You Matter.

Good morning Shortridge community,

As the signs on our doors and in our classrooms say, “you matter. Your words matter. Your actions matter.” In the past 24 hours, we have had members of our community make poor decisions. Those actions and their words have caused anxiety and unease in our community. The person or people who made threatening posts chose actions and words that violated the trust of this community. There are and will be consequences for those decisions both in school and in court.

We thank the members of this community – you students – who have shared those posts with adults. The totality of the shared information has helped the investigation greatly. Those actions matter.

To the students in the building – the young adults – who have reposted and screenshotted and shared and airdropped additional messages, that sharing of information in that way – that specific action, that choice made maybe without even thinking it a choice – added to the overall unease within our community. Moreover, in a legal setting, sharing of threatening language is no different than making the initial post.

We all know that we should not yell fire in a crowded building. It is also the same action and consequence for repeating, sharing, and amplifying that message. That is what we do when we repost and reshare. Those actions have legal consequences. Going all the way back to 1969, the US Supreme Court has caselaw on what is or not protected student speech. This past summer, the Supreme Court ruled on student speech outside of the school. In almost all circumstances, the courts have ruled with schools, not with students.

You matter. Your words matter. Your actions matter. What we say and what we do defines who we are.

Don’t let a momentary impulse to share something lead to permanent consequences. Because you matter today and you matter tomorrow. Don’t let the choices you make today rob you even more choices tomorrow. Be greater than any single moment.

Thank you, and have a good day.

Resources

How to Limit AirDrops

Tinker

Student Speech Outside of School

Know Your Rights