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Student Suspended Over "One Word"

A North Posey student scribbled the mother of all swear words on a survey at school.
He says it's free speech.
Now he's going to have a couple of days to sit at home and think about it.
Administrators say Richard Karns was treated just like any other who violated the school's rules.
But Karns says the school violated his trust.
The suspension was handed down Friday-- when he wrote the "F" word on a tobacco survey.
The student insists he was simply using his freedom of speech and was told the survey was 100 percent anonymous-- but administrators tell a different story.
"They said it's totally anonymous she reiterated it 2 or 3 times at least- she said answer honestly because it's anonymous and you won't get in trouble," Karns said.
North Posey's principal said Karns raised red flags when the counselor administering the survey noticed he was writing on it instead of marking the answers like the other students. Administrators say Karns was suspended for what administrators called extreme vulgarity.
"The punishment was too severe shouldn't have been any punishment because they shouldn't have read it," Karns said.
The survey was from the Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Board-- and the school participated to receive $500 grant.
School officials say the survey's results were confidential - but the student in this case went beyond what he was required to do for the survey.
"Obviously that one word was you know I could of used a better word but still freedom of speech and it didn't harm anybody it wasn't threatening so I didn't see a problem with it."
Karns says he isn't a perfect student and he was suspended last year for fighting.
He admits if he said what he wrote aloud-- in front of other students he could understand the suspension-- but he insists two days is too harsh.

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Posted in: News on December 28, 2010 @ 8:03 PM

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