Racist Kids will be Racist Kids…
(please note that linked articles include strong racist terms and profanity)
I hate when someone starts a column or a speech with rhetorical questions. But I am going to.
If a teen publishes something stupid on the internet, should the teen suffer consequences? And does the school have a responsibility in bringing that student to justice? Does the term "bringing that student to justice" suggest that broadcasting something stupid is a crime?
When I look back on my teen years, there are stupid things I said that I wish I hadn't. In my case, most don't remember the dopey things I said. When teens vent their worst thoughts they're on the internet. On twitter and Facebook. Available to the world in perpetuity. Tracie Egan Morrissey found some of these tweets and reprinted them.
Tracie's November 9 article on Jezebel.com, ran a column of tweets of teens venting their anger at Obama being reelected. The tweets include the racial terms that I can not repost here. And profanity I wouldn't repost here. Then she called those student's high schools to find out what, if any, action the school might take toward those students.
Is the role of a blogger to rat on a tweeter exercising First Amendment rights? Maybe what
Tracie has highlighted is the checks and balances of the internet. If we search we can find the range of viewpoints that exist in our world. We need to know that such racism exists.
A follow up article from Jezebel.com featured the racist and profane responses of adults who were mad at the website for calling the kids out. Teens hate being called "kids." But teens are, by definition, young and going to make mistakes that adults will catch. But now those mistakes might be captured and retweeted. The follow up article featuring the bigotry of adults only shows us that the kids learn from the adults.
The racist teens and inquiring Jezebel bloggers are part of the checks and balances. Should a blogger have called the schools? I'm a parent. I want my daughter's school to be challenged. Is printing racist terms a crime that should be called to justice? What do you think about hate speech?
Yes, I left you with a rhetorical question.