Thursday, 16 October 2008
Free speech and school clothing
The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article this morning that looks at how schools are establishing a "zero-tolerance" policy towards "controversial clothing" that school administrators feel "incites violence". The article discusses how these policies are being supported by the courts and how "Some think educators may be inadvertently teaching children that suppressing speech is the ready solution to ideological conflict." Examples of court-backed bans include a ban on any depiction of the Confederate flag in a Tennessee school district and the Pennsylvania case that sided with a school district in its decision to bar a student from wearing a T-shirt imprinted with images of guns and phrases such as "Volunteer Homeland Security" and "Terrorist Hunting Permit...No Bag Limit." The teen and his parents said the T-shirt, a gift from an uncle serving in Iraq, was worn in support of the troops.