Illinois OKs expulsion for online threats

Students who make online threats can be suspended or expelled under a new Illinois state law, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

While examples of abusive behavior by students have multiplied across the nation and studies suggest half of all teens have been victimized by cyber-bullies, the law’s impetus came from an incident at Oswego High School six years ago, Illinois House minority leader Tom Cross said.

When an Oswego student posted an online diatribe against his teachers in 2005, vowing “I’m so angry I could kill,” leaders at School District 308 weren’t sure what they could do, SD 308 spokeswoman Kristine Liptrot said.

Since the threat was made outside school hours, away from school grounds from a private computer, they were concerned about interfering with the boy’s First Amendment rights and felt unable to suspend or expel the boy . . .

“I don’t think kids are getting any meaner,” Cross  said.  “Thirty years ago, a bully might have said something in class — now they’ll say it on the Internet.”

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  1. Richard Aubrey says:

    Probably because my father was in the Infantry in WW II, we never used the term “kill” in our family when we kids were growing up. Not unless we meant it literally and it was on the schedule, which, as far as I recall, it never was.
    We were probably the only folks who didn’t say, “My mother’s going to kill me.” Or, “I’ll kill that kid.” You can no doubt think of other uses of the term, or its synonyms, plus others like “beat the hell out of”, all of which meant “I’m angry.”. As a matter of possibly-fading memory, I don’t think this was used when there was actual, near-murderous rage. IOW, it was casual, and sometimes even used to show humorous exasperation.
    Now, we’ll see defining threats up, or down–can’t recall which way that goes–until any expression of displeasure becomes subject to prosecution. And, as with all educratism, the least offensive will suffer the worst consequences, since all ‘crats know butthead kids have butthead parents, and the worst will be left alone for fear of lawsuits.

  2. I guess these bureaucrats never read or saw Twelve Angry Men. I’m referring to the scene in which Juror Three rancorously responds to Juror Eight’s self-righteous taunting by saying, “I’ll kill him. I’ll kill him.” A few other juror hold him back while Juror Eight smugly comments, “You don’t really mean you’ll kill me, do you?” What a great scene.