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Texas teen suspended for tweeting photo of test

Published On: Apr 04 2013 12:19:25 PM CDT   Updated On: Apr 04 2013 12:24:27 PM CDT

Kyron Birdine, a junior at Arlington High School, came home with a lesson he won't soon forget: Don't mess with the STAAR test.

"I was being a high school kid getting on Twitter," he explained.

Using an iPod, he tweeted a photo of the word YOLO ("you only live once") and a smiley face scribbled on the essay portion of the exam, along with this declaration:

"I have the TAKS test to study for, not this unneeded craziness."

He sent it to Arlington ISD and the Texas Education Agency.

The junior, who nearly has a 3.0 grade point average and a high score on the PSAT, will be graduating under TAKS testing standards, not STAAR.

"It wasn't for a grade," Kyron said. "Colleges don't see it. It didn't benefit my personal life at all."

His Twitter post didn't go unnoticed.

School officials pulled Kyron out of class and called his mother.

"Basically said something about it being a 'breach of security' and that with the breach of security they have to have some sort of punishment," he said.

That punishment is four-day on-campus suspension for his tweet, which he was also forced to delete.

Kyron's mom, Kiana Daw, said the tweet didn't reveal any questions or answers.
"I think it's excessive punishment," she said. "That's the type of punishment you should get for something really severe."

In a written statement, Arlington ISD told News 8 it followed established disciplinary procedures:

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

When asked if he regrets sending the tweet, Kyron said he's sticking to his message about the STAAR test. Next time, however, he won't share it on Twitter and with a picture.

His message to other students was a simple one: "Don't do it."


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