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Can it be that I am just old fashion? Maybe, but when did it become acceptable to attend a school function like the Youth in Government program, stand in the back and tweet on a cell phone; “Just made mean comments at gov. brownback and told him he sucked, in person(hash) heblowsalot.” and not have to apologize? Really, did the staff over react or is the apology from the Governors staff just settling the issue so there will not be any more backlash. Was it truly an overreaction from Brownback’s staff or just that fact that it was rude to say such a thing while attending the program?

Emma Sullivan, an 18-year-old from the Kansas City suburb of Fairway did just this and has received tremendous support for not apologizing and has seen her support jump up significantly by having her twitter following of 61 jump to over 12,000 in less than a week, amazingly she also has had thousands of supporters come to her defense online. The Governors office stated that, “My staff overreacted to this tweet, and for that I apologize,” Brownback continued to say, “Freedom of speech is among our most treasured freedoms.”

It is refreshing to see in this day and age that the Governor stood up and made the above statement but I question if 18-year-old Emma Sullivan should also hold some responsibility of her actions. Were her actions a form of disrespect towards the Governor?

I will admit, I do not have a twitter account and generally do not write things that I think are harmful or not flattering. So when I read about how an 18-year-old can do this and obtain the type of celebrity support she has gotten since sending the tweet on November 21, makes me realize that the philosophy that I grew up with no longer applies. She was not disrespectful just exercising her right to the first amendment.

It could be said that there needs to be an understanding of the new technology of interactivity of the younger generation and the handed down lessons of yesteryear’s; the golden rule. When both are mixed together, respect should outweigh the right to say whatever one feels. If attending a function that you are invited to attend, respect the person who is giving the information. To not agree with it, is acceptable but the words one uses to express the differences should not be disrespectful.

I know that my daughter who does use the latest technology may agree that Emma’s tweet was not disrespectful but a way to express her way of thinking; a way a 18-year-old would say something. She would most likely also say that she would be apologizing to the Governor because, tweeting while one should be listening, is not polite.

Source: Kansas gov. says staff overreacted to teen’s tweet

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