START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
760,728 people care about Education

Student Suspended For Posting Cartoons on Youtube

Student Suspended For Posting Cartoons on Youtube

Jack Christie, a Canadian high-school student, makes Youtube cartoons that could be characterized as slightly offensive.  After all, they include cursing and some crude jokes about cocaine and pedophilia.  But since there are lots of cartoons like these on the internet, they didn’t seem particularly noteworthy — until Christie’s school administrators discovered them.  At this point, they were deemed so troubling that Christie was sent home and suspended.  He was given a choice: take the videos down or face a police investigation.  Christie refused, and is saying that schoo officials are violating his freedom of speech.

“They’ve unfairly judged me and judged my character based on something I made for entertainment,” he said. “I have the right to post videos on the Internet on my own time.”

Christie made the videos as part of his politics and economics courses.  According to the Globe and Mail, they “feature an animated representation of himself leading a pair of kids on adventures and purporting to explain various subjects, such as politics and corporate whistle-blowing.”  His teacher said that he had no problem with the content — and indeed, nobody seemed to find the videos offensive until Christie put them on Youtube.

Other students are angered by Christie’s removal from school.  And a civil-liberties advocate quoted in the Globe and Mail piece said that it’s unclear how extensively schools can regulate students’ off-campus activities.  “You might tell a student that it is offensive, but I don’t think I would go so far as to suspend or to demand students apologize or take it down,” he said.

Christie, meanwhile, is continuing to speak out, despite the fact that the school might not allow him to go to his prom.  In a video posted on Youtube recently, he asserts his rights to the school board (the video is accessible here, but I’m not embedding it here because it has some strong language).  In it, Christie as a cartoon avatar explains somewhat gleefully that all the attention is just making him more popular, and says,

“I have the right to say and advertise whatever … I want, and I hope that today’s bunch of 17- and 18-year-olds are smart enough to understand that it’s all comedy and nothing more.”

It certainly seems like school officials overreated on this one – and as Anna North points out on Jezebel, “If their biggest worry is having YouTube commenters find out that their teenage students are irreverent and enjoy cursing, they might want to adjust their priorities.”  Seems sensible to me!

 

Read more: , , , , , , ,

Photo from Editor B's Flickr photostream.

quick poll

vote now!

Loading poll...

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

80 comments

+ add your own
5:33PM PDT on Oct 10, 2011

If these videos were made as a part of his school assignment, as the article suggests, than of course he should have been suspended. If they had not been however, suspending him for something he did outside of school would be ridiculous.

12:02AM PDT on Jun 17, 2011

Another thing I was thinking, I went to his you tube, and he is very "in your face" about what he puts in his video. I'm suspecting that this isn't your usual rebellious teen, this kid has possible anger issues, and if he's calling pedophilia a free speech issue, I'm wondering if he'd been assaulted as a child himself, by an adult? Maybe this guy needs help. Just thinking outloud...

3:16AM PDT on Jun 16, 2011

Since when the heck is pedophilia "free speech"?

April's Law - please sign the petition. Our children's safety is NOT open for debate, and we need to keep our children safe from sex predators on and offline.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/worldwide-petition-for-aprils-law-in-the-us/

4:18PM PDT on Jun 13, 2011

A bit much for my taste...

7:19PM PDT on Jun 12, 2011

Lock him up. Pervert. I don't want any kids seeing this filth

5:32PM PDT on Jun 12, 2011

Please forgive my ignorance,I don't know anything about Canada's rights or freedom of speech.But it seems wrong to punish this kid for his self-expression outside of school.Hope he wins the fight.

7:26AM PDT on Jun 11, 2011

So sad about the decision to suspend this student.

10:37AM PDT on Jun 10, 2011

How dare they stifle his creativity. It might be sick or horrible but if he didn't do it at school then they have no right to say anything.

12:25PM PDT on Jun 9, 2011

Jack Christie for Prime Minister!

8:59PM PDT on Jun 8, 2011

Thank-you Adrian for re-inforcing the message of how important it is to lock our doors securely against the horrors of a lost and confused world...

My Doors Are Locked...

Adrian, Are Yours???...

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

Lol, David F., step out of your bizzarro right wing fantasy world. U.S. corporations WROTE the tax code…

To my knowledge most cases of preeclampsia can be managed without risk to the mother's life.

meet our writers

Julie M. Rodriguez Julie M. Rodriguez is an arts, green living, and political writer based in San Mateo, CA. Her work... more
Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!
ads keep care2 free

more from causes

Animal Welfare

Causes Canada

Causes UK

Children

Civil Rights

Education

Endangered Wildlife

Environment & Wildlife

Global Development

Global Warming

Health Policy

Human Rights

LGBT rights

Politics

Real Food

Trailblazers For Good

Women's Rights




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.