Who deserves an apology? Governor Brownback or Emma Sullivan?

LegalZoom 2011/12/01 23:35:41
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High school senior Emma Sullivan may not have intended to become a symbol for the freedom of speech, but she has tweeted her way into history.

The now-infamous message posted to Twitter was, “Just made mean comments at gov. brownback and told him he sucked, in person, #heblowsalot.” When a communications director for Kansas Governor Sam Brownback saw the tweet in a routine sweep for tweets with the governor’s name, Sullivan was ordered by school officials to apologize for what the communications director called a “disrespectful” message. Read more...

Read More: http://blog.legalzoom.com/first-amendment/first-am...

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  • Playerazzi 2012/01/09 12:00:25
    Governor Brownback
    This is a no-brainer. She was there under the auspices of school, and there should be a certain amount of respect for our public officials.

    The freedom of speech aspect comes into play when you want to disagree with this or that policy, which she is free to say. But these comments are just a childish rant, and unfortunately, they get published for the whole world.
  • Karl Marx Playerazzi 2012/02/01 01:42:49 (edited)
    Karl Marx
    Respect is earned. BTW, don't see anything prohibiting childish rants in the 1st amendment.
  • Playerazzi Karl Marx 2012/02/02 06:46:42


    Oh, just excercising my 1st Amendment right to free speech. No offense.
  • Karl Marx Playerazzi 2012/02/03 02:06:00
    Karl Marx
    Yup, you're free to do so. Anything else?
  • Playerazzi Karl Marx 2012/02/03 06:05:56
    Actually, I'm not.

    Notice that the first paragraph was censored by the SodaHead staff.

    Rightly so, I might add.

    And the student was unjustifiably rude to the Governor.

    "Freedom of Speech" is not usually meant to include rude or derogatory expressions. Mine as well as the student's.
  • Karl Marx Playerazzi 2012/02/03 21:49:27 (edited)
    Karl Marx
    Sodahead doesn't exactly follow the constitution, you agreed to their terms and services. In the US, you ARE allowed to make derogatory comments, the 1st amendment protects it. Go ask a constitutional Law professor.
  • Playerazzi Karl Marx 2012/02/05 18:08:19
    Well then, maybe you should sue SodaHead for violating the constitution. As far as I know, it, too, is in the U.S. (as I happen to be at the moment while I'm writing these words, but that's going to change after I catch my flight tonight . . . . ).

    The point is that there certainly is a "Freedom" of speech, but the intent extends to opposition of a political opinion, or more classicaly, opposition to the ruling party. Every person has a freedom to protest about the government, and no one is allowed to stop that.

    But there's a difference between this type of freedom and social norms and etiquette. To go around insulting people and spouting derogatory language - to anyone, actually - is not acceptable behavior, no matter who the person is. It's not nice, and to claim that it's part of "freedom of speech" is to warp the original intent of the amendment.

    It is because of these social norms that SH edited out my original diatribe, and rightly so. So, too, this foolish and immature High School student should apologize to the Governeror for her innappropriate statements.

    Now, if she was saying that he doesn't know how to do his job, or this or that law or policy is bad and should be changed, or that he should be replaced by someone else, that's a different story.

    This is why I think she should apologize, and not the other way around.
  • Karl Marx Playerazzi 2012/02/05 18:55:17
    Karl Marx
    She was simply expressing her opinion. What's next, political satirists getting arrested because they express their opinion? George Carlin would be ashamed of you.
  • Playerazzi Karl Marx 2012/02/06 02:21:30
    I couldnt' care less what that piece of filth thinks. Besides, he's dead.

    His idiotic "seven words you can't say" were just that - idiotic. It was and excercise pushing social norms just to shock people. It was funny, but it was a cheap shot.

    And politica satirists are not the same as some asinine teen saying that the Governor is a skank, or some other insult.

    Our society has gotten more and more verbally violent, and it's too bad.
  • Karl Marx Playerazzi 2012/02/06 02:28:05
    Karl Marx
    Too bad, so sad.
  • Playerazzi Karl Marx 2012/02/07 08:12:49
  • all comments;) 2011/12/29 21:20:05 (edited)
    Emma Sullivan
    all comments;)
    i dont care what she said! i didnt read about it yet but isnt this America??? if someone so young is caring about what goes on in this country that is a blessing itself! and he is in politics!!! if you dont like the heat stay out the kitchen bro.. if she was a grown 30 year old man would she have been ordered to apologize?? huh.. NOT! let that girl exercise her freedom of speech! at least she is interested in politics and not drugs! three thumbs up from me girl;)
  • xshaziesx 2011/12/23 02:24:14
    Emma Sullivan
    Everyone should B allowed to say what they want, that is why we have mouths, to say what & how we feel, (in this case fingers doing the talking, typing ;-D lol)
  • katy.isodo 2011/12/21 21:22:45
    Governor Brownback
    I agree that it was probably disrespectful, but since when do we have to be respectful in what we do in our private time? The governor and his 'people' and even the school have no say on what she does in her own time, what she says in her personal posts at all. Period. Freedom of speech means freedom to let people be rude and intolerable if they so choose, not saying she even WAS being any of those things, but it's her own prerogative if she was.
  • ToMuchToDo 2011/12/20 11:54:48
    Emma Sullivan
    We all have the right to say how we feel, even if someone else doesn't like it.
  • tatorbug 2011/12/15 19:25:16
    Governor Brownback
    that stinks
  • Beyond.Lawliet.Jeevas.26 2011/12/14 01:46:09
    Governor Brownback
    woops I clicked the wrong one I ment to Click Emma Sullivan! To bad I can't fix that.
  • Posha King 2011/12/09 14:30:08
    Emma Sullivan
    Posha King
    First amendment rights have never been clearer! This girl wend onto her PRIVATE twitter account and posted her personal views about a public figure. Now, if she had slandered or libeled him, she could have been held accountable under the law, but that is NOT what she did. She owes no one an apology and officials have NO authority to demand one. They can't punish her for sure, so she should stand her ground and Brownback's office owes her an apology!
  • actionjksn 2011/12/08 16:51:12
    Emma Sullivan
    Who do these people think they are telling someone they must apologize for telling a politician that they suck balls. Anytime someone says it it's very likely true. And even if it's not this is America, What did they want to do throw her in the gulag? They only backed off on stepping on her first amendment right because of the public outrage. And it's a good thing too. The thought police are already out of control, this could have set a bad precedent.
  • bwhastings 2011/12/07 22:46:19
    Emma Sullivan
    To me she only did extremely simplified tactics that politicians use everyday against each other. Don't say she lied either because even though she did it is a proven fact campaigns use false defamation every election.
  • GABRIEL DELGADO-GARCIA 2011/12/07 00:50:38
    Emma Sullivan
  • lovalovett 2011/12/05 20:46:59 (edited)
    Emma Sullivan
    Its a stupid comment...and it received a stupid reaction.....I find it amusing how Brownback's office has the time to care about who and what people tweet about him... the governor he has apologized for his staff....and I feel he was right when he said that his staff were being stupid and overreacted... Everyone in office gets heckled or booed and made fun of.... its part of politics.....by the office staff doing what they did caused a huge PR nightmare that in the end had the governor making a statement, and he himself apologizing.....I'll tell u what??? If I happened to be in his shoes, I think I would want to find out why a possible voter disliked me, and why I, in that voters eyes, sucked so badly..but that's just me:) I also think I would fire the staff member(s) who thought it was a good idea to contact the school, and ask for a formal personal apology...but that's just me again!!!
  • Maj. Bacon 2011/12/05 16:50:52
    Emma Sullivan
    Maj. Bacon
    I don't know who Governor Brownback is, but he sounds like a turd, and everybody seems to think so. I don't see how anyone (the school) would even think about making someone apologize for something they tweet... that's just stupid!
  • edm2000 2011/12/05 00:43:47
    Emma Sullivan
    In a free America with it's Constitution, Bill of Rights with the 1st and 2nd Amendments.
    If you haven't noticed the 2nd Amendment has been under attack for several decades.
    Also the 1st Amendment has been under attack by those who as in the 2nd Amendment can't or don't want to understand it. Not the Free Speech part is under attack.
    U.S. Constitution - Amendment 1
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    WAKE UP AMERICA!!!! The establishment of a new USA - The new CSA is almost complete and there will be no Constitution or Bill of Rights to protect us.
    No citizens with guns to protect us. (The United Nations will take out guns).
    You will have no Freedom of Speech.
  • Carson 2011/12/04 21:29:11
    Governor Brownback
    Slander too.
  • lovalovett Carson 2011/12/05 19:51:44
    Its not considered slander by the courts.... defamation in the case of slander is considered slander when one uses a statement and presents it as factual truth, but then can be proven false.... defamation of character threw slander cannot be brought about by a personal opinion, unless personal opinion is based on a fact that can be disproved.....Meaning people can say horrible hurtful things that are even embarrassing but in the end its just name calling
  • Carson lovalovett 2011/12/06 00:09:30
    Thank you for correcting me on that. But he still deserves an apology.
  • Thomas ... lovalovett 2011/12/12 18:56:28
    Thomas Ross
    You are essentially correct about what slander is. One additional wrinkle to consider before you explanation is "complete" is that in many states if you besmirch a woman's sexual character that is slander per se. This means calling a woman out as a slut or a whore is slander with no need to prove truth or falsehood or personal damages. All that needs to be proved in a slander per se case is that the offender did actually say what s/he said, and did it in a public or group setting. I guess that means the whole country is in trouble over its collective Snooki comments.
  • lovalovett Thomas ... 2011/12/22 09:23:45
    You are essentially correct too by mentioning that yes there was a addition to the law that made it illegal to question the virtue of a women or even question it excluding of course any and all women who receive goods or services in any risqué nature which included not just prostitutes and back ally strippers, but also women who of that time could be seen as unfit, unclean, or perverse in nature or seen naughty in the general family moral society. Such women included cigar girls, models for undergarments a reason why u see drawings for such garments in old magazines, saloon or cancan girls, women who showed their ankles or wore hair not pinned..Not to mention any women who was or even suspected of being in a relationship with another women..and being as women were not voters, or even allowed to be considered as a jury member it was a law that was usually very one sided and favored very few if any women....It was really a law that was intended to protect the men in which women were married to.....its a very outdated law and the National Conference of State Legislatures has record of it in only six states still.... Its up there with the other unusual useless laws that exist such as ten days in jail for spitting in public....I think the whole thing is stupid and this should have never gone as far as it did, but hey that's just me.
  • redneck 2011/12/04 15:34:04
    Emma Sullivan
    Emma you have the right to speak your mind,the governer sucks.
  • edm2000 redneck 2011/12/05 00:48:14
    Good thing you didn't put the governors name. They would demand an apology from you.
    But, I agree with you and Emma too.
  • Exigent-circumstance 2011/12/04 06:54:22
    Emma Sullivan
    Even with a social media site, your rights to speak or in this case type freely are
    Protected and shall remain protected. Vote Ron Paul 2012. A constitutionalist for YOUR rights.
  • azuredragon 2011/12/03 21:30:12
    Governor Brownback
    rudeness requires an apology - freedom of speech just lets one say things one wishes to say however freedom of speech does not free one from the ramifications of what one has said
  • Mike azuredr... 2011/12/10 23:33:43
    There does not appear to be a law enforcing "ramifications" against those who are rude. Unless of course, "rude" is what someone is being...(while breaking the law.)
  • Anna Syn 2011/12/03 19:35:23 (edited)
    Emma Sullivan
    Anna Syn
    Why would Brownback get an apology after his office and himself harassed a teenage girl for something she did not say?

    And I am sorry but her message being considered disrespectful is funny and a good laugh, because people on the internet say way worse things about official than what she said.
  • edm2000 Anna Syn 2011/12/05 00:52:03
    I think Brownback sucks for even making this an issue and I don't even know anything else about him.
    It is bad when someone so young can read you so well.
  • mantas Gostautas 2011/12/03 07:09:07
    Governor Brownback
    mantas Gostautas
    hello i am mantas gostutas and why did you sent to messiges
  • Martin McCabe 2011/12/02 21:36:53
    Emma Sullivan
    Martin McCabe
    Any public figure should be able to handle criticism. If you can't handle the heat, get out of the kitchen. (old Adage) Look at all the crap the Dixie Chicks got earlier this century for insulting our "sacred" president. All the country music stations banned them for making public comments that they believed Pres. Bush was in the wrong. It is the duty of true patriots to speak up when they see something wrong.
  • MellaD 2011/12/02 21:35:31
    Emma Sullivan
  • Jojojet 2011/12/02 20:35:00 (edited)
    Governor Brownback
    There is a right way to do things and a wrong way telling someone that they suck is the wrong way. I know nothing about the Governor or his policies so this has nothing to do with politics. I guess it's because I grew up in the south and was taught to respect people even if I disagree with him but I just feel that telling someone that you just met that they suck is very disrespectful and makes your family look bad. There is a difference between freedom of speech and insulting someone if you can say what you want I disagree with my parents but I don't tell them that they suck or that they blow a lot.

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