Backing Her Stance -- Courant.com

Avery Doninger didn't want to be a First Amendment champion. All she wanted was to be the secretary for the senior class at Lewis S. Mills High School. Full Story
Mrs Butterworth

Winsted, CT

#207 Oct 15, 2007
Andy Thibault wrote:
LIBERTY WILL TRIUMPH
OVER ILLEGITIMATE AUTHORITY
Free Speech Party Opening
Litchfield Inn
Sun., Oct. 14, 2007
http://cooljustice.blogspot.com/2007/10/liber...
Get a life, Andy. This whole thing smelled of a Thibault attention-getting stunt. Whilst the country collapses around us, you put yur effort into defending a punk.

Some people need a deeper level of analysis.- Cornel West.

Read it, learn it, live it.

“That's what I'm Saying!”

Since: Oct 07

Cromwell, CT

#208 Oct 15, 2007
Lewis Mills Spartan wrote:
Well then, JohnDavis, I apologise for the insult, it was not meant to be taken that way. My point is simply that I cannot understand how so many can have an opinion on a subject with such limited information, and one-sided information at that. It is best to be informed. I have no problem with people disagreeing with my opinion, just have a problem with people having one without the knowledge of the whole story. Please accept my apology for sounding harsh and insulting, it was not my intent to flame people.
Apology accepted, I really liked what you had to say minus these two statements:

"... it really does not reflect well on your intellect.

... Without knowledge, your opinion is worthless."

Best of luck to you!
well then

Canton, CT

#209 Oct 15, 2007
Lewis Mills Spartan wrote:
I am a class officer at Lewis S Mills high school, and I know that Avery is a disagreeable person. When she sent the mass email from the school computers, she breached the computer usage rules in a manner that could have resulted in her suspension from school. What did she get? a warning. For those of you who speak in generalizations about free speech, you dont really know what you are talking about. If you are going to talk about free speech, read this first:
According to the court documents (accessible at
http://www.nysd.uscourts.gov/courtweb/pdf/D02... ), she claimed that right to free speech had been violated by barring her from running, banning her from wearing a "team avery" t shirt to the election assembly, and by not allowing her to make a speech. She wasn't even wearing a team avery t shirt on the day of the assembly, and at the assembly, only people who were running were allowed to make a speech. She wasnt allowed to run because she had caused the local community to blast the central office for abiding by the boe policy on auditorium use.
I am a class officer at Lewis S Mills High school, and I understand the administrative expectations of someone in my position.
The issue at hand is not about free speech, it's about abuse of our court system. Please dont respond to this with uninformed generalizations about free speech, it really does not reflect well on your intellect.
Read the court documents. Without knowledge, your opinion is worthless.
Her behavior doesn't reflect the actions/opinions of all teenagers, I know because I am one. I really hate it when people like her go and give teenagers a bad name. Some teenagers are intelligent, articulate people.
You wrote a very mature and well reasoned piece. Congratulations, you will go far. Thank you for the link.

Everyone should read the opinion, it details many facts the paper didn't "see fit to print" even though they make a huge difference. Her own mother admits what she did was wrong.

I read the Court's opinion and agree with it completely. Sorry Avery, when you're in college, remember there are consequences that stem from your actions. Think before you post.
Captain Crunch

Winsted, CT

#210 Oct 15, 2007
JohnDavis wrote:
<quoted text>
Apology accepted, I really liked what you had to say minus these two statements:
"... it really does not reflect well on your intellect.
... Without knowledge, your opinion is worthless."
Best of luck to you!
".. Without knowledge, your opinion is worthless."

You prefer opinionated people without knowledge?
scared for the future

North Branford, CT

#211 Oct 15, 2007
interesting...how many lawsuits would be filed if it was the other way around...if teachers had a blog and used that kind of language to describe their students. The school should have her expelled for slander!
shoreliner

East Haven, CT

#212 Oct 16, 2007
Another story about this potty-mouthed high school student? Geez.

What Avery is going to learn eventually is that free speech is not really free. While the First Amendment does protect free speech, don't expect to get away with insults.

Longer term, I suspect that many employers and colleges will stay away from Avery. Who needs the grief.

As for the mother, I would be ashamed that my daughter was using this language, particularly in a public forum.
sickofit

Brewster, NY

#213 Oct 16, 2007
Equal Rights wrote:
At 17, a child may be allowed to enter the military service in this country. At 18, they can be put on the front lines and be killed. They can lay down their lives for the protection afforded us under our constitution and therefore, have equal rights to say what they feel.

THIS IS THE CRUX OF THE ISSUE!

THANK YOU "MR. EQUAL RIGHTS" FOR YOUR WELL-WRITTEN STATEMENT. BASED ON WHAT YOU HAVE GIVEN FOR YOUR COUNTRY, YOUR OPINION OUGHT TO MAKE THE REST OF US THINK TWICE.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR WORDS AND YOUR SACRIFICE.
Green tea

Washington, DC

#214 Oct 16, 2007
Everyone has the right to call anyone anything. Let us all go around cursing at people, calling people names and disrespecting everyone. Free speech my ___! She is disrespectful, her mother doesn't have a clue.
Rick

Windsor, CT

#215 Oct 16, 2007
Lewis Mills Spartan wrote:
I am a class officer at Lewis S Mills high school, and I know that Avery is a disagreeable person. When she sent the mass email from the school computers, she breached the computer usage rules in a manner that could have resulted in her suspension from school. What did she get? a warning. For those of you who speak in generalizations about free speech, you dont really know what you are talking about. If you are going to talk about free speech, read this first:
According to the court documents (accessible at
http://www.nysd.uscourts.gov/courtweb/pdf/D02... ), she claimed that right to free speech had been violated by barring her from running, banning her from wearing a "team avery" t shirt to the election assembly, and by not allowing her to make a speech. She wasn't even wearing a team avery t shirt on the day of the assembly, and at the assembly, only people who were running were allowed to make a speech. She wasnt allowed to run because she had caused the local community to blast the central office for abiding by the boe policy on auditorium use.
I am a class officer at Lewis S Mills High school, and I understand the administrative expectations of someone in my position.
The issue at hand is not about free speech, it's about abuse of our court system. Please dont respond to this with uninformed generalizations about free speech, it really does not reflect well on your intellect.
Read the court documents. Without knowledge, your opinion is worthless.
Her behavior doesn't reflect the actions/opinions of all teenagers, I know because I am one. I really hate it when people like her go and give teenagers a bad name. Some teenagers are intelligent, articulate people.
Spartan, I have a question. Why did you write this post? J. P. Morgan used to say that people often have two reasons for doing what they do: "the one that sounds good and the real one."

You give the reason that sounds good in your last paragraph: "I really hate it when people like her go and give teenagers a bad name. Some teenagers are intelligent, articulate people." But I suspect the real reason lies in the first paragraph: "I am a class officer at Lewis S. Mills high school, and I know that Avery is a disagreeable person."

Okay, you are a class officer (and, by implication, a credible source) and you donít like Avery. Now we know where you're coming from. Then you provide some facts about Avery's computer usage, a T-shirt, an assembly, and student speeches. These facts generally support your unstated thesis that she is a law unto herself and not a likeable person.

Some people might reply that the issue is not Avery's agreeability, it is free speech. But you forestall those arguments: "(T)he issue at hand is not about free speech Ö" and, "Ö those of you who speak in generalizations about free speech, you dont (sic) really know what you are talking about." To that you gratuitously add, "Please dont (sic) respond to this with uninformed generalizations about free speech, it really does not reflect well on your intellect" and, "Without knowledge, your opinion is worthless."

Translation: anyone who challenges your comments either does not understand the issue, does not know what he is talking about, or is stupid. The only conclusion you will allow is your own. Thus, your post reduces to: "Believe me, I donít like Avery. She is self-centered and acts like the rules that apply to everybody else donít apply to her. If you don't agree with me you are an idiot.Ē

Is that what you meant to say?
Region10Taxpayer

New Britain, CT

#216 Oct 16, 2007
Lost in CT wrote:
<quoted text>
This is rather pathetic.
What have we learned?
It's ok to be disrespectful of our elders/teachers as long as Mommy can afford a good lawyer.
Mommy obviously cannot afford a lawyer because she had to hold a festival seeking donations.
Unfortunately, she is sticking it to the taxpayers like it or not!
What about OUR rights?
Region10Taxpayer

New Britain, CT

#217 Oct 16, 2007
shoreliner wrote:
What Avery is going to learn eventually is that free speech is not really free. While the First
Avery's "free" speech isn't free for me. It's going to cost me and the rest of the taxpayers big bucks come tax time!
Region10Taxpayer

New Britain, CT

#218 Oct 16, 2007
JohnDavis wrote:
<quoted text>

Leave this student alone before the school faces a 10 million dollar lawsuit (ie Duke Students) for ruining her chances of securing a good college admission or career.
At this juncture, Avery has chosen to write about this case on her applications, so she obviously doesn't feel that it will kill her chances 100%!
(Read about it in another newspaper last week).
Region10Taxpayer

New Britain, CT

#219 Oct 16, 2007
Burlington Parents wrote:
<quoted text>
They are two women who are exceptional, patient, and really do everything they can to help the kid succeed.
the majority of the kids at LSM are standing behind Ms. Niehoff. What does that tell you?
Don't have any idea who you are, but what you say is EXACTLY what I have been hearing around town. Ms. Niehoff is the best!(Know from past experience).
Have only talked to one family that agrees with this lawsuit, and I think it is because they have their own axe to grind.
Read the judge's ruling. It is amazing that the bloggers and journalists have chosen to ignore ALL of the facts. Quite a different story emerges when you read the LEGAL document.
JumpinJack

Wallingford, CT

#220 Oct 16, 2007
Rick wrote:
<quoted text>
Spartan, I have a question. Why did you write this post?
Gee, I did not get any of that from this kid's post. What I did get was a link to the court document, and a clear point of view. Looks like the kid, who has first-hand knowledge of the situation, was merely trying to enlighten those who were rooting for the girl without truly understanding why she got in trouble, and clarifying what she was really suing for (not for the right to call people douchebags, btw). So you are analyzing and berating a kid as if informing people of the truth and posting the link to the document wasn't a clear enough reason to post?
I think many of us are glad he did. Too bad the newspaper didn't bother to tell the whole story in the first place.
Lynn

Schenectady, NY

#221 Oct 16, 2007
Burlington Parents wrote:
<quoted text>
It amazes me how ill-informed you are. She didn't just call them names, she told as many people as possible to harass them because she didn't get her way. Sure you can call people names, but when you publish their phone numbers on your blog and tell people to call them during work, well, that is harassment. That, people, is why she got in trouble.
People like that give teens a bad name, good thing all of them are not like that!
as previously stated, please cite your sources as I'm finding it amusing and interesting that you're the only person in the state that is informed of this information
Lynn

Schenectady, NY

#222 Oct 16, 2007
Lewis Mills Spartan wrote:
I am a class officer at Lewis S Mills high school, and I know that Avery is a disagreeable person. When she sent the mass email from the school computers, she breached the computer usage rules in a manner that could have resulted in her suspension from school. What did she get? a warning. For those of you who speak in generalizations about free speech, you dont really know what you are talking about. If you are going to talk about free speech, read this first:
According to the court documents (accessible at
http://www.nysd.uscourts.gov/courtweb/pdf/D02... ), she claimed that right to free speech had been violated by barring her from running, banning her from wearing a "team avery" t shirt to the election assembly, and by not allowing her to make a speech. She wasn't even wearing a team avery t shirt on the day of the assembly, and at the assembly, only people who were running were allowed to make a speech. She wasnt allowed to run because she had caused the local community to blast the central office for abiding by the boe policy on auditorium use.
I am a class officer at Lewis S Mills High school, and I understand the administrative expectations of someone in my position.
The issue at hand is not about free speech, it's about abuse of our court system. Please dont respond to this with uninformed generalizations about free speech, it really does not reflect well on your intellect.
Read the court documents. Without knowledge, your opinion is worthless.
Her behavior doesn't reflect the actions/opinions of all teenagers, I know because I am one. I really hate it when people like her go and give teenagers a bad name. Some teenagers are intelligent, articulate people.
I do support the freedom of speech and if this girl's story was as the media portrayed her, then yes, I feel for her. However, after reading the court proceedings it appears this has nothing to do with free speech. Thank you to the class officer, it's refreshing to see articulate teenagers do still exist!
freedomisnotfree

Wallingford, CT

#223 Oct 16, 2007
You know what I find really funny? Go to one of their blogs and post that you disagree with them (or post the link to the court papers)and see if they post your comment. Don't count on it, your freedom of speech is limited to what Andy Thibeau wants people to hear (read). I wonder if Andy is donating 100% of the proceeds of his book to this girl's fund. I think not. She is being used to get recognition. Wake up and smell the coffee...
Region10Taxpayer

New Britain, CT

#224 Oct 16, 2007
freedomisnotfree wrote:
You know what I find really funny? Go to one of their blogs and post that you disagree with them (or post the link to the court papers)and see if they post your comment. Don't count on it, your freedom of speech is limited to what Andy Thibeau wants people to hear (read). I wonder if Andy is donating 100% of the proceeds of his book to this girl's fund. I think not. She is being used to get recognition. Wake up and smell the coffee...
Been there. Only support for the Doningers is allowed. No opposing viewpoints. I suppose since Andy Thibault owns the blog, he DOES have the right to post what he wants. Couldn't he get into trouble if he allowed something unsavory to Avery to be published?

Since: Jul 07

Storrs

#225 Oct 16, 2007
free speech supporter wrote:
<quoted text>
This is the best point I have read yet. While I agree the comments were not very nice she is allowed to say whatever she wishes outside of school.
Yes, she is "allowed" to say them, in the sense that no one will come and arrest her. However, her school (or, employer) should be "allowed" to punish such derogatory behavior. Are you going to sit there and try to tell me that you can go home tonight and get on your blog and tell the whole world that your boss (named) is a douchebag, and there will be no consequences? Think about that for a minute.

Since: Jul 07

Storrs

#226 Oct 16, 2007
Thomas Paine wrote:
Common Sense asks.... if she blogs that she wants to blow the school up its ok as long as she is home?
<quoted text>
bingo Thomas

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