NJ teen under fire for controversial tweets

- Administrators in Fair Lawn say they were following New Jersey's tough anti-bullying laws when they called Bethany Koval, 16, to the principal's office. Koval -- an Israeli-Jew -- is a politically outspoken high school student often critical of Israel online. The teen has thousands of followers on social media, and wrote about her trip to the principal's office in detail on her Twitter account.

One tweet: "Principal just called me down. I'm about to be exposed for being anti-Israel. Pray for me."

Over the last year or so, Koval has written hundreds of tweets about topics ranging from the war in Syria to the abortion rights. She has also written plenty of messages critical of Israel and Israeli policy toward Palestinians.

Recently on Dec. 23 she expressed joy because another student who does not share her views unfollowed her. Then apparently wrote another message threatening to name that student. It caught the attention of administrators here and that's when she was called in to see the principal.

Koval -- who also recorded the conversation in the office -- says she was forced to write this letter about what happened and later tweeted "I shouldn't feel unsafe at my own school for expressing a political belief."

The issue is going viral online, with many on both sides of the Israel-Palestinian debate speaking out.

The school district says the intent was not to squash free speech. The superintendent wrote "district administration in this situation received a complaint alleging potential harassment, intimidation, or bullying by one student against another. We are obligated by New Jersey's anti-bullying statute... to investigate."

Stuart Green with the New Jersey Coalition for Bullying Awareness and Prevention said he isn't so sure. He says that at least from what he has heard that this is not clear that it was more than political expression.

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