POLITICAL: Bureaucrats go crazy when student opines; First Amendment?


Disparaging tweet about Gov. Sam Brownback lands Kansas teen in principal’s office
By Suzanne Perez Tobias The Wichita Eagle
Published Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011, at 6:06 p.m.
Updated Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011, at 7:22 a.m.

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A Kansas teenager is in trouble after mocking Gov. Sam Brownback during a mock legislative assembly for high school students.

Emma Sullivan, a senior at Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, was in Topeka on Monday as part of Kansas Youth in Government, a program for students interested in politics and government.

During the session, in which Brownback addressed the group, Sullivan posted on her personal Twitter page:

“Just made mean comments at gov brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot”

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Sullivan said the principal ordered her to write letters of apology to Brownback, the school’s Youth in Government sponsor, the district’s social studies coordinator and others.

Karl Krawitz, the school principal, did not return calls or e-mails Wednesday.

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“We monitor social media so we can see what Kansans are thinking and saying about the governor and his policies,” Jones-Sontag said.

“We just felt it was appropriate for the organizers to be aware … because of what was said in the tweet.”

Sullivan, 18, said she posted the comment because she doesn’t agree with Brownback’s policies, particularly recent cuts in state aid to schools. She is a registered Democrat.

*** and ***

“In general,” she wrote, “students on school-sponsored field trips, in which they are representing the school, would be expected to conduct themselves in accordance with school district policies, including use of electronic devices. Students may express their personal beliefs, views, and opinions, as long as they do so appropriately and in accordance with school policies.”

Sullivan’s older sister, Olivia, a sophomore majoring in political science at Wichita State University, said she thinks the controversy amounts to Brownback “censoring the opinion of a student.”

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Reach Suzanne Perez Tobias at 316-268-6567 or stobias@wichitaeagle.com.

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Gooferment Skrules have to “protect” the politicians and bureaucrats. Heaven forbid that a “student” say something snarky about a politician.

Certainly seems like a First Amendment issue here.

And, apologize to bureaucrats.

I’d have written “I’m sorry you shmucks don’t understand the First Amendment. Get a lawyer to explain it in little words to you.”


(Note: this is another good argument why the Gooferment shouldn’t be involved in “education”. I’d call it propagandizing future voters. And, for the “student”, why use proper names? Good lesson in everything on the net is public.)

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Scott Silvay I have to disagree. Respect is a good lesson to learn. I think she’s right about the guy but there is a better,more appropriate way to express displeasure. BTW here first amendment rights weren’t infringed upon- she’s not being prosecuted just held accountable.

21 hours ago ·
21 hours ago · Like

FJohn Reinke Spoken like statist big gooferment bureaucrat. The Government Skrule is making the “student” do some things! that’s a free speech violation. The Skrule IS the Gooferment and is using force on the “student”!

17 hours ago · Like

Scott Silvay That’s a tough argument. To imply the school can’t enforce standards doesn’t infringe on free speech it simply prepares the student for real life. You have free speech and you may not be arrested but you may lose your job or other opportunities. I applaud her thought but she could have expressed it better. Maybe the school just have her write him a letter detailing why he sucks (which he does)

15 hours ago · Like

FJohn Reinke If it was a private school, that the parents had “indentured” their child to, then that school could enforce whatever standards that had been agreed to in advance or were assumed to be in force by custom. The fact that the Gooferment Skrule is an extension of the Gooferment mean that it can NOT infringe on speech. Period! In the real world, one doesn’t have this huge entity called Gooferment that is (supposedly) empowered to use crushing force on you. An employer can fire you, but they can’t force you to work for them like a slave. Telling the boss off as you quit is a time honored American tradition. Can’t do that to the Gooferment; it will kill you. Whether or not this politician “sucks” or not is not the point. If the “student” was praising him, that would be all different. Argh!

13 hours ago · Like

# # # # #
Emma Sullivan, high school student, refuses to apologize to Gov. after tweet
High school senior announced she would not write letter of apology, which is due on Monday
BY Nina Mandell
Sunday, November 27 2011, 7:07 PM
# – # – # – # – # 2011-Nov-27 @ 23:49

2 thoughts on “POLITICAL: Bureaucrats go crazy when student opines; First Amendment?

  1. If it was a private school, that the parents had “indentured” their child to, then that school could enforce whatever standards that had been agreed to in advance or were assumed to be in force by custom. The fact that the Gooferment Skrule is an extension of the Gooferment mean that it can NOT infringe on speech. Period!

    I don’t see it as a “teachable moment”. I’d be handing out the torches and pitchforks to the “little darlings”. With the admonition, “if you want your rights, then go defend them”. I see the Gooferment Skrules and the “teachers” and “administrators” as the logical progeny of Goebbels and Himmler. They are there to enforce the Prussian model of “education”. It’d make Mao or Pol Pot proud. Create cannon fodder for the army, willing hands for the factories, and dumb as sheep voters. (Note where every President, except for Jimmy Carter, has sent their children. Certainly NOT to a “public skrule”.)

    “We, The Sheeple” are never going to have liberty until the “schools” are retaken from the politicians and the “Secular Progressive”. It’s a First Amendment issue.

  2. Perhaps the better thing in what I think is a classical teaching moment for the “edumacaterers” to have done would be one of three things: Teach the little darlings what is polite and correct speech, teach them about respect of the office, and the opinions of others and lastly teach them about the abuse of power (their own in this case)…perfect lessons in civics, decorum and good writing.

    Finally, they could use a romp through Trollope to show politicians in 19th century England getting hit with tomatoes and eggs and cabbages when the folks down front didn’t like what they hears.

    Stupid people.

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