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Can a child be suspended from school for not telling on another student if they hear them say freaking?


Anonymous March 20, 2009

Can a child be suspended from school for not telling on another student if they hear them say freaking?

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carvell04 March 20, 2009

I assume you are talking about the cuss word. It would be nice if we could get a few more specific details, but I would be HIGHLY upset if my child got suspended, due to the fact that he chose not to tell a teacher that another student cussed. If you are actually talking about the word "freaking", then I don't see how any one could get into trouble, since that is not a cuss word. Please give more details if you can. Thanks.


healthy11 March 20, 2009

I've heard the word "freaking" used in reference to a style of dancing that isn't particularly wholesome, but it's not swearing or a threat. We really don't know what context you're referring to the use of the word in...

I would ask to see a school's policy book regarding any student getting suspended for not "telling" on another student, no matter what the other student said. I've never heard of any school where there's a written guideline stating such a thing.

If students were chatting and threatened bodily harm to someone, and another child overheard the conversation, there might be a moral obligation to tell, but it's still a "he said-she said" situation, and the child who made the threat could deny everything, making the student who told the teacher look like a fool, or worse. The situation you describe makes it seem like there had to be at least 3 people involved, because someone else had to "tattle" on the student who supposedly overheard the word being spoken but didn't speak up about it. Or is this a case where the student who used the word was reprimanded, and is now trying to get other children in trouble, too?


oldwoman50 March 21, 2009

The principal at my child's school told all the students that they are not to say the word "freaking" (I don't mean the cuss word). if they hear another student say freaking and they don't tell on them they will be suspended for three days.
The principal has suspended some students in the pass for saying it.
They will say something like "I forgot my freaking book." In my opinion freaking is not a cuss word and when these kids say it they don't mean it as one.
I don't think she as any right to suspend a child for not telling on someone for saying it.


healthy11 March 21, 2009

Principals report to school district superintendents, and school district superintendents are hired by school boards. School board members are elected by the community.
If you feel the principal is instituting a rule that isn't fair, and isn't being followed across all schools in the district, I suggest that you write to the superintendent, and copy the school board members. Ask whether the principal's actions are in agreement with the district parent handbook or other manual that states what the policy is regarding suspensions.

You might also want to post your question on, which is a website where real lawyers will sometimes answer questions for no charge; be sure to say which state you're in...

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