No matter who you are, the older you get, the more you hate teenagers. They’re loud, inconsiderate and probably up to no good. Even as a teenager, I thought myself obnoxious. I was 16, damnit. I could do what I wanted; go where I pleased; say what I wanted to say, and I did. All my friends and I felt as though everyone was out to get us. Really, we were just bored. But for today’s teens, they are.
In a true act of teen oppression, the controlling, crotchety sons-of-b*tches that run our public education systems are trying to take away teenager’s First Amendment Rights–not just on school grounds or during school functions (like they already do), but everywhere, always, even online.
After that dude held up the “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” sign and lost the court case that followed, administrators in Pennsylvania and Connecticut have sought judicial approval of punishments for actions taken during their student’s personal time, away from school grounds or functions.
In one recent case, lawyers for Connecticut’s Region 10 school district, serving Burlington and Harwinton, actually convinced the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that Avery Doninger, then a Lewis S. Mills High School junior, could be punished for using a blog — created on a home computer on personal time — to encourage the public to lobby school administrators to overturn a decision that threatened a student-organized concert. Although the student regrettably used a coarse word to refer to the administrators, it was not the mild expletive that decided her fate; it was the fact that, in the court’s view, Doninger “disrupted” school by escalating the concert dispute to involve the public.
Fortunately, the same argument was turned down by a (sane) judge in Pennsylvania. But the fact that these educators are seeking to curb the First Amendment rights of American citizens makes me want to puke and fight all at the same time.
To not be able to criticize your government (your public school) goes against the foundations of democracy, and our democracy in particular. And as we all know too well these days, when the power-hungry are given a little, they go for a lot. So teens, don’t give in, and don’t let down. Unless you consider yourself less a citizen than your sweatpants-wearing P.E. teacher, I’d start fighting back.
Tell Your Stories: Want to tell the world about how your school is keeping you down? Email your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org–we’ll publish the best.
(Image source: freespeech.org.nz)