Monday, November 28, 2011

Teen tweeter won't apologize to Sam Brownback

From the AP via
 A Kansas teenager who wrote a disparaging tweet about Gov. Sam Brownback said Sunday that she is rejecting her high school principal’s demand for a written apology.
Emma Sullivan, 18, of the Kansas City suburb of Fairway, said she isn’t sorry and doesn’t think such a letter would be sincere.

The basis for the demand that she apologize is that she was at a school sponsored event. I don't think she should have to apologize either, even if she is at a school sponsored event.

First, I don't have a problem with the Governor's office monitoring social media--in fact I think they should. But the fact that they contacted this girl's school over the text just smacks of Big Brother. Unless the teenager threatened harm to the Governor, she exercised a right that the rest of us have as a matter of course. It should not have matter one whit if she was on a school trip or there on her own.

Second, just because she is on a school trip does not, in and of itself, give the school the right to require an apology. Again, absent a threat, she did nothing that is legally wrong. She might not have said something nice, which might break the Golden Rule, but it didn't break any law--again short of a threat on Brownback's life or family...what has she done wrong? She wasn't respectful? Big deal. First of all she is a teenager, second, she didn't like what Brownback did with the arts budget and she voiced her opinion. Big deal.

Really, if we are going to teach our children about free speech and being involved in the political discussion, things like this are not likely to encourage that behavior. Of course, that may be the goal of the political elites anyway.

No comments: