Does wearing the American flag incite violence?
The US Supreme Court announced on Monday that it would not take up a major First Amendment case testing whether school officials in California violated the free speech rights of three high school students who were told they could not wear American flag T-shirts at school because it might upset students of Mexican heritage.Oh, great. Let's punish the ones standing up for this country and kowtow to those who threaten violence. I thought the purpose of school was to educate. What lesson did the young Americans - and the young Mexicans - learn from this shameless display of conciliation? That might makes right?
A school principal and vice principal at Live Oak High School near San Jose told the three T-shirt wearers that they must either take the shirts off, turn them inside out, or go home.
School officials determined that the threats of violence were credible. Rather than confront those making the threats, the school officials focused on the students displaying the American flag.
The May 5, 2010, incident sparked national headlines – and a lawsuit.I'm not even going to get into what a sad commentary that is on today's society, when American flags “could cause a substantial disruption.”
The students charged that school officials violated their First Amendment right to engage in a passive expression of political opinion at their school by wearing American flag shirts.
A federal judge threw the suit out, ruling that school officials “reasonably forecast” that the American flag shirts “could cause a substantial disruption” at the school.
A federal appeals court upheld that decision. A panel of the San Francisco-based Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals said that in an “era of rampant school violence” involving guns, other weapons, and Internet threats, school officials were entitled to tailor their actions in ways they deemed necessary to avert violence and enhance student safety.California. What else would you expect?
In declining to hear the student’s case, the high court action allows the Ninth Circuit’s decision to stand.So what happened between 1969 and today? How did we get from "constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression" to letting bullies set the rules?
At the center of the case was a 47-year-old free speech landmark decision in which the Supreme Court found a First Amendment right of students at a Des Moines public school to wear black armbands to class to protest the Vietnam War.
The local school board got wind of the planned protest beforehand and passed a resolution banning armbands. The students conducted their protest anyway.
Five were suspended.
They sued. A federal judge ruled for the school district. On appeal, the Supreme Court reversed, declaring that students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”
I'm not sure of the answer to that question, but I suspect it has something to do with the gradual
That 1969 decision is Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District.Of course, what else could you expect from a court that upheld obamacare on the flimsy pretext that the mandate is a tax.
Lawyers for the American flag-wearing students in California cited the Tinker decision as standing for the proposition that school officials must honor the free speech rights of students who engage in a “silent, passive expression of opinion, unaccompanied by any disorder or disturbance on the part of the [protesting students].”
The flag shirt wearers issued no threats, according to briefs filed in the case. They showed up at school wearing shirts displaying the national symbol of the United States.
The episode violates foundational First Amendment principles and teaches a dangerous lesson to public school students, Robert Muise, a lawyer with the Michigan-based American Freedom Law Center, said in his brief on behalf of the students.
“It is far better in our civilized society to teach students about the First Amendment and why we tolerate divergent views than to suppress speech,” Mr. Muise wrote.
“The better and proper response is for school officials to educate the audience rather than silence the speaker,” he said.
He added: “There is never a legitimate basis for banning the display of an American flag on an American public school campus.” (emphasis added)
It is time for the high court to revisit the issue and clarify the core holding in the Tinker case, Washington lawyer Robert Corn-Revere wrote in the Tinker’s brief.
He added that the California case also offered the justices a teaching moment. “This case is about the future of free speech as much as about the present and the past,” Mr. Corn-Revere wrote. “If students learn that threatening speakers is an effective way to suppress speech, this will produce more threats, and more suppression of a wide range of other speech,” he said.
“And beyond this, even peaceful students will learn that free speech must yield whenever its opponents are willing to threaten violence..."
What a bunch of loons...