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Emma Sullivan, a student at Shawnee Mission East High School in Shawnee Mission, Kansas, tweeted during a meeting at the Youth in Government session in which Kansas Governor Sam Brownback spoke, “Just made mean comments at gov brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot,” according to a New York Times report.
The Youth in Government is a program designed to, “provide students with an atmosphere that promotes increased self-esteem, positive personal growth and development, a sense of empowerment, and a respect for the uniqueness of others,” according its website. Sullivan later claimed that in the Tweet she was “just joking with friends.” She did not speak up during the assembly, the msnbc.com report stated.
Brownback’s office watches social networking sites for his name. Once they saw Sullivan’s tweet, they reached out to the Youth in Government program. Sullivan was required to go to the principal’s office, who requested she write an apology letter, according to the msnbc news report.
Brownback released a statement that appeared on his Facebook account. I “My staff over-reacted to this tweet, and for that I apologize. Freedom of speech is among our most treasured freedoms. I enjoyed speaking to the more than 100 students who participated in the Youth in Government program at the Kansas capitol.
They are our future. I also want to thank the thousands of Kansas educators who remind us daily of our liberties, as well as the values of civility and decorum. Again, I apologize for our over-reaction.” Sullivan has since tweeted, “I’ve decided not to write the letter but I hope this opens the door for average citizens to voice their opinion & to be heard! #goingstrong”
Sullivan said she would “do it again” in the msnbc news report. The same report stated that Sullivan had 65 followers on the social networking site before tweeting and now has nearly three thousand.
Twitter is considered one of the more popular social networking sites with 1.5 million accounts, according to Business Insider. However, it does not claim the same amount of success as Facebook, which has 600 million active users, as reported by Business Insider. FourSquare also has more than Twitter, with 7.5 million people registered, according to Business Insider.
Image Courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/govsambrownback