We fully support the douchebags!  You can’t insult people online and
expect to escape unpunished.  A “douchebag” — is never a compliment —
for it is the empty container of fluid used to flush clean a woman’s
vagina.  There’s no mistaking the insult of being a limp, used up,
‘gina bag.

A federal district court
in Connecticut has granted qualified immunity to the high school
principal and the school district superintendent who punished a student
for calling school administrators “douchebags” on her blog. Doninger v.
Niehoff, No. 3:07-cv-1129 (D. Conn. filed Jan. 15, 2009). This decision
comes as no real surprise in a circuit that lately has proven hostile
to student speech rights in the digital age, but it nevertheless
demonstrates the need for greater clarity in the law governing this
area.

CMLP’s legal threats database contains a
complete summary of the facts of Doninger v. Niehoff. In the spring of
2007, junior class secretary Avery Doninger was frustrated with the
decision of school officials regarding “Jamfest,” a yearly music
festival that she had been planning. She wrote about her concerns in a
Livejournal blog post, where, among other things, Doninger called
school administrators “douchebags” and asked students and parents to
call the school superintendent to complain in order to “piss her off
more.” When school officials learned about the comments Doninger had
made online, they punished her by disqualifying her from running for
class secretary during her senior year. In addition, they forbade her
classmates from wearing “Team Avery” t-shirts on the day candidates for
student office were giving election speeches.

Why should a student ever expect to insult her school administrators and get away with it unscathed?

Living
a cogent life requires constant correction — and for the school
administrators to accept the “douchebag” label is to quantify Avery
Doninger’s behavior as culturally acceptable when it is actually
socially reprehensible.

Actions have consequences and
if you call someone a “douchebag” you should expect to get hit back, to
be punished, and to suffer a bit for your expressed cruelty.

Freedom
is speech is a misnomer, for there’s no such thing.  You might hope to
name call and get away with it, but don’t be surprised when the
ramifications of your hatred and immaturity boomerang to spite you
right back.

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