For Discussion: Should Schools Punish Students For Something They Do At Home??

- By Bossip Staff

The internet has created all kinds of new issues for parents and teachers to deal with… some, way more valid than others.

What’s your take on this one.

A Sacramento-area high school sophomore who called his biology teacher a “fat ass” on Facebook was suspended for a day for cyber-bullying – an action the school has now erased from his record after a First Amendment lecture from the American Civil Liberties Union.

The Constitution “bars schools from disciplining students for speech, unless the speech creates a material and substantial disruption of the school environment,” ACLU attorney Linda Lye said in a letter last month to the principal of Mesa Verde High in Citrus Heights (Sacramento County).

California law also protects student expression, and the school was exposing itself to a potential lawsuit, Lye said. On Tuesday, the San Juan Unified School District told her the suspension had been expunged.

The boy’s mother, Kristina Dunlap, was relieved.

Her 15-year-old son, Donny, an honor student and a football star, “was just venting like the rest of us used to do, sitting on the grass at lunchtime,” she said. “Students will always talk about their teachers.”

She said his Facebook posting was inappropriate – “I don’t want him to talk about any kind of authority figure that way” – but wasn’t grounds for discipline that would stay on his record.

“He didn’t pose any kind of danger,” she said.

Should the student have been punished for his posting? Would you feel the same way if he had been talking about another student?

And more importantly, should schools be able to punish students for anything they do off campus and outside of school hours, short of committing a crime?

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  • daisy jay

    The question was confusing, then I read what he did. Yes, he should’ve been punished. Even though he was at home, he was verbally “attacking” a SCHOOL teacher. Not just a teacher, HIS teacher. I don’t…well hold on. Usually teachers would roll their eyes and ignore it. He got punished? I could see if he was making a threat to the school on facebook, but a silly insult? I don’t know, but okay.

    • FaReelDoe

      I’m all about freedom of speach, but I’m kinda on the fence on this one. On one hand, if the student said it to the teacher’s face, he would definitely be suspended. You cannot expect to use profanity TO a teacher and have NOTHING more than a lecture happen. That is blatent disrepect for authority. Also, the policy is that they have freedom of speech, etc. if it doesn’t interrupt the school environment… BUT… it’s called FACEBOOK!!!!! The student may as well have said it to the teacher’s face. The student’s peers probably have access to his facebook page. Used in this way, the internet is an EXTENSION of the school environment – so…. I don’t know…. Also, if a student can get into trouble at school and with the law for bullying another student on Facebook… what’s the difference? Because it’s a teacher?

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  • RMEs

    SMH. When will these kids learn not to publicize their every thought, action?

    • sexygrandmom

      When they become mature adults.

  • purple love

    I don’t think kids should be punished for things that they do at home and stuff BUT these kids need to learn to show adults respect when I was in HS I cussed a teacher out (not proud ijs) and nothing happened I don’t like that kids should have to respect teachers because there’s no way I could cuss out a professor or my boss

  • It's Me

    No, the school should NOT be able to punish a kid for this, weather on school grounds or not. Are they trying to be the parent too?? Let alone they are already NOT teaching our kids!

  • Amber

    of course not. thats one of the problems with outta control black kids. its their home enviroment thats is making them act up. let the parents play a role in their kids lives for once.

  • Celeste

    Being a teacher who IS TEACHING, I believe if some parents actually PARENT their kids this wouldn’t be an issue!

  • brownsugar83

    No he shouldn’t get in trouble like that …what happen to notifying the parents and warning not to do it again…shoot people call people names all the time what happen to sticks and stones

    • FaReelDoe

      Would you STRONGLY discipline your child if he said that about you on facebook? Can you call your boss a fat focker and not get fired? It’s just words as yall say. You have to learn respect for your work superiors / school superiors – people in authority over you from somewhere – even if it’s not at home. If the child was standing in the teachers face cursing him out – are you saying it’s just name calling and the student shouldn’t get suspended? He used FACEbook to disrespect someone of authority in his life – and ALL of his friends, peers, etc. have access to it. He may as well have said it to the teacher’s face with the students standing around laughing. It’s just words… it’s just words – GTFOH – that is NOT acceptable by ANY standards. And also: I think a police will rough an adult or child up for cussing at him. Better to learn respect for authority with a suspension instead of an azz whooping and jailing by police. Whatch think?

  • jmagic

    The school board trying to be like the NFL,discipling students not even on school propperty

  • brownsugar83

    Obviously this child is being taught at home he’s an honor student bc he was upset with the teacher he express his self in a rude way yes but you can’t blame the parent or say the parent is not teaching their child …its apart of his personality…a lot of people call people names when they get mad and the parents taught them right from wrong

  • J. Reezy

    If it didn’t happen on school property the schools don’t have the right to do anything. But parents who are weak minded allow these kinds of things to happen. Next thing the school will be telling us what time to put the kids to bed..

  • JO

    @Amber, who said he was a black kid? dont stereotype, the boy was an honor student.smh

  • that damn sh#$ disturber

    they’re taking this cyber bullying mess too far. people are always going to say things you don’t agree with and no he shouldn’t be punished for what’s on his fb. now when he starts spreading “lies” about the teacher screwing the kids then you can get him. until then…

    • FaReelDoe

      Say something derrogatory about your boss on facebook and see what happens. I dare you. You will NOT have a job. Trust!!!!! and NO you will not win a lawsuit if you file one. It’s been tested and tried. He better learn the lesson of respecting authority now before it hurts him in his pockets or his freedom is taken away.

  • ms.brilly

    What the student needs is a talking to by his parents. He’s entitled to think his teacher is a “fat #ss”but that doesn’t mean he should post it online. Should he have been punished by the school? No.


    All of you on here making excuses for this behavior are flat wrong. At what point should the “Facebook rants” be considered an issue? When someone threatens death or harm? Well there is a point where precedence needs to be established and non-tolerance must be displayed. I’m wrong as a teacher who sees this and reacts by putting my hands on this child right. No threat was made in this case but it’s just a matter of time before someone gets hurt because we didn’t eliminate the problem outright.


    That said. Facebook is the Devil!!!


    Yes she should not have put that on his facebook, these children need to start learning how to respect adults.


    he – should not have, and who cares what color the kid is it’s everybody problem as long as we all are part of the society, keep believing not my neighborhood, if that’s the thought then Columbine would have NEVER happened.

  • My goodness

    Well first off, I believe he shouldn’t have even posted anything like that about his teacher. That’s verbal abuse. But I also believe that the school shouldn’t have punished him. It wouldv’e been one thing if he said this to the teacher’s face in or out of schol, but he was expressing what he felt. And isn’t freedom of speech in our Bill or Rights? I don’t condone what he did, his parents and the teacher herself should have been the ones to punish him, but I don’t think the school should have gotten involved

  • chocolat

    more importantly, what types of values is this child learning from home. Mom you let this one slide by, it will come back to hunt you. He will disrespect you in public. You reap what you sow!

  • Allie

    No he should not be punished

  • I'm Just Me...Keeping It Real Since: 1983

    I know people who were fired from my previous job for talking trash about the company on FB or posting pictures they wouldn’t want clients to see. They said in the day in and age where social networking is so prevalent they need all employees to maintain a certain image. So if your page was public they would let you go if you had behavior showing they felt was inappropriate. We signed paperwork to that effect so I guess they had grounds to stand on.

  • mrs.foster

    They should be discipline

  • birthday girl

    Its all up to the school’s Student Code of Conduct. All students are made aware of what they can get in trouble for on school grounds and out in the public. Times have changed since most of us went to school. Just because you didn’t get in trouble for saying mean or obnxious things to people doesn’t mean that your kids will not be in violation of a school code. I encourage you to read your school districts Code of Conduct and then go over with your kids!

  • Merlin

    Facebook and Twitter are dangerous in the hands of idiots. The schools should have no bearing on what a kid does off school grounds. But kids have to learn that tools like Facebook and Twitter come with consequences and soon you won’t just be able to hide behind your keyboard and throw stones anymore.

  • Carlos

    I think it’s an issue but tbh kids need space too. This kid got his invaded. A parent can have the pword n such but the school should not be searching for the kids Facebook. He was speaking with his friends and peers a teacher falls I to neither category. Kid was wrong but my mom use to tell my sisters “if u don’t want to get your heartbroken don’t go looking for things that will break it” same rules apply here. If they weren’t looking for it they wouldnt have found it. It’s unfair for the kid to be punished for something you should never have seen!

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