Jack Christie, a grade 12 student at Donald A. Wilson Secondary School in Whitby, Ontario, has been indefinitely suspended for posting surreal, crude, humorous videos to YouTube. The videos were shown in his Economics and Politics class, where they were thoroughly enjoyed, but when he posted them to YouTube, the school principal gave him a one-day suspension and ordered him to take the videos off YouTube. He refused, and was given an indefinite suspension. Members of the school's student government, including Gavin Russell, the student government's prime minister, took up a petition for Christie's reinstatement, but were ordered to stop collecting signatures or face punishment.
Christie has made an appropriately funny and profane rebuttal to the student council, which I have embedded above for your viewing pleasure.
When I was 18, I was writing short stories, some of them good, most of them awful, and several of them decidedly offensive. I sent them to magazines, sold a few, and had there been a Web to post them to, I would have done so. I can't imagine what impact a similar ban on publishing my creative work would have had on my future development as a writer.
"They've unfairly judged me and judged my character based on something I made for entertainment," he said on Wednesday. "I have the right to post videos on the Internet on my own time." A spokeswoman for the Durham District School Board refused to discuss the case, citing confidentiality laws, but obliquely explained the school's actions: "If something is considered detrimental to the positive moral tone of the school, it doesn't necessarily have to happen inside the school [for us to get involved]," said Andrea Pidwerbecki.Student cites freedom of speech after suspension for online videos (Thanks, Jesse!)
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.