Friday, February 28, 2014

Attacking Free Speech

On top of the fact that businesses can be penalized for not wanting to participate in ceremonies that violate their religious beliefs a court has ruled that schools can ban T-shirts with American flags worn by students.
A nice analysis can be found here:

Not safe to display American flag in American high school
Today’s Dariano v. Morgan Hill Unified School Dist. (9th Cir. Feb. 27, 2014) upholds a California high school’s decision to forbid students from wearing American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo. (See here and here for more on this case.)
The court points out that the rights of students in public high schools are limited — under the Supreme Court’s decision in Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Comm. School Dist. (1969), student speech could be restricted if “school authorities [can reasonably] forecast substantial disruption of or material interference with school activities” stemming from the speech. And on the facts of this case, the court concludes, there was reason to think that the wearing of the T-shirts would lead to disruption. There had been threats of racial violence aimed at students who wore such shirts the year before:
On Cinco de Mayo in 2009, a year before the events relevant to this appeal, there was an altercation on campus between a group of predominantly Caucasian students and a group of Mexican students. The groups exchanged profanities and threats. Some students hung a makeshift American flag on one of the trees on campus, and as they did, the group of Caucasian students began clapping and chanting “USA.” A group of Mexican students had been walking around with the Mexican flag, and in response to the white students’ flag-raising, one Mexican student shouted “f*** them white boys, f*** them white boys.” When Assistant Principal Miguel Rodriguez told the student to stop using profane language, the student said, “But Rodriguez, they are racist. They are being racist. F*** them white boys. Let’s f*** them up.” Rodriguez removed the student from the area….
At least one party to this appeal, student M.D., wore American flag clothing to school on Cinco de Mayo 2009. M.D. was approached by a male student who, in the words of the district court, “shoved a Mexican flag at him and said something in Spanish expressing anger at [M.D.’s] clothing.~snip~
Public schools receive public and federal money and as such can be considered extensions of the federal government so the rights under the constitution should apply. With threats of violence made it seems somewhat obvious that the easiest thing to do would be to give in to what in essence are terrorists and ban the shirts.
It seems like as a country we are giving in to terroristic threats more than trying to protect and respect the speech of all citizens thus rewarding those who use violence or threats of violence to silence others.
Strangely enough this is a commie/liberal tactic that keeps being used because we have allowed it to become so successful....that needs to change.

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