• Think before tweeting on a school-issued laptop

    Date: 05.21.12 | by Judge Tom.

    Austin Carroll is a 17 year-old senior at Garrett High School in Indiana.  He’s had a few minor brushes with the administration this school year that have led to his expulsion just months before graduation.

    In October, 2011, he tweeted some profanity on a school laptop that resulted in a one-day in-school suspension. He stated that from that day on he only used their computers for homework, nothing personal. In January, 2012, he wore a kilt to school with shorts underneath. Claiming his Irish roots, the school relented and allowed him to wear the kilt on Irish and Scottish holidays.

    Then in March, 2012, Austin tweeted a few messages from home. One was a harmless joke but the second was a profanity laced post with the F word repeated five times. Austin insisted that it was done from home, on his personal computer and at three in the morning when the school wasn’t open. However, the school discovered the posts when he logged on to his Twitter account on a school laptop that showed the school’s IP address.

    Austin Carroll

    Austin is completing his senior year at an alternative program and expects to graduate with his class. However, he is restricted from participating in extracurricular activities and the prom. Failure to follow your school’s Acceptable Use Policy (spelled out in most Student Handbooks) can have drastic consequences. Limit your use of a school computer to class assignments and homework only.

     

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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