Test protest tweet results in punishment

April 3, 2013 at 2:23 PM
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ARLINGTON, Texas, April 3 (UPI) -- A Texas high school student was punished for breaching test security with a Twitter post protesting the standardized test he was taking, officials said.

Administrators said Kyron Birdine, 16, a junior at Arlington High School, was given four days of on-campus suspension for writing a protest message on his test booklet for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness writing exam, taking a picture of the message and using his iPod to upload the picture to Twitter, the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram reported Wednesday.

"I have the TAKS [Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills] test to study for, not this unneeded craziness," Birdline wrote on his test booklet, along with "YOLO [You Only Live Once]" and a smiley face.

The Arlington school district released a statement saying the punishment was for breaching the security of the test process.

"Today there was an incident with a student tweeting a picture of an answer booklet for a STAAR field test," the statement read. "We have made an initial report of the incident to TEA [Texas Education Agency] and will continue to investigate further. The student has been punished in accordance with district disciplinary procedures."

The boy's mother, Kiana Daw, said she encourages her son to speak his mind.

"I support him 100 percent, but I do not support the method of how he got his point across," she said. "I told him, 'Let's choose a different method next time.'"

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