Stafford High School students suspended for phone use after angry tweets
It started for several students at Stafford High School with trips to Chick-fil-A for breakfast. It ended in their suspension from school.
In between, though, the school says, were throngs of students being late for classes and a burst of Twitter outrage that the school's administration quickly discovered.
School officials say that having as many as 150 students at the Fredericksburg campus show up late to class was totally unacceptable. That led to the school's principal, Joe Lewis, to send out a message saying that anyone caught showing up late with food would have their breakfast confiscated.
School officials say they need students in class, on time, and academically engaged from 7:40 a.m. on.
A group of displeased students then took to their cell phones and then to Twitter to express their displeasure.
"I'm going to go into Stafford with 5 McDonald's bags filled with dog s*** & when they ask for them I'll just let 'em have it," one student said on Twitter.
Stafford County Public Schools officials say that phone use on campus led to the suspension of five students, which is against school rules, not the tweeting.
"They are very aware of the policy," spokeswoman Valerie Cottongim said. "That's the only reason they were suspended."
However, students insist it was the tweeting that led to the punishment.
"I don't know if the kids should have gotten in trouble for using their phones, unless the teachers physically caught them," Stafford senior Kyle Clyde said.
The suspensions, though, only fueled the fire for the students, who went back to the social network to express further anger, especially those students who feel like administration officials are "stalking" them.
Officials say that no school officials, including Principal Lewis, are monitoring tweets.
"There are over 2,000 students in that school," Cottongim said. "Our administrators don't have time to be tracking students in that manner."