Student Suspended For Poking Fun At Podgy Professor On Facebook

Apologies for our alliterative title but we couldn’t resist. There has been a case of a student doing a spot of name calling on the largest social networking site in the world, Facebook. Surely you would think that nasty comments might just get back to the person and let’s be honest it’s a bit unkind isn’t it?

The incident isn’t the first of its kind; freedom of speech on the Internet is becoming something that is allowed less and less, especially in the public sector. We have heard from different teachers that they are actively encouraged not to join social networking sites such as Facebook, we’ve even heard of instances where teachers have been sacked for a picture of them looking under the influence of alcohol even though it was just a bad picture. We have even written an article telling students to be careful what they post!

The student goes to high school in California and has had the book slammed at them with a day of suspension for the remarks made about a teacher on Facebook. As Mashable’s Julie O’Dell says in her article, the post added by Donny Tobolski to his Facebook followed an unusually high amount of assigned Biology homework.

Tobolski added this comments containing the following words about the teacher saying that they were a ‘fat ass who should stop eating fast food, and is a douche bag’. This is possibly not the worst thing that could have been said but deemed enough for a suspension. Following the suspension, a letter has been sent to the school from the ACLU (The American Civil Liberties Union); check it out by clicking here. If you are feeling strongly about the whole situation and feel it’s time for laws and all sorts to be changed, then you can join the debate on You also have to wonder what may have happened had the roles been reversed, if the student had been called a ‘fat douche bag’ by the teacher then surely that would mean an instant dismissal for the teacher?

The fact that the ACLU has become involved has sparked a debate as they are reporting over at the They talk about freedom of speech and how the suspension of Tobolski has violated his freedom of speech. Wish social networking being used more and more widely, we are hearing of this type of incident pretty often. It’s clear that something needs to change and draw a line under what is acceptable and what the consequences should be. What would have happened if the whole class had written similar things on their Facebook’s would they have all been suspended?

We are wondering what is going to happen next with this case and will keep you updated should we hear anything further but we wanted to leave you with the question that we couldn’t answer. Should a school be able to discipline a student for remarks made on Facebook? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.