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Teenager Tweets That Gov. Brownback ‘Sucks,’ National Crisis Follows

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Emma Sullivan Brownback TweetEmma Sullivan is an 18-year-old high school senior who, as of last week, had a Twitter account with just 65 followers. But once the teenager tweeted that Governor Sam Brownback “sucked” during a Kansas Youth in Government field trip, her followers grew to over 9,000.

After watching the Governor speak, the teen tweeted: “Just made mean comments at gov. brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot.” Obnoxious teens and their opinions flood Twitter for those who don’t mind their feed, but Brownback and his colleagues actually took offense to the comments of an 18-year-old. Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon reports that Brownback’s office actually contacted Youth In Government over the “issue.”

The young lady was marched into the principal’s office and harangued for an hour for her tweet and then told that she had to write a letter of apology. Young Emma refused and tweeted just yesterday: “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!”

Now it’s coming to light that Brownback’ camp misread the tweet and assumed that an in-person confrontation did take place. But considering that the teen merely tweeted her opinion to her friends, Brownback and Co. look pretty thin-skinned and immature — as do the high school administrators for demanding that a student apologize for expressing discontent with a politician.

Contrastly, Gov. Brownback released a statement apologizing for his antics saying, “My staff over-reacted to this tweet, and for that I apologize.  Freedom of speech is among our most treasured freedoms.”

Emma’s mother says that she wishes her daughter had “chosen different words” regarding her dissastisfaction with Brownback but that she completely stands behind her kid’s use of free speech:

“She was talking to 65 friends. And also it’s the speech they use today. It’s more attention grabbing. I raised my kids to be independent, to be strong, to be free thinkers.

“If she wants to tweet her opinion about Gov. Brownback, I say for her to go for it and I stand totally behind her.”

While “sucks” isn’t really a word worthy of political discourse, the young lady’s intentions should be recognized above her diction. More young people should be encouraged to effectively use social media to express dissastifaction with politics rather than be punished for doing so. Emma told CNN yesterday that she hopes Gov. Brownback will recognize “the power of people.” She also aptly added, “I also hope he will spend his time doing more productive things.”

(photo: twitter.com)