I am not convinced that the cops should be involved. It should have been dealt with at the school level. And the parents of the kids on that list should not have been involved. The suspension sounds fine.
I was bullied terribly all through school. It was hell. So was SO. We have no tolerance for it whatsoever. We have had our stepson move from across the country to live with us (he is nearly 19) so that he could get settled, get a job etc - which he did. It recently came to light that he has been being a bully to his sister. He actually tried to defend his right to bully his siblings and just generally be a jerk to them. He said he won't change. Needless to say he won't be going with us when we move in April. He will be finding his own place to live. We can't have that mentality in our house. It is poison.
I'll be the odd one out and say that, from the details provided, this punishment and calling the cops seems bananas overboard to me. I guess I don't really see how writing someone's name on a piece of paper and then ripping up the paper could be considered either "terroristic" or even bullying. The difference between that and a slam book is that slam books were passed around for everyone to see and comment on for some good old fashioned public humiliation (I'm being sarcastic about "good old fashioned.")
Having said that, if the list said "Kill" then yes, I agree with the police being called. Or if the list was made public and being used in some way to actually hurt the kids on the list, then yes, I agree with the punishment. But if it literally was as simple as "a couple of girls say together and wrote a list of people they don't like and then ripped it up without doing anything else with it or showing it around," then I can't really see how that merits much more than a talk with the school counselor and maybe a couple of days of detention. An I being totally insensitive here? I was never really bullied so I admit I may not be as sensitive to it, but I just don't really see how writing a list and then ripping it up constitutes as "bullying."
I think the fact that they ripped it up is important, and it's weird that some teacher taped the whole thing back together. They got rid of it! It's icky behavior and should be addressed by parents and teachers, not by police.
I could very well be overly sensitive to this, too. I mean, the nature of bullying is that less people get bullied than don't. So my perspective is probably pretty knee-jerk to stop bad behavior quickly and sharply.
I am also guessing that there is more to the story than what we see from the report. School counselors are usually pretty level headed people, or should be and I am just guessing, but I bet there was some other observed behavior that prompted the digging deeper.
So kind of more to the point of the original question, do kids lose a level of "free-speech" when at school? I think that they do a little bit. I wouldn't wish to curtail actual thought but, like at work or church or any civil social interaction, people constrain some of their opinions.
My understanding is that it was these girls who were being bullied, and they got together and basically wrote a list of the kids who were bullying them. I can actually see being concerned about this, as it seems to me that often in school shootings it is the victims of bullys who do the shooting, and there is often a target list of bullies they want to 'get'. So in that way I can understand taking it to the police, and the police having a chat with these girls and their parents. However, when the police determined that there was no threat, that should have been the end of it, except maybe some counseling for these poor girls. This punishment further singles them out and makes them a target for their peers, who never should have known about the list at all. My question is 'How do the parents of the kids on the list even know about it?' That seems like a huge breach of privacy to me, and if I was one of these girls parents I would be livid that my child is continuing to be victimized when the 'hate' list seems like a pretty clear cry for help to me. From what I have read (and maybe I have read it wrong), I feel like these poor girls should be on a suicide watch. I can imagine how they must be feeling.
That very well could've been how things happened. But I can't fully get on board with it being an invasion of privacy.
If your kid was on the list you'd want to know, right? I would.