From the edge of free speech

22 Nov

Chase Harper, a teenager who attended Poway High School, San Diego, was suspended after showing up at school wearing a t-shirt that included a bible quote and the words, “Homosexuality is Shameful”. He complained that his freedom of speech was violated by the school as well as his right of practicing his religion…

In my mother country, I have been taught, since my very first step at school, that one’ s freedom ended where someone else freedom started. That is, in this case, that you have the right to express yourself until it doesn’t hurt somebody around, as he or she has the right not to be offended. However, in the United States, freedom of speech is in the center of the culture. The country seems to have raised and been founded around the First Amendment, explaining why the (in my opinion excessive) freedom of speech is so controversial. would I have the right to wear a t-shirt that said  ‘I hate negroes”, or to tag my bag  ‘faties are ugly”? What about laws that should protect people from racism or any other form of discrimination? Why the first amendment would take over those principals?

I think the school did well by firing that redneck… Education is not only a matter of learning geography, history and mathematics. It also implies learning about respect and tolerance. No one can forbid someone to be homophobic or to have any other kind of sectarian thinking inside his or her private sphere. However, for the sake of the community’s adhesion and cohesiveness, the society, its laws and moral rules, have to regulate individuals behavior outside the private sphere to create a balance, otherwise things could turn to anarchy.

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One Response to “From the edge of free speech”

  1. professor Dunphy December 13, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

    Don’t know if he is a redneck but I see your point 🙂

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