Wednesday, February 27, 2008

We still have the freedom speech...even if some people don't want to hear it.

In 2001, Novato High School senior, Andrew Smith wrote an editorial on "illegal immigrants" who weren't able to find work through legal routes and either ended up becoming drug dealers or doing manual labor in which they recieved pay in cash and under the table. The editorial was ran in the school's paper 'The Buzz'. Administration recieved complaints and the school said they were sorry and that the editorial didn't go with the school's policy and they tried to confiscate all remaining editions of that paper and ended up delaying the printing of another article written by Smith. Smith than challeneged the school where a local state court agreed with the school. Smith appealed to a 3-seat panel of the California Appeals Courts and won.

The court ruled that even though the article was written in distate and offensivly, Smith's voice was protected.

The story goes on to talk about more details and explains that following the suit, a discussion and debate of sorts was held, allowing both sides to talk on the issue of illegal immigration and in the end everyone ended up happy!

My thoughts on the story: I'm glad the Supreme court didn't hear the case and agreed with the final decision. I feel people get a little too upset when they don't hear what they won't and think that its wrong. I once had a friend verbally attack me last year because the Simpsonian had a pro-life ad insert in an edition of the paper. She told me she didn't "want to see that shit, if both sides weren't going to get a voice". I explained to her that it wasn't the view of "The Simp" but a paid ad and if she wanted to find a pro-choice company to pay for an insert in the Simp we could arrange that.

It just annoys me how so many people don't want to hear anything but their side of the story and even when they pretend to listen the other side. They're just listening and not hearing. They're not critically thinking about what people are actually saying.

Of course, the case of free speech always gets muddied in public school systems I think. There's additional tape sometimes and the overbearing parents who don't want their kids seeing real life before the age of 20.

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