In the United States, free speech is protected by the First Amendment in which it states, “Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion … or abridging the freedom of speech.” Now, nearly 250 years into the future, the exact thing that the Founding Fathers were afraid of is starting to happen. Today, our freedom of speech is being threatened through different forces, such as the tyranny of the majority, the protection of the minority, and the stability of the society. Now, colleges and universities in the United States today are also trying to institute a code upon its students that would bar them from exercising their right to speak freely in the name of protecting minorities from getting bullied. This brings us into
White, Justice. "Excerpts From Opinions in Ruling on Censuring High School Newspaper." SIRS Decades. ProQuest, 14 Jan. 1988. Web. 12 Feb. 2014. . This article covers opinions and views on a court's ruling to censor a high school newspaper. This source applies the court case to the First Amendment to assess its constitutionality. This source is valid because it is a product of the New York Times. The New York Times is an extremely credible source that has been trusted for years by the public. I will use this source to prove First Amendment rights must and have been supported by public education and government officials.
A high school in Chattanooga, Tennessee suspended a student for wearing a jacket that depicted a Confederate flag. The school had already banded the flag prior to the student’s suspension, for fear of racial backlash. In a slim one-vote margin, the court upheld the school’s decision, solely for the possibility that racial retaliation could ensue. The student’s parents did appeal the decision, but the court deemed that this was not a violation of the student’s freedom of speech or expression.
In the landmark case Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969), John Tinker and his siblings decided to openly protest the Vietnam War by wearing black armbands to school (Goldman 1). The school felt that their efforts to protest the war disrupted the school environment. “The Supreme Court said that ‘in our system, undifferentiated fear or apprehension of disturbance is not enough to overcome the right to freedom of expression.’ School officials cannot silence student speech simply because they dislike it or it is controversial or unpopular” (FAQs 2). What about theatrical performance? Should certain plays not be performed at school because of inflammatory content? Theatrical performance plays a significant role during various years of a child’s youth, but, alone, has one central aim that allows for tolerance and multifariousness within the “salad bowl” United States. High school theatre arts curriculum’s purpose is to develop appreciation of the doctrines, perspectives, principles, and consciousness of diversified individuals in distinctive epochs throughout history as conveyed through literary works and theatre. If theatre has this sort of impact, why does the school administration, teachers, parents, even the state government, infringe upon the student body’s First Amendment rights? Schools should make no policy that would chastise a student for speaking their mind or expressing oneself, unless the process by which they are expressing themselves meddles with the educational methods and the claims of others. If a student threatens another student under “the right” of being able to speak freely, one would hope a school would take immediate action before potential harm occurs. The First Amendment clearly states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” In reference to students and a school environment, the definition of freedom of speech and expression becomes very unclear as to what they can and cannot say.
One has the right to say those things. One also has the right to publish pornographic material, however it must be between consenting adults. The First Amendment has assisted America to become a more developed nation. Nations like China are not even allowed to voice their displeasure with the government. One must deal with our own issues without forcing the government to interfere. Derek Bok, writer of the essay Protecting Freedom of Expression on Campus, discussed the issue that universities have been struggling to resolve by syncretize racial tension and guaranteed rights. Harvard dealt with two students that hung Confederate flags in public view this action upset their fellow peers who, associated the flag with slavery. A third student tried to protest the actions of the other students by displaying a swastika. Some students argued that the university requires the students to remove the symbols, however others argued that these symbols are a form of free speech and should be protected. Under the Supreme Court’s ruling, the display of swastikas or Confederate flags are protected in the Free-Speech clause of the First Amendment, and cannot be banned because it offends someone. This ruling applies to all agencies of government, including public universities. It is unclear to what extent private university
Universities and colleges are considered to be communities. In recent years, many campuses have sought to become more diverse by attracting students and faculty from groups that were historically underrepresented. The campus atmosphere brought by new and ethnically or religiously different peers can overpoweringly affect an institution's prolonged diversity. Intolerance to those who differ from the majority may chip away at the confidence of those previously unwanted or unrecognized. In response to verbal assaults and use of hateful language many college boards have decided it necessary to forbid the expression of “abusive, profane or sexually offensive (messages) to the average person” (Kean, Internet Policy). There are several reasons offered to justify the banning of free thinking, some understandable only through the use of narrow minded and biased logic. The logic behind these ideas that lead to regulation of free speech and ban or punish those who are utilizing their rights to free expression cannot be justified.
I have had the opportunity over the past seven years at HDHS to interview many candidates for professional positions. One thing I am often asked is, “What makes Hampton-Dumont special?” My response is always, “Our kids, our parents and our community. We have great students, great parents and a very supportive community.” I have served in three other communities throughout my twenty plus year career, and I can say with confidence that this is far and above the most supportive. It is a joy to see so many fans come to so many different events in which our students participate – cheering, “Go Dogs!” Unfortunately, there are often other exclamations from our crowd at events that are not quite
The second reason why Bok argues that is because it prohibits people from their freedom of speech. Derek states that "Under the Supreme Court's rulings, as I read them, the display of swastikas or Confederate flags clearly falls within the protection of the free-speech clause of the First Amendment and cannot be forbidden," which proves that censoring offensive speakers is not right. Although it may be an extremist act, it protects those from the right to speak.
Freedom of speech has been a controversial issue throughout the world. Our ability to say whatever we want is very important to us as individuals and communities. Although freedom of speech and expression may sometimes be offensive to other people, it is still everyone’s right to express his/her opinion under the American constitution which states that “congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press”. Although this amendment gave people the right express thier opinions, it still rests in one’s own hands as how far they will go to exercise that right of freedom of speech.
Issues of censorship in public schools are contests between the exercise of discretion and the exercise of a Constitutional right. The law must reconcile conflicting claims of liberty and authority, as expressed by Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter in Minersville School District v. Gobitis, 1940 in “Banned in the U.S.A.: A Reference Guide to Book Censorship in Schools and Public Libraries” by Herbert N. Foerstel (23).
Hall, Kermit L. "Free speech on public college campuses overview." 13 September 2002. First Amendment Center. 26 April 2014.
This study looks at the relationship between censorship and repression on college campuses. I will first establish the comprehensiveness of the question; defining all of the concepts attributed and the extent to which they become insight, further I will address college campuses as the area of focus. I will then begin to challenge the ramifications the latter withholds for the purpose of deciphering if censorship is ever warranted; the right to offend, and the effects of hate speech. I will conclude it with social progress as a gain.
Freedom of speech is a fundamental American freedom and a human right, and I think that there’s no place that this right should be more valued and protected than America’s colleges and universities. According to Forbes, “There is no public space in America more open to diverse opinions than our college campuses.” Last Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke about free speech at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington. Jeff Sessions declared that the Department of Justice will be filing statements in cases where they don't think colleges are doing enough to protect free speech.
The First Amendment or as it’s more commonly called the right to free speech. Free speech also counts as freedom of press, the right to practice any religion, and to associate ourselves with any group. The limitations to these rights however are highly debated. College campuses have helped to redefine what freedom of speech and its limits. As colleges become more diverse they must promote an environment where student expression is encouraged but also maintain a safe learning environment for all students and faculty. Since public colleges are both state and federal funded institutions, they act as publicly open forms which are very few limitations to free speech. The limitations however on one's freedom to speech usually end where another begins