Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Moms with Teens Moms with Teens

When is a Death Threat, Really a Death Threat?

Posted by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 12:39 PM
  • 17 Replies

The Proper Response to Teenage 'Death Threat' Jokes Is LOL -- Not Expulsion From School

Posted by Jacqueline Burt

smileysI'm so relieved that the three 14-year-old girls in Indiana who were expelled from eighth grade for making "death threats" on Facebook have somebody on their side. The ACLU is suing on the girls' behalf, and their argument is spot-on: "Genuine death threats don't tend to come with 'LOL' and a smiley face attached."

Gee, ya think? Here's the deal: The girls were having a conversation on Facebook. Said conversation eventually turned to the topic of classmates they wished they could "kill." (Including the aforementioned LOLZ, emoticons, and other such digital indicators of non-violent intent.)

Was this a kind and pleasant virtual exchange? No, I'm not saying that. I'm not saying they weren't having a "mean girls" moment.

But were they making death threats?

To quote Gavin Rose, staff attorney for the ACLU of Indiana, “Any reasonable person could see the conversation was purely in jest and could not be interpreted seriously. Free speech rights under the First Amendment, even when it’s speech we don’t like or agree with, must still be protected, and schools do not possess infinite reach into the private lives of their students."

Precisely. If the school wanted to suspend the girls for a couple of days or give them detention for a week, that would've been one thing. But expulsion? That's a permanent record thing (not to mention expensive, particularly for the mom who had to spend nearly $1,000 on home-schooling since her daughter was expelled). The school is allowing the girls to take the tests necessary to advance to the ninth grade, but the academic damage is no doubt already done.

As a parent, I totally understand that we're all a little over-sensitive these days thanks to the school shooting phenomenon and a million other incidents that makes us afraid to send our kids to class. But we need to be, as Rose said, "reasonable." Smiley faces? Come on.

Do you think these girls deserved to be expelled?

 

by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
luckysevenwow
by Platinum Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Without seeing the actual message and going off the fact that the girls did keep it light hearted. I would say the school may have over stepped their reach. Let's face it, we all say things we don't really mean. Does that mean we will go out and do it? In most cases no.

fantasticfour
by Grumpy on Apr. 30, 2012 at 2:54 PM
1 mom liked this

Depends, was this put on facebook and revealed to the people they were talking about?  Were the people they were "threatening" actually feeling threatened?  Were they afraid that these girls would do such a thing?  If the answers are yes, then yes they should be expelled and facebook should expell them from their site.

PinkieRed
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 4:16 PM
I agree! We don't know the whole story.

Quoting fantasticfour:

Depends, was this put on facebook and revealed to the people they were talking about?  Were the people they were "threatening" actually feeling threatened?  Were they afraid that these girls would do such a thing?  If the answers are yes, then yes they should be expelled and facebook should expell them from their site.

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Saille717
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 4:25 PM
1 mom liked this

In this day and age only a very stupid person would put any kind of death threat, even jokingly, out there....especially on such a popular social networking site.  Some things just aren't funny, and this is one of them.  The punishment may not fit the intent, but you can't PROVE intent, you can only prove what was actually put in writing.  So yes, they got what they deserved.  

atlmom2
by Susie on Apr. 30, 2012 at 4:34 PM
1 mom liked this

Kids need to learn you do not joke around.  I am all for zero tolerance on this crap.  Its only going to get worse unless we nip this online bullying in the bud. 

rebeccasmly
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 4:37 PM

This!

Quoting fantasticfour:

Depends, was this put on facebook and revealed to the people they were talking about?  Were the people they were "threatening" actually feeling threatened?  Were they afraid that these girls would do such a thing?  If the answers are yes, then yes they should be expelled and facebook should expell them from their site.


mumsy2three
by Shauna on Apr. 30, 2012 at 5:17 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting fantasticfour:

Depends, was this put on facebook and revealed to the people they were talking about?  Were the people they were "threatening" actually feeling threatened?  Were they afraid that these girls would do such a thing?  If the answers are yes, then yes they should be expelled and facebook should expell them from their site.

I agree.

I can tell you from experience that when my dd received an online message from someone that said "I'd like to kill you with my bare hands" emoticon or not, I took that sh*t seriously. The message wasn't sent to her by a friend either.

PinkieRed
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 5:31 PM
There was a lady here in the Cleveland area, who recently was sentenced to prison, for trying to hire a man on Facebook, to kill her ex husband over a custody battle.

The guy was an acquaintance of hers, and she claimed to the police, that she was joking about wanting to kill her ex.

Well, joking or not, she lost custody of her kids, and is headed for prison.

There was also another case here in Cleveland, where a lady who claims she's an animal rights supporter, posted on Facebook that she is looking for someone to find and murder a person wearing a fur coat. She got arrested, too. Now from what I read, that woman just sounded psycho.

It is astounding what some people will post on Facebook.


Quoting Saille717:

In this day and age only a very stupid person would put any kind of death threat, even jokingly, out there....especially on such a popular social networking site.  Some things just aren't funny, and this is one of them.  The punishment may not fit the intent, but you can't PROVE intent, you can only prove what was actually put in writing.  So yes, they got what they deserved.  

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
shareleann
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 6:56 PM

As the parent of an expelled student I think that there are a million other ways for schools to "make thier point" and keep students safe.  Expulsion is a very hard thing to overcome.

bizzeemom2717
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 7:09 PM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting atlmom2:

Kids need to learn you do not joke around.  I am all for zero tolerance on this crap.  Its only going to get worse unless we nip this online bullying in the bud. 

 I agree, school's are still working on keeping up with technology..

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN