An Indiana student has been expelled from school after sending a profane – if rather witty – tweet from his personal account.
"Fuck is one of those Fucking words you can Fucking put anywhere in a Fucking sentence and it still Fucking makes sense," it read.
Austin Carroll, formerly of Garrett High School, claims he sent the offending tweet out of school hours using his home computer, but an automatic monitoring system for pupil's tweets set up by the school recorded it as coming from one of the computers on campus. Carroll was summarily expelled from the school, and local police were called after fellow students protested the incident.
"If my account is on my own personal account, I don't think the school or anybody should be looking at it. Because it's my own personal stuff and it's none of their business," Carroll told Indiana News Center.
Carroll has since enrolled in a new school, which would at least allow him to graduate, but he will miss out on the traditional activities associated with graduation, such as the prom, as part of his punishment.
"I totally didn't agree with what Austin said but I didn't agree with an expulsion either. I mean if they suspended him for three days or something, I would be fine with that but to kick him out of school, his senior year, three months to go, wrong," said Pam Smith, Austin's mother,
While Carroll's tweet was certainly juvenile, it was also reasonably witty, and the f-word can hardly be unknown to most people, and is common in the arts. The best British poet of the last 50 years, Philip Larkin, penned the immortal line "They fuck you up, your mum and dad" in his best-known poem "This be the verse", and it was first used in a popular song by troubadour Al Stewart in the 1969 song "Love Chronicles."
The Old English equivalent to the f-word is swive or swyve, which Chaucer used repeatedly in the "Millers Tale," the bawdiest of his Canterbury Tales, which is still taught in English classes today. It received a new lease of life with Antony Burgess' memorable novel "Napoleon Symphony," where a character was described as swiving like a rattlesnake. ®