No freedom of speech in Michigan? Anti-Bush T-shirt banned in school.


We can’t have all those Arab kids getting “enflamed” now can we? Somehow I don’t think the school would have had a problem with a pro-Bush or pro-military statement by a student. I say this is censorship and that the school is trying to enforce a specific political view on its students. Tell me why I’m wrong.

I’m pretty sure that courts have upheld the rights of schools to ban clothing that is deemed “disruptive,” so I don’t think there is a valid legal question here. beyond that, however, I don’t think they should have done so in this case.

Yep, I have read about ACLU cases where kids in HS had to stop wearing clothing. (too lazy to sight)

If you check most schools, you will find that the students attending give up their constitution rights, and live under a subset of the normal rights everyone else gets while on campus. Too much disruption otherwise.

Now, if you don’t agree, try sending a kid to school with a pro KKK T-shirt. I am pretty sure there will be very little learning in what classes they attend.

I could never understand where we get this notion that high school allows freedom of anything. These kids arent old enuf to vote, they dont have a voice. That sucks but thats the way it is. We may afford them the right to speak but not without limitations and careful consideration to the consequences. Tell that kid to sell his T-shirt to the college kids.

I’m not contesting the legality of it, I’m questioning the even-handedness of it. As I said, I don’t think the school would ban a shirt which supported the war. I also note that the majority of students at this school are Arab-American. I see this as an attempt by the school to squelch anti-war sentiment before it gets started. Would the kid get sent home for wearing a t-shirt which showed Osama bin Laden in the crosshairs of a rifle?

Do you have any reason to actually believe this, or does the notion just support your idea that the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy is choking our civil liberties?

Yeah, it probably is. Doesn’t surprise me. When I was in high-school, were prevented from wearing clothing of a controversial political nature. I think that a “Bush is a terrorist” fits that description quite well. It’s also highly offensive. As to the “Osama in cross-hairs” shirt, I can see that being struck down in a New York minute. C’mon, schools suspend kids for pointing their fingers at their friends and saying “bang”. You think they’re going to tolerate a shirt endorsing a killing by gun, even of such filth as Osama?

I don’t see what the problem is in this case - it’s not just that the shirt was an anti-war or anti-Bush shirt, but that it really was a pretty inflamatory statement. If someone was getting suspended for a ‘No War’ shirt then I could at least understand the complaint, but painting ‘someone was wearing a shirt that called the president an international terrorist’ as ‘someone was wearing a shirt that opposed the war’ is not exactly hones. Do you really think a “Bill Clinton - International Terrorist” (especially while he was in office) or “Jessie Jackson - National Terrorist” would fly?

The latter, I confess. :wink:

It looks like the consensus is going against me, here. You guys are making some good points. Maybe I over-reacted to this story. I still don’t think the kid should have been sent home but I guess it’s not the outrage of the century.

One more time, repeat after me…

Juveniles have no constitutional rights.

One more time, repeat after me…

Juveniles have no constitutional rights.

Nothing real to add, except for the slight irony of that double post.

[nitpick]“arent”? Perhaps you mean “aren’t”, which is a contraction of “are” and “not”.

“enuf”? Perhaps you mean “enough”.

“dont”? Could you mean “don’t”, a contraction of “do” and “not”? Remember those apostrophes![/nitpick]

And now to get to your argument: Some High School seniors are 18 years old, such as I. I voted back in November. Therefore, I did have a voice.

The Fourteenth Amendment disagrees with you.

Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Tell me about it. And I swear I only clicked once!

Tacking onto Blalron’s comments:

Children DO have rights, constitutional and other (rights given by state law, common law, or even from their inherent dignity as persons). The legal distinction is that 99% of the time, children cannot EXERCISE their rights as the law considers them incompetent to do so. Children’s rights are often vicariously exercised by either their parents or, failing them, some substituted authority such as the state.

Interesting sidenote: I taught an Egyptian kid last year who drew pictures of ObL in the crosshairs of a rifel on his notes. He was never sent home.

As for the shirt, I think that falls under the “too inflammatory for school” category. Fights have started for less.

SpazCat, who fondly remembers the days when Big Johnson shirts were the worst things out there

Kids do have rights, and not just through their parents

The Supreme Court says so

Tinker v. Des Moines (1969)

“. . . In the absence of a specific showing of constitutionally valid reasons to regulate their speech, students are entitled to freedom of expression of their views.”

— Justice Fortas, speaking for the majority
. . . First Amendment rights, applied in light of the special characteristics of the school environment, are available to teachers and students. It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate. . . .

In this case, if the shirt presented an imdiate disruption, they could ban it, if not, then they have to allow it. Even if they dont like it.

The Supreme Court disagrees with you: Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District.

Juveniles may have some restrictions on their rights when in school where (as in this case) there is a serious potential for classroom disruption, but saying they have “no rights” is overbroad.

Dammit, bdgr, you’re too quick for me… :slight_smile:

I agree that there is a difference between this sort of T-shirt and perhaps a black armband. In my opinions, armbands and ribbons make political statements as well, but in a less potentially disruptive way. For that matter, why aren’t people using armbands anymore?

Hey, that was my second attempt…My my computer crashed and had to reboot