November 16, 2003
Suspension of student was too harsh, some say

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's "Jump" teen section:

Suspension of student was too harsh, some say
(link to original)

Last Updated: Nov. 16, 2003

We asked for your thoughts on the suspension of Brookfield Central High School student Sashwat Singh, 15, for making a rap CD at home that allegedly threatened his school's principal. Here's an edited sampling of what a few of you had to say:

Kelly MacAvaney, 16, junior, Greenfield High School: "I think that suspension in Singh's case was too much - especially since he did not distribute his CDs around school. The so-called threats in the track which insulted the principal seem simply reflective of the genre style during this time. Therefore, his CD was obviously created in the name of art - an often-debated topic, of course, but nonetheless quite an appropriate label in this case. True, guidelines need to be established in order to protect students and teachers from potential Dylan Klebolds and Eric Harrises (the killers in the 1999 Columbine High School shootings), but in Singh's case, this CD is not the creation of a gloating terrorist but an aspiring artist. (Completely off topic: I found it amusing that Sashwat's principal seemed threatened by getting his (expletive) beat down.)"

Cat McMurtry, 16, junior, Shorewood High School: "I think Principal Cerutti was just a little bit overzealous in his punishment of Singh. A five-day suspension from school seems just a bit harsh for allegations of "gross disobedience" and "misconduct" that the superintendent callously brushes away. I can definitely understand the position Singh takes, in that one should be able to record what one desires without persecution. He didn't take any physical actions against the principal, and this seems to be the first notable encounter Singh has had with the administration. However, I don't think the suspension was entirely undeserved. Had it been me as principal, I would have done the same thing, but perhaps to a lesser degree. I don't think we can blame Cerutti for being concerned about a CD circulating within his school, talking about 'beating his (expletive) down.'"

Nicholas Young, 15, Professional Learning Institute: "I think he shouldn't get kicked out of school because of what he expresses about the principal. I myself write raps about my teacher. They need to understand that this is the way we express our emotions about them. Also, I think that the teacher or principal shouldn't take it seriously. For example, Eminem writes about killing Kim (his former wife), but Eminem just did it to show his expression about the whole drama that was between them, about her cutting her wrists and then their divorce."

From the Nov. 17, 2003 editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)

Posted by Lance Brown at November 16, 2003 05:00 PM | TrackBack
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