GRANITE CITY, IL. (KTVI) - Twitter, one of the world’s most popular social networks, has become increasingly popular among teenagers. In Granite City, Illinois, some of those tweeting teens have been suspended for inappropriate, school-related comments.
Granite City High School students say 21 of their peers, including honor roll students and the homecoming king, were suspended for tweeting, re-tweeting, or ‘favoriting’ some controversial tweets.
One tweet, posted last Thursday, made sexual comments about a female teacher. Students say school administrators found out about it, apparently did a little research, and discovered some other inappropriate tweets, including one with threats to blow up the school.
According to parents and students, those who re-tweeted or ‘favorited’ the teacher comment are on a five-day suspension, and those involved with the bomb threat tweet got a ten-day suspension, and an expulsion warning. Those suspensions began Wednesday, and now, many students and parents are shocked.
Suspended GCHS student Donna Lee, who spent the day at home, is reeling: “I retweeted like everything everybody was saying, I didn’t realize it was going to get me kicked out of school.”
“This is ridiculous to have ten days of zeroes over just ‘liking’ something someone said,” explains Joline Lee, parent of a suspended student. She adds, “We’re giving these kids ten days of vacation to sit at home, sleep in. They need to be at school doing their schoolwork. It’s uncalled for, for them to be suspended over this and be out of school for ten days.”
Many suspended students worry what a suspension on their record will mean for getting into college. Honor student DeAndre Williams, also suspended for re-tweeting one of the comments, laments, “I think it might mess up my future, if teachers look back and see, he got suspended for five days in high school, maybe we shouldn’t pick him up for college. You have to think about that.”
But there are others who say these kids should have thought about the consequences before tweeting or re-tweeting a potentially scandalous comment.
On Facebook, we asked if people felt the suspensions were appropriate. Read the variety of responses here.
FOX 2 is still waiting to hear back from Granite City school administrators to learn more about the suspension decision and circumstances.