True Story: Senior fights Gaggle Net

The following editorial written by a hero of mine, Adam King, who is a senior at A. C. Reynolds High School in Asheville, North Carolina. I don’t call Adam a hero easily; he’s earned it. Read the following screed and find out why student voice is alive in schools today.

“The Stupidity of Gaggle Net”
Letter to the Editor
November 6, 2008

Once again, despite the efforts of many teachers and students, the student voice at our school has been suppressed. After two years of debate, the county’s technology department has decided to carry through with the controversial decision to ban all personal email accounts for students and teachers alike. This decision has created a huge lapse in student rights; however, invasion of privacy and restriction of first amendment rights seems to be a common theme in schools across the country.

Over the past three years at Reynolds, I have responded to this growing crisis by talking to the administration and members of the school board, but my arguments have fallen on deaf ears. The school system believes that it is acting in our best interests, but they need to tone down their efforts. Like other students, I need to check my email daily for many different reasons. I use email to communicate with my employer, my senior project mentor, and my fellow state HOSA officers. I have enough maturity and common sense to know how to use email and the Internet safely. I realize that some students abuse their Internet privileges, but the county should not punish the entire student body for the actions of a select few. I am offended that the county believes it has the need to monitor all of my thoughts and actions. The school board clearly underestimates and undermines our intellect and duties as students.

I encourage you to protest the use of Gaggle Net. Gaggle Net is a big deception, which not only deprives us of our rights, but more importantly, it is not preparing the student body for reality or the workforce.

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to Learn more at!

Published by Adam

For almost two decades, Adam F. C. Fletcher has led international outreach focused on engaging people successfully. Working with thousands of youth-serving nonprofits, K-12 schools, government agencies, international NGOs and other organizations around the world, his work spans the fields of education, public health, economic development and social services, and includes professional development, public speaking, publishing, social media and more. He founded the Freechild Institute for Youth Engagement, SoundOut and CommonAction, as well as writing more than 50 publications and 500 articles. He has also established 150-plus community empowerment projects.

Join the Conversation


  1. I go to school with Adam I’m a sophmore and its going to be really hard for menow to do projects and things at school because at home I have a computer but no printer and the way i ge my things to print is to send them to my emial at school and print it. But because of gaggle I am not able to send any pictures unless they are of jst the face of a person,nothing else! I want to spread the word about this!

  2. I take it this means that Adam K. has had no success shaking the will of his school board?

    I feel for him. It is hard to make meaningful change in a community. I opened my district up to blogs hosted by the district’s machines to clubs in our school.

    I had to create a lot of paperwork and do some work, but to hear something as simple and novel as E-Mail is being blocked is ridiculous. More ridiculous than the level of restriction the district requested me to impose on any club blogs that came to be!

    Also, hello Adam. It’s been a long time since I talked to you, and a lot of things has changed as my life has.

  3. In a school environment, educators are accountable for their students. Giving students unlimited access to the internet would be irresponsible on their end. Often it is simply an issue of liability and an obligation to block inappropriate content whether it be pornography, websites, or viruses. provides email accounts for students that are filtered for offensive language, websites, and pornography. As long as a student is mature, it operates the same as any other email. I disagree about not preparing students for the outside world as email and internet activity are usually monitored in a professional workplace as well. No one is stopping you from using your personal email on your personal time but in an educational environment, educators have both the right and the obligation to limit internet access.

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