A Facebook comment from a Florida mom has led to her son being expelled from his school. There are now debates over whether this should have been allowed or not. Can a child be punished for someone else’s mistake?
Ashley Habat was annoyed when Sonshine Christian Academy, her son’s preschool, did not give enough warning about a picture day at the school. She was so angry that she shared the frustration on her Facebook wall. However, instead of just making a general remark, she tagged the school into the status.
The next day, her son Will, was expelled. A letter sent home included the social media incident, as it questioned the staff intelligence. During the status, the mother questioned whether people working at the school were ignorant, and did not question their intelligence at all. Habat believes that it was unfair to punish a four-year-old boy for her actions.
The school has not yet defended or spoken about its actions. However, a number of parents have taken to the internet to argue both sides of the case.
For many, the idea of punishing the son because of his mother’s actions is ridiculous. It would have been easy enough for the school to speak to the mother in private. Someone could have explained that they did not like that she was using social media in this way, and that maybe she could find another way of dealing with the situation.
There are some who agree with the son being expelled from the school for his mom’s Facebook comment. While she believed that it was in private, she tagged the school in so the school could see it. By naming the school, there was an element of ridiculing it and the school could have taken the stance that she was defaming it. However, does that make it right to expel the son?
Both parties seem to be in the wrong. While Facebook has become a place to vent, Habat made the mistake of naming the school. She could have kept it generalized. Those who really mattered would have known the school she meant. At the same time, the school could have apologized for the lack of communication, and discussed the matter with her.
Madame Noire brings up the point that the school is a Christian school. Surely punishing one person for someone else’s mistake is not a “Christian thing to do.” It brings to question everything that the schools stands for and teaches children.
Social media is continually being used by schools and employers to monitor actions. Employers have even admitted to using it to snoop on potential employees or to determine whether current employees are faking sick-days to do something else. It brings up the question about privacy violating, although many would argue that people are knowingly putting their status updates and photos on a site that does not support the idea of private lives.
Habat will hopefully learn from her mistake. However, there is the question over whether the school was right in expelling the boy for his mother’s Facebook comment.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham