Teens and Tweets: Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback Says He's Sorry
Last week high school senior Emma Sullivan tweeted something mean about Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback after a school trip to the State Capitol. Not about to be dissed, Brownback’s staff called Emma’s principal, Karl Krawitz, to complain about the offending tweet. (Though I'm still not clear whether that also included the hashtag #heblowsalot). The next day the principal called a puzzled Emma, who says she had never been in trouble, into his office and read her the riot act. He then ordered her to write a letter of apology to Brownback and his staff. Emma refused, and her parents supported her.
Then yesterday things got really interesting. The governor apologized saying his staff had "overreacted" and emphasizing his support for freedom of speech. And the school district backed off saying that Emma no longer needed to write the letter.
Let me just add that I have never remotely liked anything Sam Brownback has ever said, but in this case I have to give him credit.
In any event I have questions for you.
If your teen sassed the governor in a tweet or on Facebook, and the country was in a dither about it, would you make her apologize? Why or why not? Would you revoke her Internet privileges? How long? A week? A month?
Should a governor’s staff ever call the principal’s office? If so under what conditions?
If the principal called your daughter an “embarrassment” to the school and the school district, would you rally your community to launch a “Fire the Principal” Facebook fan page? Storm into his office and remind him of this little thing protecting Americans called free speech? Praise your daughter for her political acumen and encourage her to run for office?
Finally, do Brownback’s staff not have enough to do?
And, is #heblowsalot an age-appropriate hashtag for an 18-year-old?
I can't wait to hear your thoughts!