“In America, government authority has limits.”

However, not one of those three news stories gave any indication that any part of this MySpace episode took place on school property, during school time, or through school computers. In fact, the AP story stipulated precisely the opposite: “Some parents however questioned whether the school overstepped its bounds by disciplining students for actions that occurred on personal computers, at home and after school hours.”

If the AP got it right, if you did, in fact, suspend 20 students for something they did on their own time, then you acted in a manner inappropriate to your position as an educator. Much more troubling to me, you acted in a manner inappropriate to your position as an American citizen. In America, government authority has limits. Beyond those limits, we are free to act, to speak, to read as we choose. This freedom can not, it must not, be abrogated simply because we don’t like how some people make use of it. Ironically enough, I learned these lessons in my middle school civics class, many years ago. They have served me well in my adult life.

Hey, I’d love to believe that I’m reading you wrongly on this. If those students were using school computers, or if they were coordinating their activities on school grounds, well, then your actions will get no arguments from me. I hope I’m wrong.

But if I’m not, then you most certainly are. Please make it right.

Yours very truly,
Artie Moffa

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