Suspensions wiped from students' records over tweet on teacher - KPTV - FOX 12

Suspensions wiped from students' records over tweet about teacher

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SALEM, OR (KPTV) -

High school students in Salem who were suspended over a tweet about a teacher will have the disciplinary action removed from their records.

Students told Fox 12 they were suspended for two days after retweeting or clicking "favorite" on a post made on the micro-blogging site Twitter claiming a specific teacher at McKay High School flirts with students.

The tweet also mentioned the woman's son.

Earlier this month, the district released a statement saying, "We are interested in making sure that we have a safe environment for students to learn and teachers to instruct. If derogatory comments from either students or teachers prevent this from happening we want to hold them accountable."

A district spokesperson added that the teacher is a "dedicated member of our staff" and was embarrassed and "deeply hurt" by the incident.

After news about the suspensions began to spread, the American Civil Liberties Union got involved.

The ACLU sent the district a letter saying administrators had infringed on the students' First Amendment right to free speech.

"For the reasons stated above, we strongly urge McKay High School to remove all record of the suspensions imposed on students who were unlawfully disciplined and respect the free speech rights of students in the future," the letter states.

On Thursday, a district spokesperson said the suspensions would be removed from the students' permanent records. He said it would be handled individually with each student, who will meet with school staff, as opposed to being done all at once.

"I think it needed to be a learning experience for them," one parent told Fox 12 earlier this month. "I think the school should have got them together after school or Saturday school, something that wasn't so strict as far as the suspension thing that goes on their permanent record."

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