Political "free Speech" In Public Schools

SpoogeSpooge Thunderbolt missile in your cheerios Join Date: 2002-01-25 Member: 67Members Posts: 1,531 Fully active user
Acceptable or Unacceptable?
I stumbled across a story about a high school student (in New Jersey I believe) who, with the help of some classmates, posted some signs around his school that conveyed a political message. I know many of the readers here are around that age (I haven't been inside of a high school in many years tounge.gif ) so I wanted to know if anyone had experienced similar stories.

Protest Warrior's: Operation Tiger Claw (and no, I didn't make up the name).

The opening snippet: (but please read the link)
QUOTE
My name is Bryan Henderson and I am an 18 year old senior attending Princeton Senior High School. Better known as Templar_Crusader on the PW forum, I am the proud leader of the small but growing PHS chapter of ProtestWarrior.

Operation Tiger Claw was my first attempt at leading a protest against the apathy and leftism running rampant at my school. It all started on Friday, May 14th with a small act of conservative pride. My socialist history teacher was on another kick about how articulate Noam Chomsky was, when I finally reached my limit.
I went to the computer in the back of the room and printed out ten ProtestWarrior signs (8?x11) and put them up around the room.. 



Questions to ponder:

1. Does your school have a policy regarding this type of "speech"?
2. Has someone in your school faced punishment/discipline for practicing some form of political speech?
3. Do you think this activity is acceptable?
4. Do you think the signs this student posted were racist?

That's all I can think to ask right now. Any of your own experiences are welcome.
And let's not turn this into the "I hate Bush/Kerry=Lurch" nonsense please. The subject of the story is based on current events and responding to that is ok but I'm really interested in the overall opinion of political activities in higher grade schools.
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Comments

  • Pepe_MuffassaPepe_Muffassa Join Date: 2003-01-17 Member: 12401Members Posts: 537
    I loved it smile.gif

    This kid is bright - and that isn't even commenting on his message. He has learned some very valuable life skills concerning how to best deal with people. I feel bad that his right to free speech got dragged through the mud so bad. It is a pitty that his parrents "have" to pay taxes for him to go to a school like that.

    My wife works for a private school as a teacher, and there the signs would not have been welcome - not for the message (the viewes of the school are similar to Operation TigerClaw) but because it would be "preaching to the choir" so to speak - and therefor a waste of paper.

    It is very strange how the right to free speech can be so easily ignorred when the message isn't one you want to hear. If I were a leftist in that school, the best course of action would have been to engaged in a "rational" discussion, and perhaps post some signs of your own. Threats and destruction of property don't go very far in winning arguments.

    Also, I love how he points out that people see what they want to see... or what they are told to see. Careful reading / understanding of a sign such as those is necessary before you pass judgment on someone. Now this poor kid has been branded a racist just for having a different view on a few political topics. Very Sad.
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  • AUScorpionAUScorpion Join Date: 2003-01-05 Member: 11842Members Posts: 188
    It sure as heck better be acceptable.

    The point of school is to equip the student with a solid knowlege base and problem solving skills so that he/she can better function in the world.

    If a school does not allow a student to intelligently form and express his or her own decisions about "ideological" matters...that school is a failure since it is attempting to suppress not only the freedom of speech, but a student's freedom of thought. Through such suppression, a student's reason can be stunted as he/she is forced to take an "opinion" for fact but never did research on all sides and thus do not have the knowlege to adequately express his/her ideology.

    The lack of avenues of expression lead to frustration when dealing with facts and regression into unusually hateful resentment of all opposing viewpoints. The truly horrifying thing is that persecution through any means (supported by facts or otherwise) only confirms their uneducated opinion in their eyes. Thus, the more they argue, the more they hate the opposition and believe themselves.

    Thus we end of with "Bush is stupid/Kerry is Frankenstien's monster" style statements in which undeniable facts can be brought to the table, but only the most open-minded person's opinion changes.



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  • WheeeeWheeee Join Date: 2003-02-18 Member: 13713Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 4,262 Fully active user
    edited July 2004
    that was the best story i've read in a long time.

    *edit*

    I really liked the guy's actions. It's scary to think of kids being indoctrinated into thinking Noam Chomsky is great. The way he handled the aggressiveness of his peers was equally impressive to the way he managed to face down the administration. That takes a lot of guts.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • coilcoil Amateur pirate. Professional monkey. All pance. Join Date: 2002-04-12 Member: 424Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor Posts: 7,511
    Not at all appropriate, in my opinion - and not because I'm a liberal and he's apparently not. It's inappropriate because his purpose at school is not to express himself, but to LEARN. The Supreme Court has ruled many times that behavior/activity that disrupts the ability of other students to learn may be suppressed in school. Everyone has the right to an education -- when you start staging protests in school, you are infringing on the rights of your fellow students.

    What should he have done?

    1) Spoken with the teacher after class. Asked to set up a more interactive session of class in which opposing viewpoints could be brought up and debated.

    2) Join the school's debate team. I'm sure it has one; Princeton High School is a pretty damn rich school (I went to Princeton U.; I'm familiar with the township).

    3) Get involved with local political groups, or start his own after-school group.

    Any number of actions are available to him. Disrupting class is not one of them.

    QUOTE
    This kid is bright - and that isn't even commenting on his message. He has learned some very valuable life skills concerning how to best deal with people. I feel bad that his right to free speech got dragged through the mud so bad. It is a pitty that his parrents "have" to pay taxes for him to go to a school like that.

    Bright? He sounds like a bit of a punk to me. "My socialist history teacher"? "Better known as Templar_Crusader"? He needs to grow up and learn how to present his views.
    ____

    Regarding the posters themselves: I don't object to them. The Left has used the same over-the-top style to showcase what they consider to be flaws in the current administration's governing decisions (two examples I just made up: "Hey, it's just a little national debt!", "Do it for the oil!"). I object that they were put up in a classroom, covering up existing signs in the room, during class! I imagine that the removal of the rest of the signs (in hallways) was prompted by (1) his initial attitude in the classroom and (2) similar disregard for where signs can and should be posted at the school. Should they have been removed? Maybe not, but from the evidence presented I can't make a call.

    Keep in mind that free speech is NOT a right in school. It's not, and it shouldn't be. If he wants to be a responsible protestor, he will approach people in charge at the school and ask how he can convey his message in the school appropriately. If he insists on pursuing this disruptive path, the only result is that he won't get his message out to anyone else. As far as I'm concerned, that's being irresponsible to his "movement."

    If he wants to be a whiney activist, he can get online and b**** about how his rights are being trod upon by "socialists."
    _____

    On a side note, do the heavy martial and animal-based names/themes of their organization scare anyone else? A lot less... wholesome movements have started the same way.
  • SirusSirus Join Date: 2002-11-13 Member: 8466Members, NS1 Playtester, Constellation Posts: 4,807
    Coil, I will absolutely agree with you that it was improper to disrupt his class. Outside of the classroom however, I don't think it is distracting or does it inhibit learning.

    Posting the papers up in the hallways seems rather harmless. The main point here is not the conflict with school policy but the reaction by administration and other students to his political point of view. Food for thought : Let's imagine that the papers were to propagate sentiments for "Homosexual Rights, or African American Rights" (I chose these topics because they seem to be popular issues in High Schools). Now I imagine, that if anyone who would simply tear down the papers or attempt to remove anything trying to propagate that sentiment would be called a homophobe, racist, etc. Switch the issue, and it almost becomes the reverse situation. Silencing certain opinions (not just conservative ideology) becomes ok, and others not.

    The main point I'm trying to make is that "school policy/racism/improper content" is a blatent excuse to remove the papers. If they were more generally accepted ideas I'm sure it wouldn't have been the same situation. I'm extremely confident of that.

    That's the main issue here, and let's face it, his political views "incensed" the teacher, and the other specified student. Removing the posters was an act of anger not because it wasn't justified by school policy, which I suppose it's not from his comments.

    My opinion of the situation is that often times, and beyond the classroom there becomes multiple standards. One for African Americans, one for Liberals, one for conservatives and so on. This situation, seems to be a perfect example of this.
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  • CronosCronos Join Date: 2002-10-18 Member: 1542Members Posts: 1,823
    If I'm not mistaken, wasn't school originally meant to train young people to be good workers for factories etc?

    The kid has every right to express himself, though some of those posters could have been reworded to be less offensive to minorities and such.

    It was more a reaction to the posters that created the negative fallout. If there were some place for public discourse within schools then it may have solved the problem but since that absorbs funds away from teaching etc it's not really possible.
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  • coilcoil Amateur pirate. Professional monkey. All pance. Join Date: 2002-04-12 Member: 424Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor Posts: 7,511
    My point is that he started off on the wrong foot. Imagine I shout "fire!" in a crowded movie theater and get in trouble - thrown out of the theater, maybe even arrested. Then, right in front of the theater employees or cops who just punished me for breaking the law, I run around the theater parking lot or the front door of the police station yelling "fire! fire!" at the top of my lungs. Are they going to be completely accepting of me just because what I'm doing at this point is technically legal? No, they're still going to be ticked, and continue to be ticked because I'm directly flaunting my previous illegal action.

    It was also my impression that the administration didn't find *all* of the signs objectionable, just a fair number of them. The overall presentation, therefore, became in poor taste or against school policy. Again, it's one bad bulb killing the entire strand of christmas lights.

    Am I making excuses for the teachers? Somewhat. But my point is that if a real jerk is spouting useless nonsense and then says something actually worthwhile, it's his own damn fault that everyone has already written him off as a jerk and is no longer listening. This kid chose poorly.
  • SirusSirus Join Date: 2002-11-13 Member: 8466Members, NS1 Playtester, Constellation Posts: 4,807
    While I understand what you mean Coil, I wouldn't draw the same conclusion. I disagree that it has any similarities with yelling fire in a crowded movie theater since yelling fire is solely meant to create chaos, the intent of the student was to put up opposition to a teacher who he felt was trying to indoctrinate the class.

    If you were vehemently opposed to racism, as I'm sure you are, as well as the rest of us (hopefully), and you're professor (In High School, they are not allowed the same license of opinion as Professors in College as the school is funded by taxes, which I'm sure you already know, but just to elaborate on my point). Anyways, say you are opposed to racism, and you're professor goes on hailing the talent of Hitler, what exactly would be your response? Now putting up posters seems rather tame.

    In my honest opinion, none of the signs were objectionable, maybe to someone who doesn't understand, but that still does not make them so.
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  • The_FinchThe_Finch Join Date: 2002-11-13 Member: 8498Members Posts: 661
    Sounds remarkably similar to this.

    I agree with Coil on this. There were plenty of less obnoxious options for him to take, but he chose to put several hundred posters up. While he did cite Tinker v. Des Moines, I believe that he ignored the part about "substantial disruption." In this case, Henderson's posters did cause a disruption, whereas Tinker's armbands caused none.

    For Spooge's questions...

    1. There was no set policy to my knowledge. Current events were regularly discussed within the classroom, so placing posters usually only occured during student elections and the occasional poster in the guidance office encouraging the seniors to register to vote.

    2. Not to my knowledge. Since topics were discussed in class where the teacher could moderate, there was little need to expand the discussions into the halls. Teachers would sometimes play devil's advocate to make students examine their positions critically, but I think that was a good thing.

    3. Political activity in schools is alright so long as it's not disruptive. I think that Tinker is a good standard and I think that Henderson was looking to be disruptive. While is goal was good intentioned (to bring an opposing viewpoint to light), he went about it in an immature way by spamming posters. He would have been better off forming a "Young Republicans Club" or something similar.

    4. No. While I think that they were provocative, particularly #3 and 4, I don't think that they're racist. Feminists have long railed against the treatment of women in Islamic nations, but feminists have also done their railing with a little more maturity.



    On a side note, I think that Protest Warrior is just as inane as things like the shirt worn by the guy in my link and the "No blood for oil" chant. Sarcastic one-liners are playground material.
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  • Pepe_MuffassaPepe_Muffassa Join Date: 2003-01-17 Member: 12401Members Posts: 537
    Coil, Coil, Coil... I would have expected a little more from you - being a forum admin and all. People form opinions based on what you post.

    I will consent, If he did indeed get up in the middle of class, disrupting teaching and learnging possiblities for all, then that portion of his action was uncalled for. However, upon careful reading of his account, it does not say that his event occured durring class - perhaps it was just after the bell rang - I wasn't there, I don't know.

    Another side point - you quoted him as saying "Better known as Templar_Crusader". The quote should be "Better known as Templar_Crusader on the PW forum". Those extra 3 words make a world of differnce - he can be known as whatever he wants when subscribing to the forum who happens to host his story - and that is not for us to judge either way.

    You also mention that these poster "cover up existing signs in the room" - I assume you mean the x-file poster (top 1 inch in 2 corners) and the map of the world (covers 1/2 of the US and 1/2 of canada). My point is this - if you are going to say "cover up existing signs in the room", make sure that it is a big deal in that time and place. For all you know, those spots could frequent signs that "cover up existing signs in the room" - and it isn't as if he is silencing the opposition by his actions.

    As for this jucy quote from you - I wont touch it - I feel as if you do a great job of that yourself:
    "On a side note, do the heavy martial and animal-based names/themes of their organization scare anyone else? A lot less... wholesome movements have started the same way."

    "Again, it's one bad bulb killing the entire strand of christmas lights."
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  • WheeeeWheeee Join Date: 2003-02-18 Member: 13713Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 4,262 Fully active user
    @Coil: I hardly call those posters a disruption of the ability of students to learn. If anything, it challenges them to be open-minded (which i'm sad to say that many of them failed to do), and fosters debate.
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  • ForlornForlorn Join Date: 2002-11-01 Member: 2634Banned Posts: 6,498
    If anyone thinks that this student was wrong, then I have to say you are astounding.
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  • coilcoil Amateur pirate. Professional monkey. All pance. Join Date: 2002-04-12 Member: 424Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor Posts: 7,511
    I stand by what I said. He is approaching the debate in the wrong fashion; he is turning it into an argument before anyone has even opened his mouth. It's perfectly possible to disagree with someone while still respecting them. My girlfriend is a hardcore Libertarian; I'm a bleeding-heart liberal. We disagree on a LOT of things... yet we're coming up on our one-year anniversary. Why? Because we respect each other - both for the opinions we share, and those that we disagree upon.

    This kid has no interest in an intellectual debate; he started said "debate" by arbitrarily labeling his teacher a "socialist" and getting up in the middle of her class and papering it with posters. Whether or not it was during class, she was speaking. When a teacher is talking, a student should be listening. I also seriously doubt she is actually a member of the Socialist Party. While I don't know for certain, I'm willing to stand by that comment as a good guess.

    I'm not objecting to this kid because of his opinions; I'm objecting to his method. Radical liberals annoy me just as much -- moreso, because they tarnish my own stance on matters and make it harder for more rational members of the party to get our point across.

    Frankly, this is an echo of the entirety of political debate in this country. We've become so polarized that we can't debate issues - we can only attack the other side's ideology in the most roundabout, general way. Pick a hot topic and spout off on it.

    Here's an example... the White House just blocked a bill that would have extended tax relief for the middle class. This was a tax relief that Republicans (including Bush) originally got passed - the bill on the table was to extend the relief (which had only been temporary under the initial bill). Why did the White House block it? Because Democrats would have voted for it, and Republicans wanted to be able to take full credit for the action. Politicians are less concerned with helping the public (BOTH parties wanted a 2-year extension!) than with helping their own reelection campaigns.

    From the NY Times:
    QUOTE
    The White House helped to block a Republican-brokered deal on Wednesday to extend several middle-class tax cuts, fearful of a bill that could draw Democratic votes and dilute a Republican campaign theme, Republican negotiators said.

    Full story (requires free registration): http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/22/politics/22tax.html
  • ForlornForlorn Join Date: 2002-11-01 Member: 2634Banned Posts: 6,498
    QUOTE (coil @ Jul 22 2004, 11:51 PM)
    I stand by what I said. He is approaching the debate in the wrong fashion; he is turning it into an argument before anyone has even opened his mouth. It's perfectly possible to disagree with someone while still respecting them. My girlfriend is a hardcore Libertarian; I'm a bleeding-heart liberal. We disagree on a LOT of things... yet we're coming up on our one-year anniversary. Why? Because we respect each other - both for the opinions we share, and those that we disagree upon.

    This kid has no interest in an intellectual debate; he started said "debate" by arbitrarily labeling his teacher a "socialist" and getting up in the middle of her class and papering it with posters. Whether or not it was during class, she was speaking. When a teacher is talking, a student should be listening. I also seriously doubt she is actually a member of the Socialist Party. While I don't know for certain, I'm willing to stand by that comment as a good guess.

    I'm not objecting to this kid because of his opinions; I'm objecting to his method. Radical liberals annoy me just as much -- moreso, because they tarnish my own stance on matters and make it harder for more rational members of the party to get our point across.

    Coil, he called his teacher socialist after she got done praising Noam Chumsky.

    I think he's a **bit** justified in claiming she's socialist. Also, he never called her socialist in school or publically annouced it; he's simply stating she's socialist on the protest warrior's site.

    Also where does it say he interrupted class? All it says is that he got the time to go to the computer in the back of the room and print up some protest warrior sites.
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  • HBNayrHBNayr Join Date: 2002-07-13 Member: 930Members Posts: 572
    QUOTE (Forlorn @ Jul 23 2004, 12:17 AM)
    Coil, he called his teacher socialist after she got done praising Noam Chumsky.

    I think he's a **bit** justified in claiming she's socialist.

    QUOTE
    My socialist history teacher was on another kick about how articulate Noam Chomsky was...


    I have only Templar_Crusader's views of events to go on, but even he implies that she was not praising Noam Chomsky's view of world events, merely his conveyance of his messages. The man is an MIT-tenured linguist and language legend, I would hope he is articulate. Is he not?

    QUOTE
    Also where does it say he interrupted class?  All it says is that he got the time to go to the computer in the back of the room and print up some protest warrior sites.


    QUOTE
    I went to the computer in the back of the room and printed out ten ProtestWarrior signs (8½x11) and put them up around the room..

    The class loved it, and my teacher for all her socialist spirit and authority was dumbstruck and confused against the group will.


    Templar_Crusader implies that he went to the computer while the teacher was talking. It may not have happened that way. He may have even done this after school was out. But the mention of the class and the "group will" implies that there was a sizable student presence. Probably during class.

    I disagree with Templar_Crusader's message. I do not disagree with his right to voice that message. Healthy debate is necessary to advance any society. But I agree with coil whole-heartedly. Templar_Crusader had opportunity to bring debate into the classroom. He chose another route.

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  • SnidelySnidely Join Date: 2003-02-04 Member: 13098Members Posts: 3,896
    edited July 2004
    Okay, here's my two pennies' worth of thoughts.

    Firstly, this is just his side of the story. I'm reluctant to believe everything he says just because he has a website. Give me the teacher's defense, and I'd be able to come to a firmer conclusion.

    Secondly, I think it's very odd to get angry over Noam Chomsky.

    Thirdly, the teacher doesn't appear to be prejudiced against "Templar_Crusader". If the teacher gave them a homework assignment about (say) Socialism, and Templar_Crusader based his answer from his viewpoint, could back it up and was still marked down because he had "the wrong opinion" - that would be bad. However, he doesn't like what his teacher is teaching. He tries to change it. That's not right; raise your hand and say why you disagree if you want, but undermining the teacher's authority isn't helpful. The teacher certainly won't like you anymore for it.

    I disagreed with my old history teacher a lot. However, we always respected each other's opinions, and I would never disrupt his class. The purpose of school is not just to lay down a basic understanding, but give the pupil an interest in academia. The fact that this student was passionate enough to do his research is great. It's just his methods that seem wrong.
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  • SpoogeSpooge Thunderbolt missile in your cheerios Join Date: 2002-01-25 Member: 67Members Posts: 1,531 Fully active user
    I know we all don't want the name of the glorious Chomsky to be tainted but it has nothing to do with the topic. Sometimes I wonder why I bother......


    Let's say I used the story that The Finch linked to (thanks btw smile.gif that story didn't find it's way to my side of the state). Same questions apply.

    What if a group of students wanted to march through the hallways calling Bush a terrorist? School officials often worry about certain students being offended. Wouldn't that apply to students who were raised to respect their president regardless of politics? When large groups get together a group think begins. It's common in teenagers. Could a march like this turn violent in a small area like school hallways?

    Let's say these students only wanted to put pictures of the administration heads around the school. Only in the pictures everyone had horns or pictures of dead soldiers underneath them. Should this type of "speech" be accepted in a school?

    And yes, there are legal answers but I'm looking for your gut reaction. Save the google searches for another thread.
  • Pepe_MuffassaPepe_Muffassa Join Date: 2003-01-17 Member: 12401Members Posts: 537
    I would wager that the difference lies in who was targeted - If you target your teacher, fellow students, the President, John Kerry, etc. and call them a terrorist / racist / fill in the blank - then that type of "slandering" (free speach) has good ground for being outlawed.

    However, in this case the target was political propoganda. Besides the usual punching bags (Hitler, Stalin, Saddam) the message was geared at a political movement and a way of thinking - not at the individual.

    There in lies the difference. One is slander "You are a terrorist" - the other is politics "Arabs, quit invading Israel".
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    edited July 2004
    I think at this point we need a clearer framework for thinking about this, independant of any specific cases. Here is a good short article that delineates the basics of permissable restrictions on freedom of speech. Public schools are in some sense unlike any other area of public space for a few reasons. Here are the factors as I see them.
    • Public schools are public space.
      They are owned and operated by the state for the benefit of the population. As such, restriction of speech on school grounds amounts to government censorship.
    • Everyone until the age of 16 is required to go to school.
      The traditional argument against restriction of offensive speech (don't listen/look if you don't like it) no longer applies, because the students do not have a choice.
    • Schools are legally responsible for the well-being of their students
      If someone can find the precise legal wording on this I would greatly appreciate it. If I remember correctly, schools are considered to be in some sense the legal custodian of the students who attend the school.
    Because of these factors, the rules are considerably shifted. You can't just ignore it and walk down another street, etc. and as a result schools have to use a high upper bound for what should be considered offensive material. The end result is that anything that might reasonably offend someone isn't allowed. (no movies with a rating greater than G or PG etc.) Furthermore, schools have important business to conduct and so they are justified in using the following clause to its full effect: "reasonable time, place and manner restrictions may be used if applied neutrally to all similarly situated parties." In my highschool, anything that advocated illegal activity was strictly forbidden: marijuana promoting hats, beer T-shirts (since we were all under 21) etc. There was also a formalized process for getting permission to put up posters in the school.

    There were a few of these posters that I found offensive, particularly this one.
    user posted image
    Without rehashing the cultural relativism thread here, if you are going to be denouncing a culture (and I contend that it is your right to do so) you have to do it with much more delicacy than is displayed in this poster, especially in a school. This poster may appear reasonable to some people, so let me rephrase it to make it more pertinent to our cultural backgrounds given the demographics of these boards.
    Suppose it said, "Protect Christianity's right to burn black men. Say no to civil rights!" because various white supremacy groups are ostensibly Christian organizations. Now gauge what your response would be. I contend that the poster is likely as offensive to many Muslims as the poster I described would be to Christians.

    What this school needed was a well defined process for approving what posters can be put up around the school, and well defined criteria for approval. I applaud this guy's diligence and maturity (in some areas) but I don't think he had his rights violated.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • ThansalThansal The New Scum Join Date: 2002-08-22 Member: 1215Members, Constellation Posts: 10,571 Advanced user
    Personaly I stand by Coil on this one.

    I have nothing against stating your views.

    However think about what would hapen if some one used those posters as their post in THIS forum. The admins would probably smack him down for not folowing the rules of the discussion forum.

    Disrupting class, vandalisim (in my school you were NOT alowed to put up posters like that anyway), and inflamitory statements are not the way to get your view acrose.

    If some one used similar tactics for G4y rights, I would probably use the old saying of "Stop it, your making my side look bad".

    Mud slinging, inflamitory statments etc etc are just not how to argue.

    Fliping the Bill or rights at some one instead of responding with an actual sentance?
    Resorting to "Legal Action" instead of explaining your self reminds be of stupid rich white kids who probably have never had to wory about a thing in their life
    ok so I fit all of that exept for the stupid part, that just makes me more infuriated b/c he is making me look bad again, then again, my parents wouldn't have been able to afoard a lawyer to bail me out of being an idiot in school.


    ah well, some day people will realize that doing things like this just make you look stupid.
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  • coilcoil Amateur pirate. Professional monkey. All pance. Join Date: 2002-04-12 Member: 424Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor Posts: 7,511
    moultano, the phrase I think you're looking for is "in loco parentis." Literally, "in the place of parents."
  • AllUrHiveRblong2usAllUrHiveRblong2us By Your Powers Combined... Join Date: 2002-12-20 Member: 11244Members Posts: 4,646
    I find it hypocritical that iof the point of this whole story is freedom of speech, all he does is attack his fellow students who practice their freedom to speak against him as merely ignorant. I can tell you firsthand, if he couldn't find an educated liberal in your average high school, he just wasn't listening (or perhaps chose to edit it out because he perhaps got pwned in some sort of actual debate?). Especially if his school is so infected with liberalism as he makes out.

    And the fact that he calls the ACLU even after completely insulting them in a poster.At this point it's rather clear that it's not about his convictions anymore, just an immature personal battel to say "I beat the school! YAY FOR ME!"
    user posted image

    YOU GO NOW!
    ^deader than a doornail^


    Your mouth=pwned
  • ZigZig ...I am Captain Planet&#33; Join Date: 2002-10-23 Member: 1576Members Posts: 5,701
    i'll just answer the initial question by stating that i have a LOT of dumbs in my school..

    so the only "free speech" you get is from kids who just put on a liberal mask because it's "what everyone's doing" and throw in a "bush is an idiot" every once in a while.
  • ForlornForlorn Join Date: 2002-11-01 Member: 2634Banned Posts: 6,498
    QUOTE (H'BNayr @ Jul 23 2004, 03:04 AM)
    QUOTE (Forlorn @ Jul 23 2004, 12:17 AM)
    Coil, he called his teacher socialist after she got done praising Noam Chumsky.

    I think he's a **bit** justified in claiming she's socialist.

    QUOTE
    My socialist history teacher was on another kick about how articulate Noam Chomsky was...


    I have only Templar_Crusader's views of events to go on, but even he implies that she was not praising Noam Chomsky's view of world events, merely his conveyance of his messages. The man is an MIT-tenured linguist and language legend, I would hope he is articulate. Is he not?

    QUOTE
    Also where does it say he interrupted class?  All it says is that he got the time to go to the computer in the back of the room and print up some protest warrior sites.


    QUOTE
    I went to the computer in the back of the room and printed out ten ProtestWarrior signs (8½x11) and put them up around the room..

    The class loved it, and my teacher for all her socialist spirit and authority was dumbstruck and confused against the group will.


    Templar_Crusader implies that he went to the computer while the teacher was talking. It may not have happened that way. He may have even done this after school was out. But the mention of the class and the "group will" implies that there was a sizable student presence. Probably during class.

    I disagree with Templar_Crusader's message. I do not disagree with his right to voice that message. Healthy debate is necessary to advance any society. But I agree with coil whole-heartedly. Templar_Crusader had opportunity to bring debate into the classroom. He chose another route.

    -Ryan!


    "The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently."
    -- Nietzsche

    Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.
    --Mahatma Gandhi

    QUOTE
    My socialist history teacher was on another kick about how articulate Noam Chomsky was...


    Yep, notice the words of "another kick" about how "articulate" Noam Chomsky. Praise is praise, and repeated praise often means that you respect a person's oppinions as well share their views.

    It therefore follows from such logic that since Chomsky is a socialist, she is too.


    QUOTE
    Templar_Crusader implies that he went to the computer while the teacher was talking. It may not have happened that way. He may have even done this after school was out. But the mention of the class and the "group will" implies that there was a sizable student presence. Probably during class.


    Yes, but you don't know what "in class" means.

    He never did anything wrong, other than go against popular oppinion.
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  • ForlornForlorn Join Date: 2002-11-01 Member: 2634Banned Posts: 6,498
    QUOTE (AllUrHiveRBelong2Us @ Jul 23 2004, 04:10 PM)
    And the fact that he calls the ACLU even after completely insulting them in a poster.At this point it's rather clear that it's not about his convictions anymore, just an immature personal battel to say "I beat the school! YAY FOR ME!"

    So what if the poster makes fun of the ACLU?

    What if Bush prevented someone from posting a poster that labeled him a facist?


    stop holding double-standards, please
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  • HBNayrHBNayr Join Date: 2002-07-13 Member: 930Members Posts: 572
    QUOTE (Forlorn @ Jul 23 2004, 06:04 PM)
    QUOTE
    My socialist history teacher was on another kick about how articulate Noam Chomsky was...


    Yep, notice the words of "another kick" about how "articulate" Noam Chomsky. Praise is praise, and repeated praise often means that you respect a person's oppinions as well share their views.

    It therefore follows from such logic that since Chomsky is a socialist, she is too.

    Bah. Noam Chomsky is articulate. Wonderfully so. And he raises many issues in a way that encourages discussion. By your logic, I must be a socialist. But I'm not. Don't think that you must somehow agree with someone in order to repect them. If you continue to do that, you will find that the list of people you respect dwindles every second, and you will never be exposed to new ways of looking at a situation.

    QUOTE
    Yes, but you don't know what "in class" means.


    I have no idea what you mean by this. He was in the classroom. There was a sizable student presence. That's all I was saying.

    QUOTE
    He never did anything wrong, other than go against popular oppinion.


    He did plenty wrong, but going against popular opinion was not one of them. Peacefully going against popular opinion is never wrong, and I find it appalling that you think it could somehow be wrong.

    -Ryan!


    "But far more numerous was the herd of such,
    Who think too little, and who talk too much."
    -- John Dryden

    "Too often we...enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."
    -- John F. Kennedy
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  • ForlornForlorn Join Date: 2002-11-01 Member: 2634Banned Posts: 6,498
    QUOTE
    Bah. Noam Chomsky is articulate. Wonderfully so. And he raises many issues in a way that encourages discussion. By your logic, I must be a socialist. But I'm not. Don't think that you must somehow agree with someone in order to repect them. If you continue to do that, you will find that the list of people you respect dwindles every second, and you will never be exposed to new ways of looking at a situation.


    Where did I say that I only respect people that I agree with? I'm saying people that you praise, especially repeated praise, are ones that you respect.

    Also, don't tell me I have a hard time looking at another perspective; precisly the reason I am able to argue decently (on these forums, in real life) is because I am able to see how you would argue from your point, and then I can work it backwards.

    Again, the point in question is NOT that Noam Chomsky is not articulate. The point in question was how did he have the right to call her a socialist?

    We infer this because she praises Chomsky, not once, but several times. And to quote myself which leads back to my old explanation:

    QUOTE
    Praise is praise, and repeated praise often means that you respect a person's oppinions as well share their views.

    It therefore follows from such logic that since Chomsky is a socialist, she is too. 



    Next on the agenda

    QUOTE
    I have no idea what you mean by this. He was in the classroom. There was a sizable student presence. That's all I was saying.


    "In class" doing what? Was he waiting for a teacher to get photocopies of a paper? Was she writing notes? Was she giving students free time to work on papers? Was the teacher in the middle of a lecture, or was it after the lecture?

    Now during what action was the teacher preforming when he printing up the pictures and then post them?

    If it was during a part where the teacher actively required the student's attention, then it's less justifiable on the students' part.

    However, lets say he interrupts class - So what? How often do interruptions happen every, single, lousy, day in high school, or ANY school for that matter?

    Pouncing on this kid for interrupting class (which we don't even know) is an irrelevant point, because you aren't being realistic. This stuff happens no matter what, so suddenly it's a more objectionable action because it was with an unpopular viewpoint?

    Bull-0-ney.

    QUOTE
    He did plenty wrong, but going against popular opinion was not one of them. Peacefully going against popular opinion is never wrong, and I find it appalling that you think it could somehow be wrong.


    Again, he did nothing wrong.

    Especially if you look at this from societies point of view compared to what he actully got in trouble for -

    Objectionable Actions:

    1. Possibly interrupting class, once for some posters?
    2. Calling his teacher a socialist (behind the teachers back, no less)?
    3. Using the wallspace of the school with paper?

    Non-Objectionable Actions:

    1. Dissenting viewpoint.
    2. Non-offensive posters.
    3. Holding his ground against principal and students.


    What did he get in trouble for again...? OH YEAH. Every time he did something from the non-objectionable actions, he ended up either:

    1. Being threatened
    2. Being Insulted
    3. Told he was wrong, and being limited on what he could say

    Versus the actualy objectionable actions, no one in the school could give two poops about.

    Guys, I don't know what high school you graduation from, but any student would laugh at the said 'objectionable' actions because no one cares about them. If you were student at my high school, went up to my principal and told him that the student went to the back of the room with computers and printed up some stuff no one understood, whispered to another student that the teacher was a socialist, and then put the papers on the wall, and you would like for the student to be punished, my principal would do this:

    1. Look at you funny
    2. Laugh
    3. Say "I'll take a look into it", but with such a tone you know he really means "Get real."


    QUOTE
    He did plenty wrong, but going against popular opinion was not one of them. Peacefully going against popular opinion is never wrong, and I find it appalling that you think it could somehow be wrong.


    This is called dark sarcasm. If you look at the article, re-read it, clearly, you will notice the only thing he gets in trouble is from the non-objectionable actions. Which was expressing his viewpoint.



    By the way, do you live in America, or speak english? You seem to have trouble piecing this stuff together. (No offense meant here.)



    Also, can someone explain to me what this poster means:

    user posted image

    I seriously have no idea what it means, for either conservatives, liberals, or how it could be offensive for that matter.
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  • HBNayrHBNayr Join Date: 2002-07-13 Member: 930Members Posts: 572
    edited July 2004
    QUOTE (Forlorn @ Jul 23 2004, 06:53 PM)
    By the way, do you live in America, or speak english?  You seem to have trouble piecing this stuff together.  (No offense meant here.)

    I felt that my posts were all articulate and, if not always clear, at least in proper English. I cannot understand how you could think that I somehow do not speak English, and while you followed it with, "No offense," I found the, "You seem to have trouble piecing this stuff together," line quite offensive.

    QUOTE
    Also, don't tell me I have a hard time looking at another perspective; precisly the reason I am able to argue decently (on these forums, in real life) is because I am able to see how you would argue from your point, and then I can work it backwards.


    You consider this and this to be decent arguments?

    I don't want this to become a series of personal attacks. That's just a quick way for the thread to get locked. But if you're going to say that I somehow "have trouble piecing this stuff together," or that I have trouble with the English language, then back it up, please.

    We have only Templar_Crusader's extremely subjective view of events of things to go by. But I disagree that repeatedly praising somehow means that you agree with them. I praise John McCain often in my daily life. That doesn't mean I agree with his fiscal policy. As to what was happening in class, Templar_Crusader does not say. But he implies that he go up and printed the posters as soon as his teacher began speaking about Noam Chomsky. And when a teacher is speaking, the student should be listening. If he wanted to spark debate, he could have asked questions in the Socratic manner. For the record, sarcasm does not convey well at all through the written word without proper emphasis. As in, sarcasm, yeah, that's real mature. And I emphatically disagree with your insistence on reducing the issue to a simple, black-and-white "Objectionable Actions, Non-Objectionable Actions" list. The issue is not nearly so simple. A dissenting viewpoint is in no way objectionable. I object to the manner in which he chose to present his viewpoint. Not the posters themselves, but the way in which he chose to go about putting them up. As coil said, he was looking for a fight before it even started. Forlorn, would you also be supporting someone who posted these posters throughout his school and was shut down by "the man"?

    user posted image

    -Ryan!


    The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse w**** [prostitute]. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.
    -- James D. Nicoll

    The better part of valor is discretion.
    -- William Shakespeare, "Henry IV"
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  • VininVinin Join Date: 2002-11-07 Member: 7601Members Posts: 167
    Well, it's a picture of a man holding a chain around a woman's neck. I think that in many Islamic circles, the men are the very dominant half. So dominant in fact that polygamy is allowed (albeit with many rules concerning) and there are so many restrictions put on the women. I believe it is impossible even for a woman to request a divorce under Islamic law. Basically, women are almost considered property of a man as long as he can properly "take care of it." Thus the poster is trying to sarcastically say, say no to war and let Islamic men have women as property. Something along those lines anyway, this is my foray into the discussion forum.
    critical eXtinction 1.02-3.0
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