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OPINION: Should Boyne City teacher be punished for tactless tweet?

BY BENJAMIN J. GOHS, EDITOR

Sunday is my busiest day of the week. It’s the day I finish writing stories. It’s the day I do the bulk of the layout on the paper. And, often, it’s a day when breaking news happens; sometimes it’s a plane crash, other times a major crime occurs.

This past Sunday was the first time I received multiple contacts from folks over a tweet.

 

It’s a strange new world, I suppose, where we have the ability to share photos and opinions with anyone and everyone at any time.

This particular case involves a Boyne City Public Schools teacher who shared an opinion on the inauguration of our new president.

Most of the people who contacted me thought this teacher’s opinion should be the subject of a news story. After all, many people find this teacher’s opinion to be offensive.

Last I checked, there were at least 88 comments on the Facebook share of this teacher’s comment.

Some of those who feel offended by the tweet want to see this teacher held accountable.

After a brief discussion between Boyne City Gazette Publisher Chris Faulknor and myself, we concluded that what people do or say on their own time is their own business.

We, at this newspaper, are not about to start policing the social media accounts of anyone—school teachers included.

Now, should the Boyne City Public Schools Board of Education decide this educator should be punished for sharing an opinion on Twitter, we will revisit the matter.

However, I caution those clamoring for “justice” in this situation: the desire to destroy the other guy because he disagrees with you, or says something you think is silly or tactless, is anathema to our great American ideal of free speech and expression.

God help me if a transcript of every stupid and offensive thing I ever said was printed for all to see.

There is no law protecting us from being offended. But we’re tough and we can do hard things.

Send your offensive comments to editor@boynegazette.com

 

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