A high school student in Texas was suspended for tweeting a picture of the world YOLO written across the essay answer to a state sanctioned test.
Kyron Birdine or Arlington, Texas, a junior in high school, had written the popular abbreviation on the STAAR exam. Also known as the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, the standardized test is part of a new program used to evaluate educational outcomes for students entering ninth grade in the 2011-2012 school year.
Kyron Birdine wasn’t very happy about having to take the test. The student tweeted a picture of the word YOLO (you only live once, a phrase popularized by the rappers Drake and Rick Ross) written on the exam, and when the school found out about it he was suspended.
It didn’t help Birdine’s cause that he failed to answer the question, instead writing: “I have the TAKS test to study for, not this unneeded craziness.” In the remaining space he wrote YOLO in large letters. Birdine then took a picture of the page with his iPad and tweeted it.
The student maintains that the test answer and the tweet were his form of protest against the standardize test, which did not help his grade or his standing with colleges.
“It wasn’t for a grade,” Birdine said. “Colleges don’t see it. It didn’t help, it didn’t benefit my personal life at all.”
Texas education officials said students like Birdine are given the test to help perfect future versions of the exam. The TAKS test that Birdine noted in his answer is the actual standard that he will be graduating under.
Arlington school district officials said the student was suspended for tweeting a picture of the test, which represented a breach in security. He was given a four-day on-campus suspension and forced to delete the YOLO tweet.
Birdine’s mother thinks the school was too harsh with her son.
“I think it’s excessive punishment. I mean, that’s the type of punishment you should get for something really, really severe.”
Birdine said he stands by his message against the standardized test, but next time won’t risk getting suspended for tweeting his YOLO answer.