Student suspended after tweeting suggested school budget cuts

Patrick Brown

Patrick Brown
Photo Credit: Syracuse Post-Standard

A senior at an upstate New York high school was suspended for inciting “a social media riot” when he had his classmates tweet their suggestions for what budget cuts his school could make in order to get the school’s failed budget passed.

Patrick Brown told the Syracuse Post-Standard that he created the Twitter hashtag, #sh*tCNSshoudcut, as a joke because students were discussing the failed budget and were also speculating about what activities or sports might be cut the following year.

The students tweeted their suggestions throughout the day and Brown expressed his opinion that the district cut the school principal’s job.

The school wasn’t amused with Brown’s opinion, and he was hauled into the office.

The Post-Standard reported:

I was called down to the office and told I was being suspended for harassment of teachers, which no harassment was ever committed,” Brown said. “I proved them wrong and instead they suspended me for cellphone use in class and disrupting the education process because the trend I started created a social media riot.”

Brown said he did use his cell phone during class, which violates the student code of conduct, but he said his teacher never acknowledged his cell phone use.

“It makes me uncomfortable that I can get in trouble for expressing my opinion,” Brown said. “I can understand if you tweet something that is threatening about the school or threatening about a teacher but that’s not what I did

“The worst part is that I disappointed my parents by being suspended,” he said.

The new Twitter hashtag, #FreePatBrown, took off when students learned of Brown’s suspension. People from all over the country joined in, discussing his First Amendment right and this particular school’s failure to honor it.

More from the Syracuse Post-Standard.


Janeen Capizola

"And though she be but little, she is fierce." And fun! This conservative-minded political junkie, mom of three, dancer and one-time NFL cheerleader holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science. [email protected] Twitter: @JaneenBPR


18 thoughts on “Student suspended after tweeting suggested school budget cuts

  1. Susan says:

    If you believe this boy should be suspended for having a productive thought and you believe that he was after all suspended for cellphone use, sorry, but you are and idiot. You probably voted for Obama.

  2. Florida Dave says:

    Can we get the name and contact information for this principal? I would love to express my thoughts to him/her on this totally unwarrented action.

  3. Florida Dave says:

    Cicero-North Syracuse High School 6002 Route 31. Cicero, NY 13039. Phone: ( 315) 218-4100

    Melissa Julian, Executive Principal

    I guess we'll just have to call since their site has no method of contacting her.

  4. uselogic says:

    We are Borg. You will assimilate. Resistance is futile. (Or at least will be punished with suspension.)

  5. Kenneth Clark says:

    I think all who support this young man should actually send letters commending him to the school in his name. Once this principal realized that not only is he supported in social sites, he has a very large following that will take the time to actually send a written letter (letters are more personal and valid) then demand the immediate termination of this so called "Educator" before she demands he be placed on some mind altering drug in order for him to become compliant and graduate.

  6. Right says:

    ms. Julian's email is [email protected]

    Any emails to admin MUST be also copied to the BOE since Kim Dyce – Faucette hides everything she can from them…

    BOE email is [email protected]

    [email protected] is the supers email…

  7. Michael says:

    At graduations the kid's speeches are censored. All we get is " Remember our 4 years together and when Mickey Jones caught that touchdown pass to beat the Prep—–" Academic freedom and critical thought are taboo—-someone might reveal that an administrator is a jerk or that there is some world history after the ancient Greeks and Romans.

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