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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Butler University Story on Fraser

"Clearly, not all students guilty of PDA, uncooperative behavior, and unruliness in the halls are expelled; it would leave few students in the building."

Marcy Wilhelm has written a long piece for the Butler University's Student newsite, Dawgnet. The full story can be found here.

Ms. Wilhelm is a graduate of Carroll High School in Allen County. She writes:
The administration’s decision to punish Fraser seems to me similar to the recent lawsuit brought by the Recording Industry Association of America against a teenager for illegally downloading music; it seems to have been done in part to set an example for others. Unless the school plans to punish all students and faculty who use the school computers for non-academic reasons in the same manner, it is not fair to punish only Fraser for such an offense. The same applies to those whose offenses fall under “general misbehavior.” In addition to use of profanity, general misbehavior includes displays of affection, uncooperative behavior, running and yelling. Clearly, not all students guilty of PDA, uncooperative behavior, and unruliness in the halls are expelled; it would leave few students in the building.

Also similar to the RIAA case, it seems like the punishment is much harsher than the crime actually warrants. Expulsion is the most severe punishment a school can give a student. Fraser’s punishment is the equivalent of the punishment given to a student involved in three physical fights; it is a drastic punishment. It should be reserved for only the most severe of offenses, those which harm or may potentially harm other students or faculty members. Fraser’s “Carroll: The Book,” though, does neither. It did not hurt anyone, nor incite violence in others. It simply criticized the school. This does not warrant expulsion.

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