An angry student called his Congressman to tell him to “get off his f*cking ass and pass gun control.” The Congressman didn’t like the message or the language, so he had the kid suspended from school.
In March, the Washington Post reported that a Nevada high school student was suspended after he called his Congressman’s office and said that Congress should “get off their f*cking asses” and pass common sense gun legislation.
During the national school walk-out last month to protest gun violence, students passed out the phone numbers for elected officials so that the kids could call and demand gun control. 17-year-old Noah Christiansen called the office of his representative Mark Amodei (R-NV) and spoke to one of Amodei’s staffers.
“I just said, ‘I believe bump stocks should be banned, the minimum age should be raised, and Congress people not already asking should get off their f*cking asses and do something about gun control,'” Christiansen said.
The passionate young man later said that he regretted using curse words on the call; but he added, “even if I do want to use words, and use them over and over again, it’s my right to do so.”
Christiansen also said that the staffer he spoke with did not appear to be offended by his language.
“The person said something like, thank you for your comments,” the student said.
But Noah was later called to the principal’s office and informed that he was being suspended for two days because a Congressional staffer had called the school and complained about his language. The school is also now preventing the young man from serving as class secretary after he was elected to student government.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is now demanding that the suspension be removed from the child’s record. And they are demanding an apology from Amodei. The ACLU says that this punishment is an act of political “retaliation.”
In a letter to the school board the ACLU said,
“Disciplining a student and permanently damaging their future college prospects because they actively participated in democracy will have a chilling effect on other students who are considering engaging in the political process.”
But Amodei refuses to apologize. “Welcome to the world where words have impact,” he said.
I have to say that I feel for this student because I understand how it feels to be so upset that Congress refuses to do anything about these mass slaughters. And I, too, have dropped the occasional F-bomb when talking to Congresspeople. But hopefully, he will learn the lesson that it pays to hold your emotions in check because you will get further with these elected officials when you talk professionally.
I commend him, though, for protesting and getting involved to try to help solve this horrible problem. And you can hardly blame him for being so passionate when he’s watching the news every day and seeing his fellow students being murdered.
Washoe County School District says that they cannot comment on this situation because of student privacy laws but they do say that “the District expects students to act appropriately and with decorum.”