Thursday, June 05, 2008

Students barred from graduation for bringing Confederate flag to school. 
Well, technically, it looks like the Confederate naval ensign. But you get the idea.

They say they're just "good ol' boys" who, like the song goes, were "never meaning no harm." But three Bloomington Kennedy seniors were not allowed to attend their commencement Wednesday night after bringing a Confederate flag to school on Tuesday.

"We're all big fans of the Dukes of Hazard," said Dan Fredin, who was suspended, along with Joe Snyder and Justin Thompson. "It's just us showing we have our own style and we aren't going to conform to whatever anyone else thinks."

School officials say at least one of the students waved and carried the flag in the parking lot.

The boys argue they never took the flags off their trucks, but they admit they brought them to the school.

Officials asked the students to remove the flags. Eventually, all three students were suspended for three days -- which, in this case, included graduation.

Officials say a Student Code of Conduct prohibits behavior that may provoke or offend other students.

The ACLU ain't touching it, the pussies, arguing that ""If the authorities can make the claim that the presence of the flag can reasonably disrupt the educational process than they can censor it."

It seems to me that Tinker vs. Des Moines pretty much settled this issue.

Ironically, it was the ACLU that filed the case on behalf of three public school students - arguing precisely the opposite - and winning.

From Justice Abe Fortas, delivering the majority opinion of the Supreme Court:

The problem posed by the present case does not relate to regulation of the length of skirts or the type of clothing, [393 U.S. 503, 508] to hair style, or deportment. Cf. Ferrell v. Dallas Independent School District, 392 F.2d 697 (1968); Pugsley v. Sellmeyer, 158 Ark. 247, 250 S. W. 538 (1923). It does not concern aggressive, disruptive action or even group demonstrations. Our problem involves direct, primary First Amendment rights akin to "pure speech."
The school officials banned and sought to punish petitioners for a silent, passive expression of opinion, unaccompanied by any disorder or disturbance on the part of petitioners. There is here no evidence whatever of petitioners' interference, actual or nascent, with the schools' work or of collision with the rights of other students to be secure and to be let alone. Accordingly, this case does not concern speech or action that intrudes upon the work of the schools or the rights of other students.

Only a few of the 18,000 students in the school system wore the black armbands. Only five students were suspended for wearing them. There is no indication that the work of the schools or any class was disrupted. Outside the classrooms, a few students made hostile remarks to the children wearing armbands, but there were no threats or acts of violence on school premises.

The District Court concluded that the action of the school authorities was reasonable because it was based upon their fear of a disturbance from the wearing of the armbands. But, in our system, undifferentiated fear or apprehension of disturbance is not enough to overcome the right to freedom of expression. Any departure from absolute regimentation may cause trouble. Any variation from the majority's opinion may inspire fear. Any word spoken, in class, in the lunchroom, or on the campus, that deviates from the views of another person may start an argument or cause a disturbance. But our Constitution says we must take this risk, Terminiello v. Chicago, 337 U.S. 1 (1949); and our history says that it is this sort of hazardous freedom - this kind of openness - that is [393 U.S. 503, 509] the basis of our national strength and of the independence and vigor of Americans who grow up and live in this relatively permissive, often disputatious, society.

Is there any evidence that the mere presence of confederate symbology on or near school grounds actually caused a disturbance? There is none presented in the article.

Even if there were a disturbance, do we want to cede the right to civilized, symbolic discourse for the sake of catering to the most hysterical and uncivilized wing of the population? After all, the school board acknowledges that such a howling, hysterical mob exists. Their existence and potential for violence and disruptivity is central to their argument. Without the a priori belief in the existence of this mob, neither the position of the school nor that of the ACLU makes a lick of sense.

Therefore, the Edutards and the ACLU have, de facto, taken the position that the imbiciles that make up this throng of pitchfork-wielders deserve to walk the line at graduation, but not these two young men.

I congratulate these two young men on finishing high school. They won't have to answer to those half-educated ninnies any more, and they're better off.

The ACLU. They'll defend hippies and nazis. But good ol' boys with plans to enter our nation's military need not apply for contstitutional protection.

Splash, out


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"The ACLU. They'll defend hippies and nazis. But good ol' boys with plans to enter our nation's military need not apply for contstitutional protection."

A bit harsh don't you think. They don't take every case, maybe they needed the resources somewhere else.

What "resources" did the spokesperson need to speak up to the reporter in defense of freedom of expression?

It's not that they didn't take the case. They even carried the school district's water for them, providing them rhetorical cover in the press. They could have cited Tinker, as I did, in the interview. They didn't even do that.
Well maybe and this is just a wild guess, "good ol' boys"
Are not exactly high on the endangered list?

If you had 100 cases of discrimination, and two were against "good ol' boys" and 98 where against the other minorities, where would you send the troops first?
madtom, I think Jason already answered that.

Besides,the point of defending the free speech even of nazis is not because they are "endangered". If anything they are not andangered enough. It´s about freedom and the ACLU doesn´t stand for that anymore.
Discrimination??? WTF are you talking about?

This isn't a discrimination case. It's not a 14th amendment case. It's a 1st amendment case.

WTF does skin color or minority status have to do with it?
Well Jason was the one that brought the term "good ol' boys" into it, implying that the ACLU won't defend the rights of white people or those wanting to join the armed services, which is why I said what I did. Who knows, it might be true, but no one has shown any evidence that it is.

Our freedoms are under attack from much higher places than local schools.

I myself find it strange that waving a flag could get someone in trouble. But again maybe it's not the first offence, or maybe they were waving that flag at someone, and not just in the air.

I don't know and I didn't see enough in the story to figure it all out, I must have missed it.
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