Brownbackistan: Check your rights at the door

Given that I’m a feminist liberal woman who believes in reproductive rights, marriage equality, public schools, and the arts, it pretty much goes without saying that I have no love for current Kansas governor, Sam Brownback.

Hear that, sir? You didn’t get my vote. You will never get my vote. I don’t respect you. I don’t like you. And guess what? I DON’T HAVE TO. Because this is the United States and the Constitution (you know, the document that you and your ignorant Tea Party cronies love so much but don’t really understand?) affords me that right. I have the right to say you suck, to write on my blog how worthless I think your reign as governor is, and to refuse to applaud, stand or otherwise acknowledge your presence should I ever find myself in the same room with you.

I’d like to say I was shocked that you and your office went tattling to Shawnee Mission East principal, Dr. Karl Karwitz, when one of his students, Emma Sullivan, posted an unflattering tweet,

Just made mean comments at gov. brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot

but I’m not. Apparently you and your staff spend the day trolling social media sites for comments such as those. What a spectacular use of tax dollars! Well done, you!

(That was sarcasm.)

According to your director of communication minion the tweet “…wasn’t respectful. In order to really have a constructive dialogue, there has to be mutual respect.”

Uh-huh.

“It was important for the organization to be aware of the comments their students were making.” Jones-Sontag says. “It’s also important for students to recognize the power of social media, how lasting it is. It is on the Internet.”

Well, yes. Nothing on the intertubes ever dies. Thanks for pointing that out, Big Brother.

And while the tweet was juvenile and not terribly creative, it’s the student’s opinion. And she has a first amendment right to peaceably express her opinion.

The kicker is that she was subjected to an hour-long scolding from Principal Karwitz about shaming the district and then told to write an apology. He was kind enough to give her talking points.

What shames the district is his reaction. What shames the district is forcing his student to write an apology. What shames the district is deliberately ignoring an 18-year old’s rights.

What shames our state is Governor Brownback acting like a spoiled brat. What shames our state is Sherriene Jones-Sontag being so outraged about a TWEET that, had she let it go, would have gone largely unnoticed by pretty much everyone.

Grow a backbone, Governor. You’re a public figure that at least 30% of Kansas doesn’t like. Get over it.

In the meantime, maybe you want to begin drafting an apology to Emma Sullivan? And while you’re at it, you might want to think about apologizing to the taxpayers for wasting our money on such a trivial matter.

Why, yes, Kansas is apparently as ignorant as everyone thinks.

(Quote sources from here.)

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One thought on “Brownbackistan: Check your rights at the door

  1. This is just google expertise here, so grain of salt and all. Feel free to say “yeah dipshit, I knew all that, kind of obvious, JFC.”

    I think there is no clear court decision or law on the books to say either of the two parties are 100% in the right. School officials can punish free speech if it jumps outside of some simple boundaries (i.e., threats, class disruptiveness), and/or whether the acts are committed on or off school property (bong hits 4 jesus), or if the speech is or is not school-sponsored… or more specifically if that particular speech during school-sponsored activity is vulgar. Years of court decisions to pour through, from the Supreme Court to fed. appeals courts. Fascinating stuff, though.

    So yes, first amendment rights are granted to these students, but courts have allowed school officials to limit or punish, in certain contexts.

    For every suspension of a kid wearing anti-obama gear, or kids protesting the war by wearing arm-bands (Tinker case), or dudes spotted at an olympic event holding a silly banner, there was not a government official tracking the students and informing school officials of their activities… I think.

    Despite all that:

    Dumb twitter comment? Yep. Should’ve been ignored.

    Overreach of state, kind of big brother-ish? You betcha!

    Principal Byron Von Fuckstick on knees praying to Jesus Lord God to forgive this transgression in hopes for funding from the Jesus Lord God Party of Kansas that will never ever fucking come, meaning more families may have to suffer the horror of attending The Shawnee Mission South Ghetto School for the Poor and Smelly? Maybe.

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