On his blog, Wesley Juhl joked about an irritating friend. “Kill Alaina!” he wrote. A month later, he was called to the dean’s office at Valley High School in Clark County, Nevada. For the blog post and another making a vulgar comment about a teacher, Juhl was suspended. His parents were called in for a conference. Administrators realized Juhl’s variance to attend Valley High had expired because he’d left the International Baccalaureate program as a senior; Juhl was transferred to another high school near his home. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports:
Juhl, 18, is still wondering what authority allowed the Clark County School District to punish him. His journal was not a school assignment and was not posted using a school computer or a school message board.
“The dean told me that what I’d written wasn’t school appropriate,” said Juhl, who was Valley’s homecoming king this year and also was president of its drama club. “He said it wasn’t appropriate for a journal. I just feel like I’ve been violated, like they’ve punished me for expressing my personal opinion.”
The dean didn’t notify the police, suggesting the school didn’t think Juhl was making a real threat.
Another Valley High blogger, Angie Scaduto, also was questioned by the dean about a blog post which began: “I almost killed everyone today.”
The entry went on to explain all the things that had gone wrong that day, she said, and wasn’t a threat against anyone. She also was asked about things she’d written about her mother and the fact that she’d said she’d taken cold medicine during lunch one day at school.
“I kept asking, `What does this have to do with school?’ ” Scaduto said. “They never answered my question. I was completely shocked about it. They were my personal private thoughts and I was getting picked on for them.”
Well, your thoughts aren’t private if you post them online. But the only thing she did at school was take cold medicine. Apparently, Valley High has total tolerance for coughs, sneezes, sniffles and headaches.
If students are making death threats or planning to start an antihistamine ring operating out of the girls’ restroom, call the cops. (Preferably not the Goose Creek commando squad.) If teen-agers are rude, profane or “inappropriate” on their own time, it’s none of the school’s business.
Via Daryl Cobranchi.
Update: Bad enough if the principal is reading your blog. What about Mom? This could happen to you.