Wednesday, February 18, 2009

exercise in obsurdity

Lawmakers in Connecticut are writing a bill that will protect children who write hateful electronic publications, even if it's written on school grounds using school computers. This idiocy is a reaction to a case in 2007 when a 17 year old student made obscene rants about the administration of her school. Don't get me wrong here, I have not use kind words to describe the administration when I worked in Vallejo, but I'm more sophisticated where I can find more proper words than douche bag and a few words that start with S, B, and F. The school, naturally, punish the student. The parent, though she wished her daughter used more sophisticated language (goodie for her), though she she shouldn't be punished at all and now is suing the district. After all, it's free speech. Isn't it?

This gets into one of the abuses of free speech. A child writing in hip hop language her displeasure at the administration of her school isn't what I think the founding fathers had in mind. It was to be free to make political speech without fear of life and property in retaliation from the government. This child didn't have any life or property taken or threaten. In fact, freedom of speech was intended for being able to make political statements and not be harmed by the government. It was never intended for having no consequences at all. After all, I'm not allowed to go to a crowded building and scream fire and laugh while everyone scrambles out the exits, many getting hurt from the panic. The consequences from the public, and the state if it endangers life and property, wasn't to be exempt. I can call you an big a**hole. If I get punched in the mouth, does that give me the right to sue for violation of my free speech? Well, the government isn't going to prosecute me since life and property isn't being threaten. After all, we all have the right, for now anyways, to be a dumba$$ if we wish. I'm not free from the consequence of making such a statement.

Now some will argue that the administration is in part a branch of the government, thus have no right to punish anyone for making such statements and criticism. She is not threatening life and property. Well, on that front I disagree for two reasons. First, the child is a minor and not subject to free speech. After all, what does a 17 year old know about anything. That's why they don't vote, they can't run for office (til they're 21 or older depending on the office), not allowed to drink, etc. To make this free speech is akin to letting a baby shit on someone and calling it art. Oh wait, we do that, but we wouldn't call it free speech though some would find the message appropriate depending on who they're pooping on. The baby isn't make a statement, just doing what it does naturally. The second is though the administration is in parcel an arm of the state government that fund and writes the laws that govern the education of the children of the citizens (and non-citizens as in California), their main function is to maintain a safe and inclusive environment for the students. This is a property right (intellectual property). That includes discipline and safety issues. This means the students while they're on campus are subjected to the rules and policies that in place to maintain a learning environment. When I was teaching, there was so little respect for education, teachers, and administration that it became a joke. It was a gang bang social gathering more than an educational environment and if you want more of that in your children's school, then keep supporting stupid laws like this. Soon, all the kids will be calling everyone bitc**s, wh*res, f this and f that. Without discipline, there's is no learning and that what the schools are set up to do. If you undermine the authority of the school, you'll end up with anarchy and I know all to well how well that works. Then when they fail the test because they don't actually know anything, you will be wanting the heads of the teachers and administrators that we make responsible for the failure. It's why you can never get me to be a teacher again. Frankly, if we're going to give stupid teenagers and their stupid parents legal teeth against teachers and administrators, why bother going into the profession? Just let the students do whatever they want? After all, that's the number one reason why teenagers think teachers and administrators are douche bags in the first place.


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