Nine Grade 12 students in Brampton, Ont., who made comments about their teachers on Twitter were suspended from classes after the school board deemed the remarks "inappropriate."
The Dufferin-Peel District School Board says nine students at St. Marguerite d'Youville Secondary School were asked to stay home Wednesday.
The board then laid out the following punishments:
- Two students received seven-day suspensions. They must write letters of apology to the teachers and have been removed from those teachers' classes. They will be able to continue with those same courses with other teachers after suspension.
- Three students were suspended for two days (Wednesday and Thursday) and must write letters of apology. They will be back in school on Friday.
- Two other students were allowed to return to class Thursday and will have no further discipline, because the board determined they did not tweet maliciously.
- Two students must write letters of apology to teachers and were back in school Thursday.
"These tweets were extremely inappropriate," said school board spokesman Bruce Campbell. "Some were sexual in nature."
The board calls it a case of cyberbullying, with the messages aimed at three teachers.
"The school started the investigation over the last couple of days," said Campbell. "We had nine students that were asked to remain home. Consequences will be meted out to these students."
Students raise privacy issue
One day after the students were asked to stay home, a number of other d'Youville students turned to Twitter to defend their classmates, some citing freedom of speech.
Some claim they are under surveillance, others called d’Youville a "prison school."
The tweets were not sent during class time.
One person tweeted: "leave it to d'Youville to take away what little freedom you have."
It’s not clear exactly what the students wrote in the tweets that prompted the school’s disciplinary action but it was serious enough for Peel Police to investigate.
Police have decided that no charges will be laid and that disciplinary action will be left to the school board.The school's principal spoke to the entire student body Thursday about the responsible use of social media.