Censorship In School Dress Code

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Censorship even extends to school dress codes. A school dress code is a set of rules about what clothing may or may not be worn in schools. As previously mentioned, a set of criteria are used to determine whether or not student expression should be censored in schools. For censorship involving dress codes, there are two: the “Tinker disruption standard” and the “forum issue,” which determine if student expression disrupts the school day and by who it is regulated, respectively (Emert). One case involving censorship of the school dress code was of a boy who violated his school’s dress code (Nguyen). Zachary Guiles, a thirteen year old boy, had to cover up his shirt denigrating former President George W. Bush, which violated his First Amendment rights (Nguyen). The shirt showed President Bush’s head on a chicken with derogatory names. It had images of oil rigs and lines of cocaine (Nguyen). A student, who had opposite views as Guiles, notified the administration of the shirt (Nguyen). Guiles was sent home on May 13, 2004, when he didn’t cover up the shirt after being asked to. The next day, Guiles’ wore the shirt, which was covered with tape and the word ‘censored’ was written on the tape (Nguyen). The school which Guiles attended, Williamstown Middle High School in Vermont, said that the shirt violated the dress code. Guiles’ parents felt that their son’s “rights to engage in political speech” were violated, and they sued the school (Nguyen). Guiles did not win the lawsuit in December 2004, when the US District Court for Vermont ruled in favor of the school, saying the images were “’plainly offensive and inappropriate’” (Nguyen). Guiles appealed, and the Second Circuit court ruled that the images were not offensive an... ... middle of paper ... ...tion is to educate people on the topic of censorship and how there are some instances where it violates our First Amendment rights. Cases of censorship will vary dependent upon where it is located, but the problem is still the same: people censor simply because they do not like something that another person has expressed. Perhaps a universal set of laws regarding acceptable censorship should be installed, which in turn would solve all types of censorship issues. Censorship will always be a problem, because there is always something for people to dislike. However, once more of the population has been educated on how censorship is only sometimes necessary, the problems with it may not be as prevalent. Censorship will never go away, but perhaps people will find a happy medium, in which things are censored only when necessary, and everyone is accepting of it.

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