Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Freedom of Speech? (Edited for clarity)

I don't do this often on my blog, but I have to get on my soapbox for a bit.

I was watching the news this morning. I heard about this story, where an 11 year old boy from Colorado has been suspended for wearing an anti-Obama shirt. I'm not going to get into my presidential preference, but I do have something to say about this. The shirt said "Obama is a terrorist's best friend."

**Edited to Add: I suppose I shouldn't say he was suspended for wearing the shirt. He wore the shirt, and was asked to change or turn it inside out. He refused, so technically, he was suspended for willful disobedience. But still. He can't say his first amendment rights were violated. He violated the rights of others by wearing the shirt.

The boy and his father say that their "First Amendment rights were violated." Do you want to know what I said? "You're ELEVEN!" Seriously, what is it with these kids, thinking they can do or say or wear anything in school, and when they get in trouble, they throw the First Amendment into the face of the school administration.

As far as I'm concerned, children do not have the right to disrupt a learning environment with something so blatantly controversial. This boy isn't even old enough to vote. I highly doubt he's watching the news channels to be lead to believe what he believes. I'm sure his father is behind this, 100%. A child does not have the right to say what he wants to be free from persecution. In fact, no one should be able to say "Obama is a terrorist's best friend;" isn't that some form of slander? Defamation of character? Isn't that illegal in itself?

I do believe that this country's getting a little carried away in censorship, but this boy went way to far. The school was right to be suspended. He should be made to wear a uniform for the rest of his childhood.

I'll be grumbling about this for the rest of the day. First Amendment rights violated. Whatever.



  1. I agree with you... I think that freedom of speech is a value we need to hold tightly to... not one to slap the crap out of...

    This is why schools should just have uniforms. No questions, no judgements.. the end.

  2. I think that there is a fine line with freedom of speech. Yes, we do have that Constitutional right, but to a certain extent. That kid seriously crossed a line with that shirt. If he wanted to make a statement, he could have just worn a McCain shirt or something like that. If people don't like Obama, then fine...but, if you aren't even old enough to vote or fully understand about politics then I don't think that freedom of speech really applies to you. See, Nathan doesn't like Obama and he has a "Gun Owner. Voter. NO Bama" sticker on his car, but he is old enough to vote and he understands Obama political standpoint, so he has the right to place that sticker on his car. Anyways, I am done now....

  3. at 11 years old i doubt that he did it on his own. that father should be ashamed!

  4. I believe that we all have a right to free speech however, when it interferes in my child's right to get an education, well, I draw the line. I mean, have the opinion. Great! But, why parade it in school? Would that child wear that shirt to church?

    Suspension may have been a little severe. I think he should have been sent home to change or made to turn the T-shirt inside out. Otherwise, kids are going to wear provocative things just to get out of school.

  5. Wow I can't believe an 11 yo thinks he is making a statement. Parents should have their points-of-view, but don't force them on your children!


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