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0718-avery-doninger.jpgWhat kind of world do we live in when a high-school student can’t call her school administrators a “douchebag” without literally creating a federal case?

Avery Doninger, 17, claims officials at Lewis S. Mills High School violated her free speech rights when they barred her from serving on the student council because of what she wrote from her home computer.
In her Internet journal, Doninger said officials were canceling the school’s annual Jamfest, which is similar to a battle of the bands contest. The event, which she helped coordinate, was rescheduled.
According to the lawsuit, she wrote: “`Jamfest’ is canceled due to douchebags in central office,” and also referred to an administrator who was “pissed off.”
After discovering the blog entry, school officials refused to allow Doninger to run for re-election as class secretary. Doninger won anyway with write-in votes, but was not allowed to serve.

I think the school is getting a bit bent out of shape over nothing, don’t you? If administrators don’t want to be referred to as douchebags, they oughtn’t read their students blogs. They got off fairly easy, if you ask me, and it’s completely absurd to keep a student from holding class office — it’s not like she threatened to blow up the school or harm anyone. Besides, canceling Jamfest really was a total douchebag move.

| Comments (12)


It's such a shame! In class they teach our students to speak up for themselves and express what is on their minds. Where are those ideals now?

Read the case. Its very different from what is said in the press. http://www.splc.org/pdf/doningerdenial.pdf

The Jamfest was never cancelled. So she doesn't have a free speech right to spread false information.

moose - and if that were why they had revoked her position (and in the process, taught the entire high school an fantastic lesson about the workings of government) then ok sure. But they did it because, by calling them douchebags she was not engaging in what, by their definition, not that of her peers, is civil discourse. so what if it's uncivil? yes, they gave her the appropriate procedures. I can tell you, as a recent high school graduate, those mean nothing, do nothing, are nothing. if the administration does not want to react to your complaint, they don't have to. she was within her rights to go outside of their procedures.

So, under the banner of “free speech” is it then OK for a student to call a teacher a douchebag or worse in class?

RC's comments make no sense. So if the student walked just off campus and bought a billboard saying "D-bags!", that would be ok? Its vulgar and rude and not "civil discourse".

Or even better, maybe she just should said "I'm sorry" instead of bringing a lawsuit.

Clearly she is not fit for the immense power and responsibility that comes with being class secretary.

All school administrators are douchebags - by definition. Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. Those who can't teach, administrate.

They're the worthless dregs of society - this taken from 40-odd years dealing with the douchebags.

She should sue and sue big.

why can't administrators (both academic and corporate) stay the fuck out of people's personal blogs? Blogs are a soapbox for opinions, they are cheaper than therapy and more effective. If you don't like what one has to say DON'T READ IT and move on.

I *still* don't understand how a school can punish a student for something they did off campus, and not part of a school activity.

p.s. Bong Hits 4 Jesus 4 Ever!

i dont see anything wrong with say douche bag, fuck i say it all the time.

First of all, she DID use the proper recourse when Jamfest was originally cancelled. The school administrator told her they simply didn't have anyone available to supervise the event, so she and other students found a volunteer. Nope, the event was still cancelled. So, she encouraged other students to respectfully call and email the front office, letting the school administrator know how much the event meant to them. The administrator became pissed off and threatened to cancel it entirely, but then decided to reschedule it instead. She was responding to the threat to cancel the event because the douchebag, er, administrator was angry that students had sent her so many emails containing respectful statements of protest. Fact is, the administrator was a douchebag and the student had every right to blog about it on her own home computer, on her own time. Slander and libel don't come into play (it would be funny for the administrator to have to prove to the court that she wasn't a douchebag)---but slander and libel are civil matters for a civil court. Public schools are government entities. One of your most treasured freedoms, guaranteed you by your founding fathers in a lil' ol' document called The United States Constitution, is the ability to speak out against your government without fear of reprisal. This is because your founding fathers realized that sometimes, bureaucrats are, in fact, giant douchebags.

What's "Constitution," precious?