The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Teens Discover Blogs, Miss the Point

By Matt Wood in News on Dec 8, 2005 7:41PM

2005_12_blurrycomputer.jpgThree students at Taft High School on the northwest side were suspended Wednesday for posting threats and obscene remarks about teachers on their blog. The teens--all males--were 7th and 8th graders in an Advanced Placement program at Taft, leaving Chicagoist to wonder why they weren't smart enough to know better.

The site is hosted at Xanga, a blogging service popular with the kiddies. One post said of a teacher, "I won't kill her...yet," and, "...[her] neck will be...slit like a...chicken!" The offending posts have been taken down, but one of the boys has written an apology on the site, claiming he didn't know it was being monitored.

C'mon guys, you didn't think there was a chance someone would find out? Back in high school, Chicagoist was convinced that our parents had bugged our car because no matter what we did or how well we covered our tracks, they found out. We know, kids do dumb things and maybe you didn't really mean it, but they always find out, especially if you make it easy by posting it on the internet. While we don't know if school employees or parents were actively monitoring student blogs, if you say you're going to slit a teacher's throat in this day and age, someone is going to talk, most likely another student.

Taft students quoted by the Sun-Times took issue with the suspension, saying it violated their privacy and right to free speech. Maybe Chicagoist missed that day in civics class, but we don't remember the part about how the First Amendment protects our right to say we want to kill someone. Had the students merely called teachers names or criticized the school, that would be a different story. But as it is, they're lucky no one pressed charges and they only got a suspension.

Matt will be talking about this story on Chicago Public Radio, WBEZ 91.5 FM at 4:40 PM today during All Things Considered, so tune in!