Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Facebook Hate Shouldn't Be Taken Lightly

Dr. Drew Pinsky is among those supporting a 13-year-old girl who was recently suspended from school for posting on Facebook that she wished Osama Bin Laden would have killed her teacher. I’m not nearly as sympathetic.

Specifically, the girl wrote, “I wished Osama bin Laden had killed (my teacher) instead of the 3,000 people in the Twin Towers.” The school suspended the girl for five days. “I’m so sorry this has been so hurtful for you,” Pinsky told the girl.

I feel sorry for the teacher. Wishing death upon someone is no joking matter, particularly in today’s environment where teens have not only threatened people at their schools, but have acted on those threats. The girl’s mother admits the post was wrong, but quickly follows up with criticism of school officials for addressing this with her daughter at school, particularly since it happened away from school grounds.

I’m thankful someone is watching these things. The days of dismissing hateful language as idle teenage chitchat are long since past. In fact, warning signs have too often been ignored. I think five days suspension is actually pretty light. If it were up to me, I would have expelled the girl and notified police.

And, if this were my daughter, she would be at home trying to make things right instead of making a spectacle of herself on TV. As for Dr. Drew, I wonder if he would be so sympathetic if the teacher were his wife.

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