Tuesday, May 18, 2004

That annoying First Amendment technicality

This story is outrageous. Apparently, there is a New Mexico principal out there who is condemning students and teachers for producing articles critical of the government. He's destroyed poetry and tore down art from walls. Then he proudly read his own poetry during a ceremony in which a flag was raised and praised himself for his actions.
And it gets worse! He fires the teachers, won't rehire the art teachers and he won't release their records so the teachers can get new jobs. Is this man insane?
Here's another Web site about it:
A cloud of silence, censorship and fear hangs over the RRHS school district. A once-vibrant student literacy and critical-speaking/critical-thinking initiative has been crushed. In May, 2003, the RRHS Military Liaison and the Principal triumphantly raised a flag on school grounds and read out a poem telling critics of war policy to "shut your faces". Principal Gary Tripp told local press that this was "a high point" of his principalship.
You can donate to help the teacher fight Principal Gary Tripp.
I'm hoping this is a somewhat isolated incident. But there's been so much of this kind of crap going around, I begin to wonder.
Then there was this case a few months ago about an art school in San Francisco that freaked out when a student wrote a violent story.
I wonder, do Americans just not support free speech anymore? I mean, I know over the years many, many people never understood the concept. But it seems like this kind of censorship is more and more accepted. I hope not. I hope it's a couple of isolated incidents that will fall away in time.

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