The thing about online messages is that they don’t carry emotion very well, so sometimes what someone says could be construed as offensive, when in reality the other person was only making a joke that has somehow lost its translation over the internet. That’s what happened to a high school student who was recently suspended over a sarcastic tweet, which he is now suing his school district over.
Reid Sagehorn, 18, replied jokingly to a question on a page if he had made out with his female P.E. teacher, to which he replied by saying, “Actually, yes”. Sagehorn did not think much about his reply until he was informed that he would be suspended for seven weeks. The local police chief had even threatened a felony charge before recanting and saying it could be treated as a misdemeanor.
However the attorney’s office found that Sagehorn was not in the wrong and that he had not committed any crime. He has since apologized to the teacher in question and said that he had never intended to hurt anyone with his sarcastic comment. He is now suing his school district, claiming that his First Amendment rights were violated when he was suspended for his comment, and that the police chief had ruined his reputation.
There has even been a petition by his fellow students to overturn his suspension. If you’d like to sign the petition or learn more, head on over to Change.org for the details. What do you guys think? Was his sarcastic comment taken a bit too far, or did the school board and the police chief overreact?