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Public School, Private Home, A 100K Lawsuit

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Jan 24, 2003.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Carlson Muss, of Beaverton, Oregon, is a funny and talented guy; it said he was on his now defunct web site, Sexy and available Guy.

    But funny or talented were not the words that administrators at the Beaverton Public School District would have used to describe the 13-year-old.

    Perhaps, sick and disgusting might have applied two years ago when they expelled Muss for creating a web site which featured death threats against fellow students and teachers at his Middle School. Muss has been joined by the ACLU in <a href="http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1043327193177890.xml">suing Beaverton schools for more than $100K as a result of his expulsion.</a>

    The contention in the law suit is quite clear; Beaverton infringed on Carlsons First Amendment rights in punishing him for creating the web site on his computer, in his home, away from school property. The school district also subsequently refused to enroll him in their Arts & Communication Magnet Academy.

    Carlsons ACLU lawyer says that the school district overreacted to his web site which did include slams against Canadians, overweight people, gays, and some death threats where the names of some of his fellow students were identified. Having admitted to all of that, Carlsons attorney said that there was never any intention to commit any acts of violence and nobody at the school felt threatened. The school district is not commenting on whether any of the students or faculty did feel threatened, however.

    Muss attends a private school currently; part of the suit is over the pain and humiliation of expulsion and the other part is cover his tuition to the private school.

    Open and shut case?
  2. cdw

    cdw Ahhhh...the good life.

    Well, so much for a better education.

    Where were his PARENTS in all of this?
  3. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    I am sure they want a piece of that 100K pie. Does that count?
  4. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    I do not see how the school can lightly take death threats. I don't see they could not take action when lives are threatened. Consider Columbine and our suit happy society. The ACLU is wrong. You may say what you want but you are still responsible for what you say. Thirteen year olds can still kill. I am not sure the school could not have worked with the family to allow him back in after some analysis but the school should not have to pay for this. They were protecting the rest of the students.
  5. Techie2000

    Techie2000 The crowd would sing:

    My school makes me sign my online rights away. No websites that are even closely related to the school or students...
  6. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    Question - isn't it illegal to make a death threat? Even if you're just 'kidding around', if you make a death threat, aren't you breaking a law??
  7. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    That's what I thought, Misu, and death threats like that should circumvent any free speech rights.

    I think ACLU will lose this one big.
  8. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    Yes, it is against the law, but the kid can play his "I'm just a helpless child" card. Why is the ACLU taking this case? And what the heck is with the kid's parents? If I caught my son making a web site with death threats on it, he would have other things to worry about besides "humiliation" for getting expelled from school. Whoever is responsible for this child is the real loser in this case as far as I'm concerned. It's amazing what the prospect of money does to people.
  9. mikepd

    mikepd Veteran Member

    It's called 'terroristic threat' and was on the books long before 9/11. It's a crime in all the states, AFAIK. This is the New Jersey law and it is a third degree felony:

    "2C:12-3. Terroristic threats
    a. A person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he threatens to commit any crime of violence with purpose to terrorize another or to cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation, or otherwise to cause serious public inconvenience, or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience.

    b. A person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he threatens to kill another with purpose to put him in imminent fear of death under circumstances reasonably causing the victim to believe the immediacy of the threat and the likelihood that it will be carried out."

    Helpless child has nothing to do with it, his parents should be in trouble with the state child welfare agency and the ACLU are out of their collective minds, imo, my opinion protected by the First Amendment right.
  10. HaYwIrE

    HaYwIrE Banned

    What a dangerous combination to society...

    <li> A mentally sick child
    <li> Worthless parents
    <li> And the ACLU

    One needs psychological help... two are just plain worthless... and the rest should be run through a garbage disposal.
  11. mikeky

    mikeky Member

    Then seems like it should have been handled by the police, not the school, unless the district has a policy of expelling all students who commit crimes. If not, seems like it's on thin ice.

    While schools may have ultimate control over activities that happen on school property or school functions, I don't see that control extending anywhere else. Otherwise, schools assume the role of the courts, and I hope no one wants that.
  12. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    The is not controlling the child in any manner off campus. And on campus they have expelled him. Should they wait until somebody else takes action? We should be glad somebody stepped up to the plate and took some action.

    To your point, Mikeky, I would agree with you if they had suspended him because he called the predident a weiny. That's protected speech. That the school should not do anything about. But you cannot lightly threaten death. In this case the child meets those students at school so he had to be expelled.

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