Students Aren’t Allowed Free Speech

Apparently, students are not going to be allowed to exercise their rights anymore, something Avery Doninger is discovering. She was criticising school officials, and yes she did use a derogatory term to describe them which was in poor taste, but what the school did next is over kill.

“As punishment, school officials at the 2,843-student kindergarten through 12 school district covering Burlington and Harwinton prohibited Doninger from running for class secretary for a year, a position she had held since her freshman year. Despite the ruling, Doninger would have won her seat back this year because so many students voted for her as a write-in candidate. The school ignored the write-in support, a decision her supporters claim violated their right of free choice. Students were prohibited from wearing T-shirts emblazoned with “Team Avery.”

Notice that the punishment did not say she could not serve-it said she could not run. The students wrote her in and and the officials ignored that, besides banning the T-shirts. Now why did they need to ban T-shirts other students were wearing? These other students did not write her blog, and this started out as punishment for Avery, and ended up being used against anyone who supported her.

It sure is a good way to teach Communism, isn’t it? It gets even more interesting when we see that the school superintendent instructed her adult son to search for postings made by Ms. Donninger on her own personal blog, on her own free time away from school. I guess the superintendent and her son have a lot of free time on their hands.

Why did they hunt for her? Simple-she took some initiative to remedy the situation she was so upset about-namely:

“Lewis Mills administrators banned Avery Doninger from running for office after she and others – at the suggestion of the student council adviser – wrote to taxpayers seeking support to secure a venue for a battle of the bands known as Jamfest. Taxpayers responded.”

Now we see what all the fuss is about-the officials lost “control” and they could not allow that to continue.

This next bit is laughable:

“The content of the blog was related to school issues, and it was reasonably foreseeable that other LMHS students would view the blog and that school administrators would become aware of it,” the judge wrote in a decision he released an hour after four days of testimony ended.”

That is the point of a blog after all-that others will see it, think about what’s written there and perhaps discuss it, and maybe change their minds about an issue. What is the problem with that?

This is a dangerous precedent-would they have left Avery alone if she had said that she thought they were wrong and was disappointed in them? After all another student used a derogatory term for the superintendent and they weren’t punished. This other student didn’t garner taxpayer support for their issue, so the Commissars officials didn’t feel they needed to teach that student a lesson, I guess.

How long before anything that expresses disagreement will be censored and punished? How many students are already thinking twice about openly disagreeing with any school policy for fear of punishment?

If these students can be trained now that open disagreement with any official is bad and deserves punishment, where does that leave our country down the line?

(Hat Tip: Judy Aron)

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Responsibility and Free Speech « Stuff

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