Essay on Freedom Of Speech Does Mean Freedom From Responsibility

Essay on Freedom Of Speech Does Mean Freedom From Responsibility

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Freedom of speech does mean freedom from responsibility

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 so supportive.

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees among other things freedom of speech. My intent in writing this article is not an attempt to educate anyone on the background or history of the Bill of Rights, nor is it an attempt to try to spark a debate on the intended meaning of the words “freedom” or “speech” (or “expression”). What I will try to do is pull at and on any strings of decency and respect for fellow human beings that I hope may be left in each of us, so that we may recommit to being good examples of behavior to our kids – and visitors to our community.

While I am not sure what has driven the decline in human decency and respect towards one another, my own suspicions are that is has at least some roots in the rise in popularity of (maybe addiction to) social media. There appears to be some sort of perceived anonymity – or immunity from responsibility for what is said or “posted” online. What I have noticed over the course of the years...

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...ocking, demeaning, or belittling other human beings is acceptable – while the school ironically is charged with teaching the same students it is not. I have had multiple conversations with our students about what they say at games. I will often hear the retort from them, “But their students are doing it,” to which I will always reply, “Yes, they are, but we are better than that.”

We may be “free” to say many things in many different venues, but we also are responsible for the outcome of what we say. I am very thankful for your support in helping us provide a high quality educational experience at HDHS, and I am asking for your continued support in helping us set a good example in the form of sportsmanship at our events, not only for our students, but for our visitors and officials alike. I look forward to seeing you at our events cheering on the Dogs!

Thank you,

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