Free Speech? Football Player Suspended After Reading a Poem

An Ohio football player, Nick Andre, was suspended from Rittman High School for four days and kicked off his football team after writing a poem about his frustration with the team.

Andre wrote the poem, which he titled “Stupid”, as part of a project in his English class. Andre felt that he was just expressing his opinion and had the right to speak out under free speech.

The principal of Rittman claimed that his poem was a form of harassment and bullying.

Andre said he was astonished by his school’s reaction to the poem because he was doing an assignment for class and did not think that it would cause the problem it did. He told Fox 8 News, “It’s like wow, just over doing my school work I get in trouble, get thrown off the football team … (and) get suspended for four days, which could potentially really mess up my grades,”

The poem references the coach of the football team and a “star-player” who constantly “misses passes”. Andre did not use any names but the head football coach is Bill Dennis, who has a son on the team and is committed to play at Akron University.

Andre’s mother is also not happy about the principal’s decision to suspend her son from school and kick him off the football team, expressing that it is not a form of bullying when the teacher asked her students to write a poem about something that they were frustrated with.

This story has become national news and is making headlines all over the country because many believe Andre’s actions to be protected by free speech and that he should not be punished for expressing his feelings.

Here’s the poem in question:

“Losing season,


Non stop passes from best friend to best friend,

Continuously doing what doesn’t work,

The inability to separate being a father and a coach,

Dropped passes,

But yet still the “super star”,

Yeah right.

Where’s my scholarship?

I can drop passes,

Run backwards,

Miss tackles,

And be afraid to take a hit.

That’s top of the line Div. 1 material right there.

If that’s what they wanted,

They definitely got it.

This whole town will be glad when he’s gone.

For anyone who doesn’t understand what I’m saying,


Award Logo
Award Logo
Award Logo
Award Logo
Award Logo