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Old 26th February 2013, 07:46 PM   #81
StankApe
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Hmm...

Anecdote warning: starting in 7th grade, I really found a forum (school debate club/class) for rationally laying out the reasoning behind my opinions useful. I went to a really crazycakes little Christian private school, tho. Actually, my anecdotal experience was pretty unusual in a lot of ways (living with rainbow family by 16, married by 19 and still happily married, etc.)

ya filthy hippy!!!!!!!!













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Old 26th February 2013, 07:49 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by StankApe View Post
ya filthy hippy!!!!!!!!



Heh. How did I suspect you'd know what the RF is? lol.
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Old 26th February 2013, 07:51 PM   #83
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I reckon if you met me you'd be surprised. I'm a fairly conservative grumpy curmedgeon at 39.
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Old 26th February 2013, 08:00 PM   #84
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I suppose in the context of a day in which opinions are solicited, it makes sense to allow a variety of opinions, including bad ones, but given that the occasion here concerned the harassment of gay students, among other things, I think it would be entirely appropriate for a wearer of an anti-gay T-shirt to be asked publicly to explain his position, and to explain whether or not his contrary position implies approval of harassment. If he's willing to make a statement, let him make it plainly.

On the question of whether "pro gay" expressions are offensive, I would point out that, although of course every expression of anything can be offensive to some, the State of Connecticut has legalized civil unions, and as such, "pro gay" sentiments are inherent in state policy, and by that rule ought to be no more offensive to State policy than sentiments regarding anything that is legal, including marriage itself, or female suffrage, or equal housing for all races.

Controversial as homosexuality still is to some people, it would be odd indeed if governments judged expression in favor of what is legal to be as offensive as expression against it.

I haven't had time tonight to read the whole thread, and have other things to do, so I apologize if there's redundancy.
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Old 26th February 2013, 08:49 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
Following this logic, the Police are charged with keeping order and public safety, thus if someone is wearing something saying or wearing something that makes violence more likely, they should be arrested and stopped from saying it.

Not at all. In my example, the people being curbed were children. You've turned the hypothetical into one involving adults. Adults are presumed to have the maturity to handle freedom of speech. Children, on the other hand, by definition lack maturity. One cannot feed a newborn a steak sandwich nor can many adults digest breast milk - two different populations with different needs.

In any case, you're wrong. Police ARE empowered to stop speech that makes violence more likely. There are laws against incitement in every western democracy. There are also indecency laws (where one supposedly incites others to wallow in vulgarity). About the only difference between the laws that apply to adults and school rules applied to children is the amount of proof police need of the "imminence" of the dangers.
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Old 26th February 2013, 09:26 PM   #86
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Here's the ACLU's position, (sorry if it's been posted already):

SCHOOL CENSORSHIP OF T-SHIRT VIOLATED FREE SPEECH RIGHTS
Quote:
"The impulse to suppress ideas that we find unpleasant is antithetical to freedom and democracy. That's why the ACLU of Ohio stood up in 2006 for the rights of students to wear T-shirts supporting same-sex marriage and the ACLU of Connecticut must stand up in 2012 for the rights of students to express the opposite sentiment."
ADVOCATING FOR STUDENT'S RIGHT TO SPEAK AT SCHOOL
Quote:
A junior at Wolcott High School wore a T-shirt on Friday, April 20, 2012, which was designated a Day of Silence at Wolcott High School as part of a national movement to raise awareness of bullying and harassment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people.
Copy of letter sent to the school.
Quote:
His purpose in wearing the tee-shirt was to express his dislike for gay marriage and his
opposition to the perceived message that was promulgated by the school....

...There, as here, a school - seemingly at the behest of a private gay rights group - sponsored a ''Day of Silence" in support of gay rights.
They cite some court rulings.

It's unfortunate. If the school had a racial tolerance day would the ACLU argue with kids coming with offensive racist shirts were exercising free speech?

I get it about equally free speech given the pro-gay marriage event. I do think however, that hate speech should be over the line. The problem is, at this point in our social evolution, anti-gay marriage isn't considered hate speech.
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Old 26th February 2013, 10:42 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I do think however, that hate speech should be over the line.-
The problem is, who gets to define what is hate speech?
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Old 26th February 2013, 10:51 PM   #88
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Quote:
It's actually better to concentrate our efforts on teaching better social skills to those being bullied than it is on forcibly stopping the bullies. Victims aren't picked at random
.

Well, I beat the snot out of the guy who was grabbing my butt, etc. I absolutely attacked him in between classes.

Maybe that was me "learning better social skills". lol. But I was never groped again. And I was respected thereafter.
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Old 26th February 2013, 11:00 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
The problem is, who gets to define what is hate speech?
Preaching to the choir here on this one, even if we disagree on most of everything else.

I'm trying to put this is perspective. These are kids, and I'm pretty sure the SCOTUS has come down on the side of under 18 you don't have free speech rights at school, but I'm not interested enough to look it up.

I find it very problematic that if a school chooses to teach tolerance, the First Amendment says some kids get to rebut that.
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Old 26th February 2013, 11:01 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by Manopolus View Post
It's not philosophy... it's social psychology. I could look up some references to give you if you'd like. I just assumed it was common knowledge, particularly considering I'm not a psychologist and have heard and read it over and over and over again from various sources... including with regards to my own problems of being bullied in High School (admittedly, that was over 20 years ago).

Of course, I had the advantage of being in a small enough school as to not get lost in the shuffle (graduating class of 16). With bigger class sizes, different tactics may be more necessary than I think... but I do know that an authority figure simply silencing the bully when observed does nothing to actually help the matter. It actually tends to make things worse.
Luckily some educators have moved beyond blaming the victim. My daughter's school had an excellent presentation that showed how the whole community was responsible in some way for bullying. Everybody has a role.* The rate of bullying is much lower in this school than it was in her previous school, which seemed to blame the victim and extol them to toughen up and not take things so seriously. Both are public schools.


*Tragic Monkey's role was alluded to, but not covered in the truncated presentation I saw.
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Old 26th February 2013, 11:20 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Here's the ACLU's position, (sorry if it's been posted already):

SCHOOL CENSORSHIP OF T-SHIRT VIOLATED FREE SPEECH RIGHTS

ADVOCATING FOR STUDENT'S RIGHT TO SPEAK AT SCHOOL

Copy of letter sent to the school.They cite some court rulings.

It's unfortunate. If the school had a racial tolerance day would the ACLU argue with kids coming with offensive racist shirts were exercising free speech?

I get it about equally free speech given the pro-gay marriage event. I do think however, that hate speech should be over the line. The problem is, at this point in our social evolution, anti-gay marriage isn't considered hate speech.
I agree, and think the ACLU made a mistake here. The highlighted portion above is one such mistake. The event was, as far as I can see, aimed at promoting tolerance of homosexuals and transgender students, and not at expanding the State's existing Civil Union laws. If the shirt was meant as an opposition to gay marriage, then it was a badly chosen shirt worn at a badly chosen time. As I said above, the issue is no longer a simple war of opinions when the state in question has established a position. At that point, state institutions are no longer a venue for true free speech. The ACLU can make a case for free speech when adult individuals burn crosses or call for an end to churches, or for the destruction of the state, or whatever, but it's not unreasonable, I think, for a state institution to control expressions by children under its care that call for the overthrow of its own standards.

Connecticut has a Civil Union law, and for that law to have any useful meaning it must follow that the State recognizes the right to be openly homosexual and to enjoy the full protection of the State's laws, and it's generally considered reasonable for public schools to promote legal behavior and discourage illegal behavior. The anti-gay community (and perhaps those who have not thought it all the way through) may think of the event in question as a "pro gay" event, but it's as easily seen as "pro law," an attempt to get students up to speed on what is legally acceptable and required of them, not only to be decent human beings, but to be law abiding citizens of Connecticut.
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Old 27th February 2013, 12:45 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
The ACLU can make a case for free speech when adult individuals burn crosses or call for an end to churches, or for the destruction of the state, or whatever, but it's not unreasonable, I think, for a state institution to control expressions by children under its care that call for the overthrow of its own standards.
Okay, let me see if I have gotten this right. You are saying is that it is perfectly alright for a State run institution to endoctrinate children without allowing them to express an opposition to that as long as the endoctrination is opposing the current state stance and it agrees with your personal stance?
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Old 27th February 2013, 01:04 AM   #93
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Has the ACLU ever argued for the rights of people burning crosses in people's yards?

I know they argue for the rights of KKK book publishers, rallies etc.

Yard cross burners and house burners, no.
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Old 27th February 2013, 01:07 AM   #94
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But maybe that's why they're considered left wing?
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Old 27th February 2013, 04:25 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Has the ACLU ever argued for the rights of people burning crosses in people's yards?

I know they argue for the rights of KKK book publishers, rallies etc.

Yard cross burners and house burners, no.
entering someone's yard and burning a cross, and especially burning houses are both criminal acts. Wearing a T-Shirt, regardless of what it has on it is not a criminal offence.
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Old 27th February 2013, 05:17 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
.

Well, I beat the snot out of the guy who was grabbing my butt, etc. I absolutely attacked him in between classes.

Maybe that was me "learning better social skills". lol. But I was never groped again. And I was respected thereafter.
Incidentally, violence does work sometimes when perpetrated by the victim.

Coming from an authority figure though, it does not.
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Old 27th February 2013, 05:21 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
Luckily some educators have moved beyond blaming the victim. My daughter's school had an excellent presentation that showed how the whole community was responsible in some way for bullying. Everybody has a role.* The rate of bullying is much lower in this school than it was in her previous school, which seemed to blame the victim and extol them to toughen up and not take things so seriously. Both are public schools.


*Tragic Monkey's role was alluded to, but not covered in the truncated presentation I saw.
Yeah, this is what my second paragraph was alluding to in my post before the one you quoted (the one that you are actually answering). I am quite aware that it is a matter of falling into habitual roles, and all parties involved play their part. That's why modern intervention tends to address the problem from a preventative standpoint, educating the entire school population, rather than picking out specific situations.

The old way isn't necessarily "blaming" the victim if done right. It's more a matter of "assisting" the victim. Yes, I know... there's little difference if it is the wrong person trying to do it. I don't know why, but certain personalities can tend to botch the matter horribly. Hell, some teachers aren't much more than bullies themselves, in the way they interact with students. It's actually best to deal with such things outside of the environment which caused them if you're using the old approach. It does work though, assuming that the victim is someone fully capable of understanding and the lack is purely in appropriate coping skills(with mentally unstable kids or handicapped kids, there's a bit of a different problem, of course).

In my case, they didn't quite get to the real problem (fairly mild OCD (perfectionism), which some authority figures kept insisting was ADHD... I wasn't getting homework done, etc... at least my mother had the sense to keep them from putting me on the drugs), but it did help me cope with fellow students better.

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Old 27th February 2013, 05:57 AM   #98
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Every job I've worked at had a dress code prohibiting certain clothing, including that which expressed controversial (or any) political or social opinions. It's my civil right as an American to say what I like, true---which means my employer couldn't have me arrested for wearing a particular shirt. But they sure as hell could fire me for it.

I see a school as being the same situation. Sure, the kid can wear an anti-gay shirt. In his own time, outside the school.
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Old 27th February 2013, 05:59 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
entering someone's yard and burning a cross, and especially burning houses are both criminal acts. Wearing a T-Shirt, regardless of what it has on it is not a criminal offence.
Which is why nobody tried to have the kid arrested.

Sleeping isn't a criminal offense, either, but I'm pretty sure kids in school get punished if they sleep in class. Or eat. Or talk at the wrong time. "It's not illegal" <> "it's permissable in this time and place".
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Old 27th February 2013, 06:29 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Every job I've worked at had a dress code prohibiting certain clothing, including that which expressed controversial (or any) political or social opinions. It's my civil right as an American to say what I like, true---which means my employer couldn't have me arrested for wearing a particular shirt. But they sure as hell could fire me for it.

I see a school as being the same situation. Sure, the kid can wear an anti-gay shirt. In his own time, outside the school.
You are missing the fact that a school is a government entity which kids are often essentially forced to go to against their will. True, their parents get to choose some of the details (private school, home schooling, etc.), but the kid often doesn't.

That's a lot different than a job. If you don't like the details of the job you are in, you can certainly start looking for another that has lesser or different restrictions.

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Old 27th February 2013, 06:44 AM   #101
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I'm sure others have said it, but maybe it's better that we have these idiots identifying themselves in plain sight so the rest of us can give them the shunning they deserve.
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Old 27th February 2013, 06:56 AM   #102
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The ACLU is correct, if the school doesn't like it they can require uniforms. But if you're going to allow kids to express political opinions on t-shirts you can't pick and choose which opinions you allow.

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Old 27th February 2013, 07:00 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Here's the ACLU's position, (sorry if it's been posted already):

SCHOOL CENSORSHIP OF T-SHIRT VIOLATED FREE SPEECH RIGHTS

ADVOCATING FOR STUDENT'S RIGHT TO SPEAK AT SCHOOL

Copy of letter sent to the school.They cite some court rulings.

It's unfortunate. If the school had a racial tolerance day would the ACLU argue with kids coming with offensive racist shirts were exercising free speech?

I get it about equally free speech given the pro-gay marriage event. I do think however, that hate speech should be over the line. The problem is, at this point in our social evolution, anti-gay marriage isn't considered hate speech.
It doesn't matter if it's hate speech, it's still protected. Once you carve out such an exception then there is no free speech at all, except what the government allows you to say. Hurt feelings or causing offense isn't a crime, nor should it be.
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Old 27th February 2013, 07:03 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
Okay, let me see if I have gotten this right. You are saying is that it is perfectly alright for a State run institution to endoctrinate children without allowing them to express an opposition to that as long as the endoctrination is opposing the current state stance and it agrees with your personal stance?
NOt exactly, and I must say that reading your post above I am confused about what you are even saying. Either the placement of the word "opposing" is backwards, or you wildly misunderstood my position. I don't see an issue of indoctrination where a school is trying to teach children to behave civilly in ways that do not violate school policy and state law. There is a state law and a state policy that forbids certain forms of discrimination and bullying. If there's a special day set aside at the school for dealing with harassment and the like, it's because people are either not aware of the problem or are wilfully breaking the law. Insofar as the T-shirt in question expresses opposition to that law and that event, as the choice of both words and occasion of wearing suggest, I think it's wrong. Other expressions may also have been incorrect and excessive, but that is a separate issue.

The harassment in question is not theoretical, it's real. It is not just an issue of social agendas, but a problem of real people coming to real harm while in the custody of a school whose duty is to keep its students safe from harm. If the school had an event aimed at curbing bullying in general, I don't think any sane person would consider it appropriate for a student to come in on that day with a T-shirt that says "To Hell with you, I'll bully whoever I want." The T-shirt in question, not just because of its words but because of the time and place it was displayed, really says no less.

I repeat: Opposition to gay rights may well be a permitted free speech for persons in general society, no matter how nasty it is, but it is not a permitted free speech at a school event aimed at ending the reprehensible and illegal actions of bigots.
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Old 27th February 2013, 07:53 AM   #105
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Quote:
I understand where you're coming from, but opposite views are not necessarily equal. Schools have a serious interest promoting the safety and respect of their LGBT students, just like racial minorities and disabled students, and opposing others attempts to provoke or marginalize them.
Your ignoring what is important.

Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
I agree. Threats of physical harm, gore or obscenity are banned in (almost) all schools. Banning something that is just an opinion goes against everything that education is supposed to be about. Why do some people not like gays? Let's talk about it.

Disclosure: big gay here....and an educator.
^ Here, this is what is important.

Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
It doesn't matter if it's hate speech, it's still protected. Once you carve out such an exception then there is no free speech at all, except what the government allows you to say. Hurt feelings or causing offense isn't a crime, nor should it be.
I agree if you are not coming right out and promoting violence then its just good old speech.
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Old 27th February 2013, 08:18 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by Manopolus View Post
You are missing the fact that a school is a government entity which kids are often essentially forced to go to against their will. True, their parents get to choose some of the details (private school, home schooling, etc.), but the kid often doesn't.

That's a lot different than a job. If you don't like the details of the job you are in, you can certainly start looking for another that has lesser or different restrictions.
1. Just because its run by government doesn't mean it can't have additional rules that aren't applied in law to everybody outside it. The military and civil service are government entities, but they have dress codes and rules about speech far more restrictive than the law is.

2. That it's compulsory also doesn't exempt participants from those rules. Military draftees don't get exemption from military rules by virtue of being compelled to be there. Prisoners are also required to follow rules, and they are definitely compelled to be there. Also, public school is not compulsory- education is. The child gas other options like being homeschooled or attending private school. If the principle of wearing this shirt is so important to him, he can choose the shirt over the free public school.
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Old 27th February 2013, 08:54 AM   #107
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Yup - the school is the government. They have wider powers to regulate speech than other institutions, but the regulation usually has to be content-neutral. There are some interesting SCOTUS cases such as Tinker (kids can wear black armbands to protest the war in Vietnam) and a few others. The school can take a content-relative veiw of speech when the speech substantially disrupts the educational process or advocates illegal activity.
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Old 27th February 2013, 09:02 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
1. Just because its run by government doesn't mean it can't have additional rules that aren't applied in law to everybody outside it. The military and civil service are government entities, but they have dress codes and rules about speech far more restrictive than the law is.

2. That it's compulsory also doesn't exempt participants from those rules. Military draftees don't get exemption from military rules by virtue of being compelled to be there. Prisoners are also required to follow rules, and they are definitely compelled to be there. Also, public school is not compulsory- education is. The child gas other options like being homeschooled or attending private school. If the principle of wearing this shirt is so important to him, he can choose the shirt over the free public school.
But those rules or requirements are content-neutral. You can only wear a dress uniform to a civilian function no matter how you feel about them. The military and prison are bad examples anyway. One is (or used to be) the least regulated government institution. For instance, in the early 1990s if, while stationed in the UK, you made any public comment on Anglo-Irish relations you'd find yourself either on a plane home or with some very unfortunate duties. The government could never really enforce such a rule in any other institution. Prisoners have a due-process loss of freedom.
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Old 27th February 2013, 09:28 AM   #109
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That's kind of my point. Public schools are not general society, and have more restrictions on conduct and expression. As does the military, and prisons, and actually pretty much every organization in existence. Even Congress has rules for when members are allowed to speak, and they actually are the government.

Expecting a student to be able to do whatever they like that isn't specifically illegal would give them more freedom than pretty much everybody else in the country.
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Old 27th February 2013, 09:33 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Expecting a student to be able to do whatever they like that isn't specifically illegal would give them more freedom than pretty much everybody else in the country.
It may be a fleeting example, but Americans still enjoy the right to speak against gay marraige in public even when it's legal - or using a recent example speak for gay marraige when it's illegal. It's nothing special about the school setting. In fact (if not always in practice), we do retain the right to do those things which are legal without interference from the government.
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Old 27th February 2013, 09:38 AM   #111
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I don't know how the distinction between "public" and "public institutions" isn't clear. You can wear whatever T-shirt slogan you like in public. You can be removed from courts, city hall, public libraries, public schools, etc for wearing the same shirt.
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Old 27th February 2013, 09:39 AM   #112
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Also, nobody's saying he can't wear the shirt. Just that he can't wear it there.
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Old 27th February 2013, 09:40 AM   #113
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Originally Posted by Newtons Bit View Post
Don't worry, Alt-F4 is female.
Hehehehe...yes, since 1964!
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Old 27th February 2013, 09:42 AM   #114
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I think the school did the right thing in capitulating to the ACLU. The cost of fighting would not be worth it and would only give the kid more attention.
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Old 27th February 2013, 09:44 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by OnlyTellsTruths View Post
Therefore I have to ask myself, did the shirt in the OP contain not only a clear threat, but an illegal one? I would have to say no.
Yup. The shirt in question seems to be no more than a "I don't like you" which is fine with me. I don't like lots of people (Nazis, racists, Bruno Mars fans) and I'm glad I live in a nation that lets me express that.
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Old 27th February 2013, 09:48 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I don't know how the distinction between "public" and "public institutions" isn't clear. You can wear whatever T-shirt slogan you like in public. You can be removed from courts, city hall, public libraries, public schools, etc for wearing the same shirt.
That is not true: Cohen V. California

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Also, nobody's saying he can't wear the shirt. Just that he can't wear it there.
Actual they are saying that if are permitting one group to advocate in favor of something, you have to allow people to protest against it too.

Content based restrictions are almost always impermissible.
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Old 27th February 2013, 09:50 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I don't know how the distinction between "public" and "public institutions" isn't clear. You can wear whatever T-shirt slogan you like in public. You can be removed from courts, city hall, public libraries, public schools, etc for wearing the same shirt.
So who decides the accepted veiwpoint? Should you be allowed to wear an Obama 2012 shirt in my public library? This district was like 75-25 Romney. Should I be allowed to wear my Romney/Ryan 2012 t-shirt to a Chicago public library?

The rule for content-neutrality is there for a reason. You cannot honestly call yourself a free-speech advocate when all you advocate is your own veiwpoint.
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Old 27th February 2013, 09:52 AM   #118
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I have to wonder then whether students at public schools are allowed to bring firearms to school. After all, its their Second Amendment right. If a public schools cannot have rules more restrictive than the law for the rest of the public, then why would they be able to have a rule stopping students from bringing their guns in?
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Old 27th February 2013, 09:55 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by Cylinder View Post
So who decides the accepted veiwpoint? Should you be allowed to wear an Obama 2012 shirt in my public library? This district was like 75-25 Romney. Should I be allowed to wear my Romney/Ryan 2012 t-shirt to a Chicago public library?

The rule for content-neutrality is there for a reason. You cannot honestly call yourself a free-speech advocate when all you advocate is your own veiwpoint.
The institutions in question make their rules based in what's necessary to maintain order enough to fulfill their functions. A library would likely have a much less destructive set of rules in the matter of clothing expression than would a courtroom. A school would tend to be as restrictive as it could be because the nature of the place is that disruption of attention thwarts its primary function. They even have rules about hairstyles for that reason.
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Old 27th February 2013, 09:58 AM   #120
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The school officials have a duty to make sure the kids aren't wearing inflammatory things like gang related whatever... or shirts about how uncomfortable gays make them feel...

I'd think this would become trouble if half the school decided that since this one guy can do it, why can't weeeeeee
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