Friday, April 27, 2007

No freedom of speech for students?

In Indiana a teacher was the advisor for the school paper. One of the students wrote an article on tolerance of gays. The teacher allowed the article to be published in the school paper. The teacher has been reprimanded and forced to resign. The settlement has included her placement in a new district where she will not be allowed to have any involvement with the school paper. the principle has justified her reprimand on the grounds that she was required to discuss any articles of a controversial nature with him prior to them being published.

So, I can understand that in schools the board and the administration is subject tot he desires of the parents. There may have been some people who were offended by the article. There were probably people that were not offended. Certainly on the grounds of liberty this is a ridiculous situation. The teacher is being punished because she let a student express her views. the teacher did not even write the content in question. Certainly the teacher was preserving the students rights. Certainly no harm was inflicted on other people due to the article. If people found it offensive they could certainly opt not to read it. I might suggest that it is the parents responsibility to direct the students in what is acceptable. Generally, if the parents are doing their job and they feel that something is unacceptable the children will know that and also feel that way and avoid content that offends them. The school and the disapproving parents have overstepped their boundaries. Maybe people don't like it, but everyone has a right to express their opinion.

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