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  #1  
Old 04-27-2012, 01:29 AM
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Irishdave Irishdave is offline
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Free speech in schools

Recently we had a thread closed before the topic of free speech could be addressed.
Schools have rules that in "real" life cannot be enforced because they are not law.

The girl with the rebel flag dress, a student making statements on Facebook, a boy running for prom queen, a student witnessing their faith to another student, .......
A Teacher showing favoritism of a political candidate, teachers being seen at political rallies, a teacher of other school employee who moonlights in a bar or is a former adult film actor .......

Many of these touch the issue of free speech.
Just how much free speech do students and teachers have?

Now I am not backing any of the offensive behaviors or statements. I am just questioning whether the schools have done their homework in trying to prevent the behaviors in a manor that doesn't infringe on free speech?
Do teachers and students hang up their free speech rights at the school's front door?
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  #2  
Old 04-27-2012, 10:55 AM
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lucybelle lucybelle is offline
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I read this article yesterday that I think addresses some of the things you talk about. Of course you "can" say whatever you want. We have the freedom of speech here. But if it hurts someone else, why do it?

Schools need to make a learning environment where all students are able to learn. The first thing students need to feel is SAFE. So it is the school's job to make them feel safe. Wearing a rebel flag can imply hate which can make some students feel fearful. Witnessing to another student can make them uncomfortable and thus unable to learn.

So yes, although we can stand up and yell whatever we want because of our "rights" maybe we shouldn't. And since school is for learning, students should be taught that too.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishdave View Post

Schools have rules that in "real" life cannot be enforced because they are not law.
I don't see school rules as being that different from rules in other places in society. Most workplaces have a dress code, a tardy policy, a sexual harassment policy, and an unwritten code of conduct for things like how to speak to the boss. These aren't laws (with the exception of the sexual harassment one), but workers are expected to abide by them. I don't see why we shouldn't expect the same of our students.

Even businesses have rules. "No shirt, no shoes, no service" comes to mind. Society has to have these rules to keep things polite and to avoid trampling other people's rights.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:43 PM
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knitter63 knitter63 is offline
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I understand the need for rules, but I do often feel that my free speech is stifled when I am at work, as well as in public places.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:12 PM
callmebob callmebob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KateL View Post
I don't see school rules as being that different from rules in other places in society. Most workplaces have a dress code, a tardy policy, a sexual harassment policy, and an unwritten code of conduct for things like how to speak to the boss. These aren't laws (with the exception of the sexual harassment one), but workers are expected to abide by them. I don't see why we shouldn't expect the same of our students.

Even businesses have rules. "No shirt, no shoes, no service" comes to mind. Society has to have these rules to keep things polite and to avoid trampling other people's rights.
Semi off topic, but your comment about schools having a sexual harassment policy just made me think about the one at our school. I don't know about other peoples schools, but I know at ours it is treated as mostly a joke and people intentionally break it all of the time.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:19 PM
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Go 4th Go 4th is offline
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Isn't part of school to learn about how to appropriately and respectfully express your opinion? Isn't part of school about learning how to hear the opinion of others, even if you don't agree--and learning how to handle it? Isn't part of our job to help students learn to form educated opinions and support them?

I see nothing wrong with a teacher going to a political rally or supporting a candidate. I do have a problem when they impose their opinions on my child. Feel free to post bumper stickers, wear t shirts, whatever.

I'm even ok with a teacher working in a bar.Bartending is not an easy job, takes knowledge, and is long hours with not a lot of pay. Is it the best job--no but I can find justification in it.

Thinking that my child's teacher might be a former porn star doesn't sit well with me. It makes me question their morals. I can see no solid justification for being in the porn industry. If the best job you can find is laying on your back, then I don't want you teaching my child. Rightly or wrongly, I feel like there are other jobs, albeit that pay less money, that would be more acceptable.

No, I don't feel free to share all my opinions at work. Not from free speech--too political. You never know what is going to happen in this economy and who you may end up working with.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:20 PM
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People being teachers or students?

When I taught middle school, some of the boys would find it funny to touch each other on the back and then yell "That's sexual harassment!" I've never seen real sexual harassment treated as a joke, though.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:22 PM
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Let me add, that part of forming an opinion and expressing it is also about learning when to accept that someone else doesn't have the same opinion and how to handle that.
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  #9  
Old 04-27-2012, 06:36 PM
callmebob callmebob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KateL View Post
People being teachers or students?

When I taught middle school, some of the boys would find it funny to touch each other on the back and then yell "That's sexual harassment!" I've never seen real sexual harassment treated as a joke, though.
I meant the teachers towards each others. Its not real sexual harassment where it is unwanted, but quite often comments and gestures that would be deemed inappropriate.
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  #10  
Old 04-27-2012, 07:11 PM
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Speechy Speechy is offline
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I just think it will get the point where no one will be able to say anything anymore, express opinions, or be an individual because their actions or POV might "offend someone". "Free speech" isn't really free speech.

Due to technological advances, everyone is under a microscope now. The internet is part of the problem. Facebook was a place where people could go and vent and says whatever they wanted. But now, that website is being used dig up information, which is used to judge and scrutinize someone's character. The story where an employer was asking for an applicant's passwords? It's a pity, but if people think that's bad, it's only going to get worse...

In our attempt to please everyone and to be "neutral" and to hold back on opinions, we are only hurting ourselves. I get the rules and regulations at the workplace, but when it interferes in daily life (outside of work) then that is where I start to get worried.

Adults are starting to get worse than children. "Wah wah wah, so and so hurt my feelings and offended me!" Not even over a personal attack, but someone giving them THEIR opinion. It's just ridiculous. but I see evidence of that every day, including on forums.
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