Status update comment on Facebook gets student suspended for cyberbullying


Just wanted to point out this new article sharing the story of a high-schooler who responded to a friend’s status update on Facebook, and consequently received a ridiculous sanction from his school for it.  He basically stated “you’re not going to bust a grape” – indicating to his friend (who posted about fighting another girl at school) that it was just a joke, and that she wasn’t actually going to *do* anything despite her threatening words.  The student – who is in Honors classes and who participated in a summer internship at USC this year – was then suspended for the rest of the school year, thereby jeopardizing his graduation date and future scholastic ambitions.

I believe that the school will likely be civilly sued by the family of the boy for overstepping their disciplinary bounds.  I believe they should have taken the time to calmly ascertain what was meant by the statement made on Facebook, and attempted to address it informally rather than through suspension.  This may be a case of administrators hoping to send a powerful message to the rest of the student body, but grossly overreacting and doling out a punishment incommensurate with the nature and context of the offense.


  1. This is pretty crazy. I think it's another example of administrators having no clue how their students communicate. I agree, they should have taken the time to find out more about the comment before the suspension. ::sigh::

  2. I'm not sure the schools really have a role in this. The site wasn't affiliated with the school and it happened on a home computer after school hours. I think the school really had no right to take any action against the student and I bet this suspension gets repealed in the next week.

  3. The school definitely overstepped their bounds. I don''t understand how you can suspend anybody because of something that they didn't do at school. A school wouldn't suspend a kid if that kid got in a fight with his friend outside of school. A school also wouldn't suspend a kid for being arrested outside of school. Why does that principal think he has a right to suspend a little girl just because she had an inappropriate status? It just doesn't make sense to me.

  4. This is definitely a problem, of us, all of us. Cyberbullying will never stop, people think they’re brave enough to type things that are over innappropriate. The campaigns and everything just don’t work. Watch what you say, it may harm or affect your life. -Colin

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