Teen Tweets Smack To Gov. And Won’t Apologize
Free speech for sure. I’m all for it, of course I would never try to tell anyone that they are not allowed to say anything. BUT are there times when saying what you mean isn’t the best idea? I have so many mixed feelings on this story I’m not sure where to start but maybe the facts are a good place to start.
It all started with a tweet. Last week in Emma Sullivan, 18, was part of a Youth in Government program. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback was speaking to the group when Sullivan tweeted from her cellphone “Just made mean comments at gov. brownback and told him he sucked, in person @heblowsalot.”
She never made the comments but some of Gov. Brownback’s staff who watches for tweets about the Governor saw the message on Twitter and brought it to the attention of the school principle Karl R. Krawitz.
The principle gave Sullivan a talking to and suggested that she write an apology letter to the Governor. The high school senior said on Sunday that she would write no such thing citing that it would not be sincere. I can almost understand this. Yes there is nothing that should prevent the senior from saying anything that is on her mind. The comments, albeit immature, of no substance and a lie, are fully within her right. She’s not hurting anyone.
She did say though that she would be happy to sit with the Gov. saying “I think it would be interesting to have a dialogue with him. I don’t know if he would do it or not though. And I don’t know that he would listen to what I have to say.” I start getting confused here on exactly why she thinks that someone who she has insulted for no good reason would want anything to do with her. Or why she thinks that she is important enough for the Govenor, who I’m sure has bigger things on his plate, to take time and have a conversation with? Because she tweeted something rude about him? How does this make any sense? And somehow people are turning this into a free speech debate?
Worst part is her mother has her back. Now inside their house maybe the conversations are different, but Sullivan’s mom said “She wasn’t speaking to the 3,000 followers she has now,” Julie Sullivan said. “She was talking to 65 friends. And also it’s the speech they use today. It’s more attention grabbing. I raised my kids to be independent, to be strong, to be free thinkers. If she wants to tweet her opinion about Gov. Brownback, I say for her to go for it and I stand totally behind her.”
WTF?!?! How does a parent not try to explain that if you expect to get respect, you need to give respect? I can understand supporting your child through anything and having their back, but come on?! Worst part is that now the young girl has more followers on Twitter than ever and the lesson she is learning is twisted and wrong. Talk badly about people publicly and you get attention. Even ME in Montana is giving her attention….wait.
Forget everything you’ve just read. Say what you want, but my suggestion is to just treat people with respect and be NICE! If for no other reason that it feels good to be nice.