only two choices, I’m hoping for pissed off.

  12. And people sometimes have to ask me why I homeschool my kids….

  13. Remember, Holly: if one of your kids plans to shoot you, any sibling who hears about the plot needs to be punished with equal severity. Because. . . um. . . oh, hell, I can’t even think of a sarcastic justification for this.

  14. Not only that, but the police are investigating the posting as a possible “hate crime.” What a fucking country. I’d move, but nowhere else is much better.

  15. Remember, Holly: if one of your kids plans to shoot you, any sibling who hears about the plot needs to be punished with equal severity. Because. . . um. . . oh, hell, I can’t even think of a sarcastic justification for this.

    I am a bit guilty when it comes to using the “shotgun” approach to discipline. When all the kids are arguing and making a racket it is sometimes easier just to send them all to their rooms, instead of trying to figure out which one took the other’s Polly Pocket without prior authorization.

    Which probably explains why Zero Tolerance polices are so popular with lazy Publik Skool Bureaucrats: They don’t have to bother to find out who is truly responsible and they can protect themselves from lawsuits by claiming they treated everyone the same.

  16. What a fucking country. I’d move, but nowhere else is much better.

    Yeah, “America, it doesn’t suck as bad as everywhere else” doesn’t quite sound as good as “America the Beautiful” or “Land of the free and the home of the brave”, but it’s a more fitting slogan for the 21st century, isn’t it?

  17. The only way I can deal with a story like this is by talking it over with my friends Jack, Jim, and Johnnie.

  18. I am a bit guilty when it comes to using the “shotgun” approach to discipline. When all the kids are arguing and making a racket it is sometimes easier just to send them all to their rooms, instead of trying to figure out which one took the other’s Polly Pocket without prior authorization.

    Most parents probably do that, but just because a behavior is okay for parents in regards to their kids doesn’t mean it’s okay for the government in regards to its citizens. I have no problem with parents forcing their kids to eat vegetables before dessert, but when such ideas become law elsewhere is when things get problematic.

    Another problem: when you send all your kids to their respective rooms, even the ones who are innocent, that does not go onto some permanent record and fuck up the kid’s chance of a successful adulthood. Getting suspended or expelled from school is another matter entirely.

  19. Typical overreaction to an isolated case. Not that I don’t condone drinking, Warren.

  20. Are you kidding me? Is anyone really surprised by this? Myspace is always on the local news in reports of criminal charges. Cops use the site to monitor people and their goings-on all the time. Was it on Hit and Run that I recently read about a girl and her boyfriend who killed the girl’s parents and their MySpace pages were used as evidence? Maybe I saw it on the local news. Anyway, this kind of cyber-evidence is used all the time.

  21. Although understandably, I see why people are outraged that kids are in trouble for viewing a page. I was just as shocked when I first heard about this (on Sunday).

  22. My teenaged stepdaughter is very intelligent, yet she sees absolutely no problem with schools randomly drug testing students for any reason whatsoever.

    There is an easy solution to this. When your daughter gets home from school, tell her that the school called, she failed her drug test, and so you are going to have to drive her to the detention center. If she protests just remind her how much she supports random testing, and how it is there to help students, and to protect them.

  23. RexRhino,
    It would be simple enough for something like that to happen. Say if the teenager had consumed a hamburger on a sesame-seed bun.
    “Honey, you tested positive for heroin. We’ll get through this together just as soon as you get back from your court-mandated rehabilitation center”.

  24. mk,
    I’m sure you meant a poppy seed bun

  25. What’s REALLY fucked up about this is that these kids allegedly viewed this webpage ON THEIR OWN TIME! So, not only are kids considered property of the state during school hours, but 24-7.

    This conditioning is terrifying. My teenaged stepdaughter is very intelligent, yet she sees absolutely no problem with schools randomly drug testing students for any reason whatsoever.

    Be sured to keep your highly intelligent teenaged stepdaughter home from school on “Visit From Men With Hands of Blue” Day.

    /Firefly reference

  26. Wow the Intarweb has really changed things! It was only 20 years or so ago when my [Catholic, boys] high school hauled a bunch of my friends in to grill them over who had called into the Howard Stern show with critical comments about the school.

    Now they just suspend you for reading? I’m envious of these whippersnappers, I could have used the time off to go read more subversive material.

  27. Stevo:

    That “companion” chick is supposed to be the alpha-hottie on the show, but damn, the engineer really does it for me.

    /Firefly threadjack

  28. I’m torn.

    This is obviously an overreaction on the part of the school and a gross infringement of civil rights.

    But, I also believe that everyone with a myspace profile should be locked up on charges of general douchebaggery. Or at least sterilized so they can’t pass on the douchebag gene.

  29. <sigh> I remember when I was 12 or 13, and two of my buddies and I earned Boy Scout marksmanship merit badges. The local paper happened to run a feature, with a photo of us holding rifles. Our seventh grade teacher, Mrs. White, posted the article on the class bulletin board.

    And this was in Barstow, California.

  30. Mr. Nice Guy:

    That “companion” chick is supposed to be the alpha-hottie on the show, but damn, the engineer really does it for me.

    Ditto. I think this was a topic of another threadjack not so long ago, until smacky started making fun of us, in that cruel way she has.

    Ah, here ’tis (scroll down a little bit):

    https://www.reason.com/hitandrun/2006/02/fruit_of_islam.shtml

  31. “They don’t have to bother to find out who is truly responsible and they can protect themselves from lawsuits by claiming they treated everyone the same.”

    I’m no lawyer, but I doubt that treating everyone the same can protect them from lawsuits. I would think that parents of children who were unjustly punished could successfully sue “zero tolerance” administrators for treating their children unjustly. It is possible to sue them as individuals as well as agents of the state they represent. This would get their attention. It would put their own assets at risk, not just the taxpayer’s dollars. Even if the bastards win, it put them through the hell of court proceedings and the expense of defending themselves.

    Seems like a good idea to me. School administrators have professional organizations who keep track of this sort of thing. A few local suits just might intimidate school administrators into scrapping “zero tolerance” policies in many districts around the country. It might start a trend. After all, school administrators are herd animals.

  32. Um..uh.. let me amend the above post to read, “..it would put them through the hell of court proceedings..”

  33. Even if the bastards win, it put them through the hell of court proceedings and the expense of defending themselves.

    Probably not, actually. Most government entities, except in clear cases of criminal activity, indemnify their employees, so the expense would be borne by the taxpayers. The “hell” experienced by the bastards in question would probably be limited to giving a deposition, and ordering an underling to provide copies of documents.

    JMJ

  34. And people wonder why I’m not on My(wasteof)Space. I don’t want to lose my job!

    I think Kaylee is “shiney” too. I think I have a thing for semi-main characters anyways. Buffy’s Willow and Smallville’s Chloe to name a couple.

  35. What a fucking country. I’d move, but nowhere else is much better.

    Costa Rica, Panama, Monaco…

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