A Nevada teen called his congressman and dropped an F-bomb and gets suspended from school

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by quagmire, Mar 22, 2018.

  1. quagmire, Mar 22, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018

    quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #1
    This is another one of those complicated situations. Yes the kid has the right to free speech, but we also know the 1st amendment doesn't necessarily protect you from the consequences of said free speech( from non-government entities). But I don't buy the argument of its the staffers free speech to call his school to get him into trouble over something as petty as the F-Bomb. The kid didn't do it while in school or representing the school so why should the school suspend him over something he did on his free time? It's sort of like that teacher on her vacation that got fired because she was doing something risque on her own private time.

    Actually thinking about it.... This could be seen as a first amendment issue as the staffer is in a government position, obviously reported the kid to punish him for his use of free speech despite their claim they just wanted to let the school know what happened ( again why report it to the school if he was not representing the school in that call), and it is a public school( again run by the government). So this could be said as the government punishing someone and violating an individuals right to free speech.

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/21/us/nevada-teen-suspended-congressman-amodei-trnd/index.html
     
  2. 0007776 Suspended

    0007776

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    #2
    Agreed, it is a complicated situation. I think I tend to lean towards the side of the student shouldn’t have been suspended since he does have a right to free speech. However he did don’t during school hours, and I don’t think it’s a bad thing for kids to learn that freedom of speech doesn’t protect them from consequences from that speech so I can see both sides.
     
  3. NT1440 macrumors G5

    NT1440

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    #3
    The consequences being a Congressman's office going out of it's way to tattle on a kid for swearing?

    How are there two sides when one is clearly an abuse of power? WHY would the congressman's office contact the school instead of....his parents? This has nothing to do with the school, but the school is an avenue of discipline that the Congressman's office chose to use.
     
  4. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #4
    However, the question has to be asked: Is this school a public school? If so, then it can be construed as the government handing him the consequences of the use of his free speech, violating any part of due process of law. This could not only have 1A, but 5A implications if asked to plead his case..

    If a private or charter school, then he gets what he gets; the question at hand is if this is a public (read: government/taxpayer-funded school).

    BL.
     
  5. quagmire thread starter macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #5
    Missed the part he called during the walkout..... Hmm... That complicates things a bit more. He still wasn't representing the school in the call. Since he walked out wasn't in the school either. Sure punish him maybe for walking out, but I still think it is a case of the government violating a persons right to free speech and not a situation of learning that speech has consequences.
     
  6. samcraig macrumors P6

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    #6
    Government bullying a kid. Nothing more. Nothing less.
    He didn't specifically attack an individual with his speech either - he referred to all of congress getting off their asses.
     
  7. quagmire, Mar 22, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018

    quagmire thread starter macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #7
    It's a public school.

    Even if it was private, I would still argue this being a violation of first amendment since it was the government wanting to punish the kid for free speech even if it was a private school that issued the punishment( as they learned of the use of the F-Bomb through the government). But for instance if he said the F-Bomb in this private school and a teacher/official overheard it while he was on the phone with the staffer, schools right to punish him for it. It's the fact the school learned of it through the government that would cause this scenario to get complicated.
     
  8. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #8
    Missed that part as well. This then comes down to whether the school planned the walkout or not. If not planned, then the school can only punish him for not being in school, unless he was excused by his parents. If he was excused, then the call is on his own time, and the 1A applies.

    No doubt that the 1A is what is being violated here; he called and as a citizen, has his 1A right to free speech and to petition the government and bear grievance without retribution. The aide's phone call should never have been made. That is retribution right there, which resulted in the suspension. If taken to court, both the congressman and the school will be held culpable.

    The congressman and the aide not only do not have the right to be offended by it, but they also do not have the right to retaliate against the people for their exercise of the 1A.

    BL.
     
  9. linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

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    #9
    While I'm guessing, since this was a 17 minute walk out from class, I'm guessing he was still on school property when he made the call. I'm siding with the congressional aide and the school on this. A much better way to handle it from the student.
     
  10. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #10
    We still do not know if he was excused from class for the walkout, or if he walked out on his own, or if the school sponsored the walkout. Those factor into what should have happened. Regardless, whatever punishment the school handed down could have been done independently without the aide and the congressman being involved. It is that retaliation by the congressman and his aide that infringed on the 1A rights of the student.

    BL.
     
  11. linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

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    #11
    I think the issue is if it happened on school property during the incident, it looks bad on the school. Students still have to abide by the rules whether or not if it was sanctioned by the school for this walkout.
     
  12. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    If it wasn't sanctioned by the school, and he was excused from the school by his parents for the duration of the walkout, he is on his own time.

    Now, I would agree that if the walkout happened on school ground, it looks bad for the school. But that is an issue that the school has to deal with, not the congressman or his aide. The aide should never have called the school in retaliation to the student exercising his 1A right. Additionally, as this is a public school, would the student's 1A right still not apply? It is publicly owned, and taxpayer funded. And again, I know that is a grey area because of the Student's handbook/code of conduct, but the 1A would apply at every publicly operated place, including schools.

    I'll give a good example. At my school my 10th grade year, we had a spate of fights break out during the day we were having a pep rally. One of our counselors hearing about yet another fight, dropped the N-word as he was going to handle it. That ended up having more fights starting, with kids walking out of school in protest.

    The school dealt with that internally due to theirs and the school district's truancy rules, as they should have been in class at the time.

    Same should have applied here. If this happened on school grounds at a sponsored event, or even at a non-sponsored event where he was not excused, they should have handled it according to their code of conduct and truancy laws. Again, the aide should not have called the school.

    BL.
     
  13. samcraig macrumors P6

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    #13
    This will backfire on the congressman. Big league.
     
  14. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #14
    I can't believe a grown man got excited about the f-bomb
     
  15. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502

    Bug-Creator

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    #15
    The real issue is that the school somehow thought it had to react on such a non issue.


    Now if that congressman had called the kid‘s parents, thats something I could have agreed with.
     
  16. samcraig macrumors P6

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    #16
    He was likely upset to be called out for not doing his job by a teenager. Because, you know - he probably isn't.
     
  17. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #17
    This can't be the first time the congressman or his aides have been sworn at by constituents (not that makes it right). The punishment was because it seems they could.

    As for the word itself, it does denote a lack of courtesy and as the kid said he could of expressed himself better. ... but when I heard about this story I couldn't help thinking of this:
     
  18. I7guy macrumors P6

    I7guy

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    Good. He should Show respect for people. Now whether there are any legal issues to be sorted or is another conversation.
     
  19. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #19
    The legal issue IS the conversation.

    I could swear at any politician, and am free to do so without any retaliation or retribution from the government; that is the very purpose of that portion of the 1A. The government calling the school and having the kid suspended is retaliation from the government, violating the 1A.

    Again, the aide nor the congressman have the right to be offended by their use of free speech, and as being part of the government, are prohibited from retaliating against said use of the 1A.

    BL.
     
  20. quagmire thread starter macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #20
    So you're fine with the government punishing you for the f-bomb?

    I think we can all agree( which the student does as well) that he could have handled it better and not dropped the f-bomb. But this is a parenting issue more than anything. He should not have been suspended over it, let alone have the government call the school as retaliation. Whether it was disrespectful or not, it violates the 1A due to the staffers actions.
     
  21. BoxerGT2.5 macrumors 68000

    BoxerGT2.5

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    #21
    The kid called during school time as many schools helped organize the walk out. The suspension should serve as a opportunity to learn that the manner in which you talk to people will matter. You'll get a much better response from someone if you talk to them respectfully and without cheapening your words with profanity. If wanna get involved in adult discussions then learn to talk like a educated grown up.
     
  22. samcraig macrumors P6

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    #22
    He didn't say anything that most of us, most of other government officials and likely Trump himself hasn't said about congress. And again - he didn't attack an individual. He didn't say anything that was sexists, racist, or an "ist."

    The congressman lashed out because the teen obviously hit a nerve. Nothing more. If the congressman was truly concerned, he would have called the teen back instead of the school and offered to talk about what ideas the teen had to help. Even if he wasn't going to do a thing about it. Because that's what a mature grown up would do. Not rat out a kid to a school because his ears were offended by a passionate youth.

    And honestly - the teen could have communicated his frustration a lot better. And I don't condone using such language - but I understand the sentiment. Many of us feel the same way right now when it comes to gun laws.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 22, 2018 ---
    Conversely - the congressman should and will learn the lesson that it's better to open up dialogue rather than snitch on a kid because you got called out for not doing your job. Which the kid didn't even single HIM out for - but congress in general.
     
  23. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #23
    What we don't know is if THIS school organized the walkout. If they did, then it should be their issue to deal with, not the actions the congressman and his aide took. Even with that, and it being on public land, exercised his 1A right to free speech. The government is prohibited from retaliating from the use of that 1A right to free speech. The school can do something about it, in accordance to its code of conduct; however, the congressman and his aide can not.

    BL.
     
  24. quagmire thread starter macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #24
    Let's ignore the fact he got suspended because the staffer tattled on him( again a possible 1A infraction due to who the staffer was representing is the government) and focus on the punishment itself. As stated, he should have handled it in a better way, but does the f-bomb really justify a suspension? I think a detention and the parents getting called in would have been more than enough of a punishment for the kid( again this is assuming a school official/teacher caught him in the act then having the government snitch on him). Especially if he hasn't been a trouble maker in school according to the story.



    Oh I agree and understand the sentiment. I am not going to act like I have never lost composure and used profanity even though I know I shouldn't.

    And I also agree this congressman/staffer should not have been playing moral police and should have taken the f-bomb in stride and not retaliate.
     
  25. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #25
    Still doesn't stop a lot of people here! :D
     

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