Featured Resource: Campus Life: Racial Injustice Edition (Youth Radio/Medium)

This story is a flashback to 2015, when Youth Radio collected dispatches from college students across the US amid protests of schools’ responses to racist incidents. Overt hate speech and threats triggered those protests. But one Harvard student, Soraya Shockley, said at the time that racial injustice on campus is often “hard to see…It’s systemic, it’s deep and it’s hidden.” This story provides a useful backdrop for thinking about the current debates surrounding free speech and hate speech on campuses, including high schools.


Do Now

Schools need to provide safe spaces and intellectual freedom for all students. How should they handle students’ free speech in today’s climate? #DoNowFreeSpeech

How to Do Now

Do Now by posting a video response in this week’s Flipgrid.


You can also post your response on Twitter or in the comment section below. Be sure to include #DoNowFreeSpeech in your tweet.

Go here for more tips for using Do Now, using Twitter for teaching, and using other digital tools.


Free Speech On Campus

A little more than a month into President Trump’s time in office, we’re seeing reports of upticks in both hate speech and protests on high school and college campuses. In the ten days following the election, almost 900 reports were made of harassment and intimidation, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, including incidents taking place at schools. The investigative journalism non-profit ProPublica even created a database, Documenting Hate, to collect reports of hate crimes and incidents of bias for use by journalists, researchers, and civil rights groups. Students are also organizing in huge numbers, mobilizing demonstrations and walk-outs across the country (and here in the Bay Area) to voice their views on issues including immigration, education, and civil rights.  

Among the most visible and violent campus-based unrest post-election took place last week at UC Berkeley. Protesters lit fires and damaged buildings, forcing the cancellation of a visit from right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos, who–among other things–outed a transgender student at another recent campus visit and has been barred from Twitter for violating anti-abuse policies. The events at UC Berkeley have renewed debates about the current state of both hate speech and free speech on campuses. For example, the LA Times editorial board said blocking Yiannopoulos’s appearance should “make supporters of free speech shiver,” while college students targeted by hate find that position ironic, saying they’re the ones who feel “more silenced than ever.”

So what does all this mean for speech on high school campuses? What supports can teachers, administrators, and students put in place to sustain open expression? What are the appropriate consequences for violation of school policies related to free speech, hate speech, bias, and harassment? In what ways are schools different from other public institutions, in terms of what’s required to maintain a safe and positive learning environment for all students? What are the special challenges faced by schools that pride themselves on being “open,” or those with students whose views span the political spectrum?


More Resources

DATABASE: Documenting Hate (ProPublica)
A new project collecting reports of hate and bias, aimed at producing a national database that will inform the work of journalists, researchers, and civil rights organizers. 

ARTICLE: Do Students Still Have Free Speech in School? (The Atlantic)
Reporting on the state of free speech in public schools in digital times.

WEBSITE: Student Press Law Center 
The Student Press Law Center is an advocate for student First Amendment rights, for freedom of online speech, and for open government on campus. The SPLC provides information, training and legal assistance at no charge to student journalists and the educators who work with them.”

 

  • Tara

    I think as a society that is supposed to value compassion, we have an obligation to accept refugees into our communities. If refugees were relocated into my neighborhood, I probably wouldn’t actually notice, as I live in the middle of the city, but if they joined any social community I’m involved in, I’d make sure to treat them no differently than I do anyone else. Refugees are people, not a concept or statistics listed on a website. No person deserves to live within the conditions they’re fleeing from, and anyone that considers themself a compassionate individual should balk at the idea of turning innocent people away from safety.

  • Roxanne Galdos

    If refugees were set to come into my community, back home or in my college town, I would welcome them with open arms. Our country was founded on people fleeing oppressors so I believe that that opportunity should still be available to refugees today. Along with moral and ethical obligations we have towards others in need it’s likely that refugees could actually benefit our economy. Many Americans are unsure of what the acceptance of migrants will mean for our nation but analysts speculate that developed countries who have a large amount of employment opportunities and the budget to support the costs of refugees could potentially benefit economically from accepting refugees. According to a study conducted by Chmura Economics & Analytics in 2012, local refugee service agencies in Cleveland spent about $4 million to establish refugees in the area and resultingly gained an economic impact of about $48 million. http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/data-mine/2015/09/15/would-syrian-refugees-be-an-economic-boon-or-burden
    #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowRefugees

    • Melanie Funk

      I love how you relate it back to the fact that we once fled from British rule so who’re we from stopping others from doing the exact same thing?

  • Caitlin Yamasaki

    If refugees were to my community, then I would welcome them. Some people might be seriously concerned by the fact that they might harm us or something like that. However, I believe that if those people were to be in the refugee’s position, then their opinions would change. The refugees are trying to escape danger from their country, thus they do not want to seek violence or war. I believe that it is America’s duty is to support those when they call for help. America is a country that provides opportunities to have a clean start. Not welcoming the refugee would be like taking away that opportunity away from them. There is also a possibility that the refugees will help the economy.

    • Ian @ SHCP

      I agree with you. My family came to this country on a fishing boat less than two decades ago. This is a country of immigrants where it should not matter what your race is. These people who don’t want the refugees should really think about what if they were in the place of the refugees.

  • Ian @ SHCP

    After the Vietnam war, my grandparents faced jail or illegal emigration from Vietnam. Over the span of a month, they sailed the Pacific Ocean on a fishing boat to get to this country. Most Americans are decedents of immigrants whether First Families of Virginia or very recent like my family. This is a country where it dosn’t matter what your religion, ehnicity, or skin color is. Stop the nativism. Let the refugees in. #DoNowRefugee

    • Anais @ SHCP

      I agree, my grandparents were immigrants too who sacrificed a lot for a “better life” here in America.

  • Melanie Funk

    I believe refugees should be welcomed at all times. They’re human beings running away from their homes for a better life, and that’s what we should give them. Most refugees are women, children and the elderly. Trumps initial ban was utterly ridiculous, considering most refugees are harmless and actually seeking refuge. Here;s a link to show the statistics on refugees actually being linked to terrorism (https://www.bustle.com/articles/124875-how-many-refugees-have-been-linked-to-terrorism-the-number-will-astonish-you). As one of the most powerful countries we need to put our power to good use and open our doors for anybody in need.

  • Anais Aldaz

    If refugees were sent to my community, I would have no problem at all. I am a second generation American so my grandparents weren’t born in America. For them, being born in Mexico and coming to the US for a “better life,” they were ridiculed and bullied for their accents, the way they dressed and just the fact that they worked stereotypical “Mexican jobs in America.” Refugees, like them, just want a better chance and a life with an opportunity. America gives that opportunity to people and our diversity should have no boundaries. We are all immigrants looking for a better life, unless your’e Native American, there shouldn’t be a problem with people just trying to live.

  • Alvaro Cordoba

    I definitely sympathize with refugees because, similar to them, I was also born outside of the US, and in addition just like many of them, my mom and I came to the US to have a better life; and also to be with her mom’s side of the family. There’s no doubt in my mind I would support all refugees that would move into my community. Not only are we helping them scape, basically, from a life or death situation; but we can learn and experience this new culture that they’d be bringing with them to share with us. We can learn a new language just as they’re trying to learn English. There are positives that come with allowing refugees to move into our country, and it makes America as a whole look more welcoming, because to be honest our foreign affairs with some countries isn’t such a welcoming relationship. To top it off, this recent travel ban has made America look worse than before. I just hope our government can fix this soon.

  • Roland Baxter

    I would not mind having refugees in my community because being from a war-torn country shouldn’t make people think refugees are dangerous. I also think that a lot of parts of the US are not fit for more people to live in either because it they are too densely populated or because they are not fit for the people living there already. An example of one of these places would be Flint, Michigan. There is an ongoing water crisis in Flint that started in 2014, when the cities water source changed to the Flint River. The tap water started to show high levels of lead and other toxins. The US needs to focus on domestic issues if it is going to be taking in large numbers of refugees.

    • Tt

      While I agree with your first statements, I don’t think that we have to focus and fix domestic issues before helping those seeking refuge here in the United States. The civil war in Syria has killed over 100,000 Syrians, mostly civilians and has dispersed nearly 2 million Syrians and their issues and security takes a higher priority, (http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/03/world/meast/syria-refugees-unhcr/index.html). The oppression and war torn communities make the issues here in America pale in comparison. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowRefugees

  • Tt

    I’m torn thinking about this topic. While I hope that I would be understanding and welcoming towards refugees moving into my community for safety, I can’t guarantee I would be able to accept them with open arms from the start. This country was founded on immigrants and refugees fleeing from political and religious oppression or war-torn countries and its important to keep that in mind, but I am fourth-generation American and have never experienced first hand the oppression or war that would force a family or an individual to flee a country for another so I really struggle with understanding their needs. In a CNN article talking about the crisis in Syria (http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/03/world/meast/syria-refugees-unhcr/index.html), they report that over half of the 2 million Syrian refugees are children, 17 years old or younger. Its incredibly sad and disheartening to realize that these children are being labeled as possible terrorists by these countries who are supposed to be taking them in and protecting them. I really think we should be doing our best to help these refugees and protect those who are being oppressed and are seeking safe-havens. #DoNowRefugees #MyCMSTArgs

  • Ryan Sotelo

    I agree that schools should be safe places for people to voice their opinions, with the exception of Milo and other people who are actually targeting people maliciously “Milo Yiannopoulos, who–among other things–outed a transgender student at another recent campus visit and has been barred from Twitter for violating anti-abuse policies.”. People that have explicitly on multiple occasions harassed people, and are going from campus to campus harassing people, violating the first amendment, they shouldn’t have a right to speak somewhere where they are going to be targeting and encouraging discrimination toward students on a campus. Maintaining free speech is vital to upholding our nations values, but I do not see the protesters voicing their opposition against someone who has explicitly targeted people and violated the first amendment as “cringe worthy” as the LA times would say. Juan Prieto stated “last week, my undocumented peers and I felt vulnerable when alt-right figure Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak at Berkeley. He planned on launching a campaign against undocumented students that night… I spent much of that evening locked in my room, afraid to go out” and this is very important and powerful because by encouraging people like Milo is not upholding free speech, but rather it is upholding discrimination and hate and is condemning those who are passionate about not only their rights, but being treated fairly in our society. #Donowfreespeech #myCMSTArgs
    Here is Juans article https://ww2.kqed.org/perspectives/2017/02/08/undocumented-and-unafraid/?a=commentsATag

    • devinn bradford

      I am very sure that you felt vulnerable and you honestly had every right to. Berkeley new that inviting someone like this could possibly cause an issue and they surely got it.

  • devinn bradford

    Students should definitely have a safe place in voicing their opinion about something on campus. In my opinion, it may not be what a person says, but how they say it. Lets face it, we can not control the ideology or thinking of people but putting boundaries on hate speech is definitely needed for other people to feel comfortable. Honestly, due to the fact that donald trump is president, a lot more cases of violence or racial violence has occurred, because I feel as though certain groups of people feel like they can now, because we are under trump. Hate speeches and things of this nature are always directed toward “minority” groups and we need a voice that has been kept dim for a while. I believe that speech codes are needed. #donowfreespeech #mycmstargs

    • Hannah Fulks

      While I agree that students should have safe spaces to voice their opinions on campus, I do not believe that speech codes are the answer to the problem. I believe that speech codes hinder progress rather than encourage it. Speech codes would create more of a problem. https://www.thefire.org/spotlight-on-speech-codes-2017/ #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowFreeSpeech

  • Zoe Atava

    I believe that students in High School are at the point in their lives where they’re very malleable. Generally speaking, they’re just now discovering who they are as people in regards to sexual orientation, political preferences, and much more. With that being said, hate speech is easily able to influence their speech as they begin to use their own voice both online and, possibly, in the classroom. I very much so believe that speech codes should be enforced on all High School campuses and I believe it is possible to achieve that due to the smaller amount of people than compared to a public university. Age too plays a strong roll in the maturity of people to handle this kinds of speech. I think that public college campuses differ from a high school environment in that it is both unrealistic and unhelpful to have speech codes in a public university. Students attend college to prepare themselves for jobs and the real world environment. It would be more helpful to let free speech remain and encourage seminars and courses to know how to react to something that might offend them. After all, it is unrealistic to “tell on” a person at the gas station who is slurring offensive speech.
    https://www.aclu.org/other/hate-speech-campus
    #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowFreeSpeech

    • Melanie Funk

      I agree with your post. In high school, they should still be protecting you and watching out for your best interests. In college, you need to learn to become an adult and converse with people who don’t share your exact same opinion. I believe it’s a very important life lesson to learn.

  • Melanie Funk

    The article brought up high school and college, but I’m going to focus on college campuses. College is to prepare you for the real world. There aren’t speech codes or anything like that as soon as you leave campus. No, I don’t think people should go around being hateful towards others, but implementing speech codes isn’t the way to go. There’s no real way to control what other’s say and it would just be one person’s word against another’s. This article (http://time.com/4530197/college-free-speech-zone/) goes into greater detail. Overall, college students should be able to respectfully voice their opinions and openly debate with those who don’t see eye to eye with them. Respecting others is the key to this.

    • Joanna Aguilar

      I totally agree with you that if someone wants to state their opinion, that respect is the key to doing it without harm.
      #DoNowFreeSpeech #MyCMSTArgs

  • Hannah Fulks

    I believe schools that are publicly funded should not enforce speech codes. While certain speech may offend people, I believe that it is very important to hear lots of viewpoints in school. Even though certain views may be offensive to some, it is important to learn how to form and deliver an effective argument. I think that sometimes people forget that dangerous words, fighting words, and obscene words are not protected by the first amendment, causing a lot of speech to be illegal in the first place. The law doesn’t allow for these words to be spoken, so it is as if there is already a “built in speech code” at universities. Another reason that speech codes should not be enforced at schools is that just because things aren’t being said, that doesn’t mean that the attitudes of the students are changing. In the words of a critic published on the American Civil Liberties Union, “Verbal purity is not social change”. I also believe that people go to college to expand their field of knowledge, and that speech codes would shelter students, and ultimately hinder their progress as a student. https://www.aclu.org/other/hate-speech-campus
    #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowFreeSpeech

    • Zoe Atava

      I completely agree with everything said here. I believe that in order to learn and grow as people, it is important to have stimulating conversation. To completely eradicate words in one certain environment is not beneficial for people to shape their own ideas, thoughts, and responses. Even if one feels hurt by comments/words/slurs that are being said, it is important that one knows how to internally deal with the uncomforted of that. Furthermore, I believe that there should be a differentiation in speech code implication between high school and university campuses, no matter public or private. I believe this seeing as there is both a physical, mental, and emotional difference between both kinds of students. However, I agree that our First Amendment does restrict many kinds of speech that could be harmful. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowFreeSpeech

      • Michael Thompson

        I agree with you. I think that the First Amendment and the precedent set by the Supreme Court should serve as the only speech codes on campus. The skill of having a discourse that doesn’t devolve into an ad hominem attack is disappearing in today’s political environment. I think it is the obligation of higher education to teach the skill of hearing contrary viewpoints civilly. Emphasis on civilly. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowFreeSpeech

  • Joanna Aguilar

    I am all for people having the right to say what they want and should be heard. I feel like with today’s climate regarding freedom of speech there can be ways to be heard differently. A possible suggestion would just to have a designated location where one can speak what they want without anyone protesting and just be heard and whoever wants to be there to support/oppose is free to do so knowing that they’re not allowed to make any judgments. #DoNowFreeSpeech #MyCMSTArgs

  • Michael Thompson

    I think freedom of speech is fundamental to growing as a student and a person. If we place boundaries on ideas that run counter to our own–even the most extreme–we are inhibiting what makes a college campus an intellectually open place. Unfortunately, that freedom can be used to voice some of the more negative aspects of our society. With exposure to hate, students are afforded the opportunity to counter with their own arguments; they can become better educated citizens by knowing what they believe and how to defend it. Another hazard of implementing speech codes is that people, each with a discrete belief system of their own, get to deem what is considered acceptable or unacceptable. I like how the ACLU describes their position on the First Amendment, “Defending First Amendment rights for the enemies of civil liberties and civil rights means defending it for you and me.” I think it is imperative that we follow what the Constitution says, and how the Supreme Court has interpreted the First Amendment. Fighting words and destruction of property aren’t covered. Enacting any other restrictions outside those that provide for the safety of lives and preservation of property is an infringement upon freedom of speech. We must actively be defending the speech of the others, even when it is incongruous with our own. Instilling that belief into our students early on will make better citizens down the road. The enduring beauty of our democracy is that we can disagree but still remain united. That ideal is being strained right now because the country has reached such a polarized state that people are refusing to consider or even hear what the opposition has to say. Enacting speech codes will only make this worse.
    Source: https://www.aclu.org/other/hate-speech-campus #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowFreeSpeech

  • Lauren Bixby

    In today’s day and age I don’t think we have very much free speech when it comes to school. “Schools regularly punish students for online comments, even if those comments are made away from school property and after school hours” (The Atlantic, 2014, p 2). I think this is ridiculous. I think schools are taking the administrative role way too far in the act of actually shielding what students can and cannot do online. I don’t think there is any instance where the school can decide what a student should or should not post online because that’s simply not their domain. Unless it’s the school’s website, I don’t understand how a school can tell someone to delete a tweet or facebook post. “What supports can teachers, administrators, and students put in place to sustain open expression” (Youth Radio, 2017, p 3)? That is a question posed by the writers for Youth Radio, and I think the answer is very simple. They have the right to control/support anything directly school related. Whether that means in the building or on a school website, I don’t think they can control anything other than that. Oppression is an overlying problem that I think the school system thinks it can solve. While we need to work together to fix it, allowing the schools to fix it is not the answer.

    • Seryna Valencia

      I agree with you. Schools do as much as they can to oppress any action that may seem controversial to ‘protect the students’ and provide a ‘safe learning environment’. What a student does outside the schools boundaries and hours should not be up to the school at all. It should be up to the guardians and the authorities of the law. As long as there is not hate speech or violence, a student should be able to express his or her thoughts in an academic setting. I applaud those institutions who allow and help students practice respectful and correct speech. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowFreeSpeech

  • My moms a G.I. Joe

    I believe that the world is changing at a faster rate than ever provisioned. People are begging to care less and, less about others. Suddenly everyone is racist since trumps been in office. The article Free speech on campus talks about this and, how there has been many reports of harassment and, intimidation towards other students. Mainly the students who are black. I don’t believe this they never talk about reports or what is and, isn’t happening when it comes to racism. However since president trump is known as a bigot suddenly racism is a headline. I think people should be able to say what they want to say when they say it and, if it hurts someones feelings its time to either fight back or get over it. People these days are such wussies about what someone says to them all you hear anymore is “Words Hurt”. Sure they do if you let them people need to quite begin so sensitive and, emotional over dumb things all anybody wants to do anymore is kill themselves. Its time to stand up and, find the deep secret of this country and, fight it head on. Nobody is going to change anything sitting in there room cutting themselves but, if they stand up fight back tell someone who can do something about the issue instead of moping about it this world would be much different. Not to mention the fact that the school systems anymore are basically our parnets in some aspects have more authority over the people whom birthed us. Its ridiculous until you turn 18 your basically in a small cell for 7 hours a day and three-quarters of the year. Its time we really make a big change no more small changes no more little things its time to “go big or go home.”

  • Oliver McCarthy

    Free speech in college settings has become a huge issue within the past five years. Students going into college are considered an adult and have more opinions on issues that develop over their time at college. Students at college do have the full right to use their freedom of speech that is granted in the Bill of Rights, however, students go to college to learn and gain life experience to pursue a career, they do not go their to protest. “In the ten days following the election, almost 900 reports were made of harassment and intimidation” (Youth Radio, 2017) We have the right to speak freely on issue, but when we do in a professional setting like college or work we need to have composure and not get worked up over a certain topic, because again college is for learning and work is for working these settings are highly inappropriate to engage in a heated verbal argument over personal opinions and beliefs. The Documenting Hate Program is a new way to get out the issues or opinions we all have the right to express, but do it in a professional way that is on your own time and not done in an inappropriate manner or setting. This program has “marshaled a national coalition of news organizations, civil-rights groups and technology companies intent on creating a database of reported hate crimes and bias incidents” (Documenting Hate, 2017). What I do not agree with is when the colleges get involved in personal statements on issues that students express via the internet. “There are numerous examples of schools punishing students for seemingly innocuous online activity” (Wheeler, 2014). The college administration should not get involved with the students freedom of speech unless it is disrupting the educational environment, or if threats are made towards an opposing party. Students should have the right to speak, and protest freely, as long as it doesn’t disrupt education.

  • Seth Satchwell

    There are always boundaries, also the people that will always cross them. Recently in the news you constantly see a protest on either racism or sexism. It has sadly become the new social norm of our generation to protest and violently hate on the lefts and rights. Why? only because the don’t have the same views as us and instead of having a civil conversation or debate over the topic we lash out on our opposing party. It is a very immature tactic. Even back in the 50’s we didn’t protest like we do today. It was way more organized and civil. no riots. Also articles such as the pro publica article is just fuel to the fire. We do not need safe spaces and it suggests that we cannot trust our government and anyone that is connected to them is evil. Fake news such as that are the things that these gullible students and “Social Justice Warriors” take out of context and lash out on anyone they can in an inappropriate way for who knows why. Maybe they just have nothing better to do. Students have free speech in school but they approach it the wrong way. Quoting the article “Do Students Have Free Speech In School?” “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” SO the controversy about students having no rights is a story and that is it. If a student is being deprived of their rights then take legal action for the civil action that this generation is making only escalates the problems we already have. GROW UP AMERICA.

    • Reid Goble

      Seth,
      I believe that students should have the opportunity to speak out and give
      their opinion because as Americans we are guaranteed that right, but I
      agree that the violent protests based on the hatred for the president of the
      United States is very immature. In my opinion it is the right of any American
      to disagree and dislike the president, but to go about it in a violent way, not
      only disrespects the office of the president, but also the United States. I am
      not arguing that these “upticks in both hate speech and protests on high school and college campuses” are not allowed or that a student’s first amendment should be restricted, but they should not be done in a violent way (KQED Free Speech On Campus).

      As for the issue of whether students should have free speech in the online
      setting, I believe that a student should be able to “speak freely” online as
      much as anywhere else and be protected by their first amendment. As Frank
      LoMonte says “You can’t equate online speech created on personal time
      with in-class speech, and it’s dangerous to try” (The Atlantic). If a student
      posts something online, especially when off campus, they should not have to worry about some sort of negative consequence. “Students absolutely must have some safe space where they can complain when schools are dirty, dangerous, or overcrowded, without fear that the long arm of school discipline will reach out and grab them” (The Atlantic).

      • Seth Satchwell

        Reid,
        I don’t know if you read my post but I completely agree with all the points you stated in your comment. Was yours supposed to be a counter-argument?
        Text me ????

    • camron

      Seth,
      I can relate and agree with this response. There will always be groups of individuals that cross the line of acceptance when it comes to using free speech on both right and left wing topics. The Protests of recent events are great examples of this, it’s more self-destructive as a country to bash one side than it is to focus on the real problems our country is faced with every day. A great example of this is the recent presidential transition, leaving students minds full of rational ideas and decisions on how to counter-act or protest this change in administrations. Supported by a quote from Free Speech On Campus “we’re seeing reports of upticks in both hate speech and protests on high school and college campuses.” These decisions will ultimately have the opposite effect on the majority and end up being destructive to your peers and surroundings. Although college is a place where many people start to develop strong opinions and create ideological political or social views, I do not believe that these tactics are the right way to make any motive for change, this should be done (as stated above) in a civil and mature way for the greater good of our country.

  • Josh Markham (Reign Of Inverte

    Students should always have the opportunity to speak out and give their opinion. It is how the young people in our country learn to become politically and socially involved. Take the court case Tinker v. Des Moines for example. Mary Beth Tinker wore a wrist band in protest of the Vietnam War, and was suspended from school. “In their verdict, the court vindicated Tinker by saying students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate” (Do Students Still have Free Speech in School?, The Atlantic, 2014). During this technological era, however, schools seem to be very alert to what students say and post online, even when it has nothing to do with the school/campus. “Schools regularly punish students for online comments, even if those comments are made away from school property and after school hours” (Do Students Still Have Free Speech in School?, The Atlantic, 2014). I think the solution to this is simple. Schools should disregard the posts by students completely UNLESS they become a problem on school grounds (non-peaceful). Students have a lot on their minds and they don’t need the school administration taking down their opinions. If the post is hurting someone, it’s a completely different situation, but still should not be the problem of schools. If two diverging opinions result in bullying or violence, the school should be able to then step in and issue warnings/suspensions to whoever is causing the incident. There should be a pretty clear difference between a respectful post on Facebook urging people not to support something and someone discriminating against classmates for their beliefs.

  • Jake Larson

    Jake Larson
    Mr. Young 2nd hour
    2-20-2017

    This issue has been around for a long time; should schools let their students say whatever they want, or should they censor their free speech to make their campus safer? We can all agree that protests turning into violence should not be tolerated at college campuses. These ‘riots’ that take place on campuses should be treated with the strictest of punishment. “Among the most visible and violent campus-based unrest post-election took place last week at U.C. Berkeley. Protesters lit fires and damaged buildings…” (Youth Radio 2017). This quote gives firsthand experience on how destructive these riots can be. I believe that in order to keep America as a free, democratic country we should be able to voice our opinion on matter, even if their opinion doesn’t agree with the masses. People should be able to see things from their perspective and not be criticized for it. This free speech that belongs to these citizens should be given to everyone, right? That is the issue we are covering, even if someone’s views are hateful against another person’s views should we take their freedom of speech away? “In the ten days following the election, almost 900 reports were made of harassment and intimidation, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, including incidents taking place at schools,” (Youth Radio 2017). In this quote you can see how much hate speech can affect schools around the world. This is why I believe that everyone should be able to believe, do, love, say whatever they want, but the second it becomes hateful towards other than that is where school officials’/authority figures should come into play.

    • Emme Williams

      Jake, I do agree with what you stated, “…I believe that everyone should be able to believe, do, love, say whatever they want, but the second it becomes hateful towards other than that is where school officials’/authority figures should come into play.” We have created a country so great where every person has rights guaranteed to them, including the freedom of speech. As we are seeing in our country today the freedom of speech is sparking a whole new angle on issues that are often leading to an uproar of violence.
      Recently, following Trump’s official presidency, there has been an extreme amount of protests. Youth Radio of KQED writes, “A little more than a month into President Trump’s time in office, we’re seeing reports of upticks in both hate speech and protests on high school and college campuses.” To me our freedom of speech includes being able to protest. Citizens of the United States of America should be able to openly agree or disagree with issues within our nation, and I believe that without argument we would be so close minded that we would never truly be able to solve an issue or become more creative problem solvers. “If we don’t encourage young people to use their First Amendment rights, our society is deprived of their creativity, energy, and new ideas. This is a huge loss, and also a human rights abuse, (Do Students Still Have Free Speech in School?, 2014). But I believe that protest should be peaceful. I believe when we speak out we need to remember that people have different religious beliefs, different economic status, and different past experiences that take them to agree or disagree on certain issues and just because one person views an issue different does not make them any less of a person. If one’s free speech is going to be taken to a violent state, then authority needs to step in. For example, I believe the UC Berkley protests were taken too far. “Protesters lit fires and damaged buildings, forcing the cancellation of a visit from right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos, who–among other things–outed a transgender student at another recent campus visit and has been barred from Twitter for violating anti-abuse policies, (Youth Radio, 2017)”. Students should feel safe within their campus, and should not have to fear that if they disagree with others that they may be in harm’s way. For these reason I agree with Jake on the fact that we should voice our opinions but keep them hate free so authority does not have to step in.

    • Emily Michelsen

      Jake, I agree with what you are saying, especially the part where you said “The second it becomes hateful towards others than that is where school officials’/authority figures should come into play”. Students in high school and college absolutely should be able to have a voice, and a prominent one at that, but when it comes down to spouting hate at someone just for being who they are, that is when something should be done. However, when such things happen off-campus, I believe the matter should be left to the student, at least to some degree. “Such broad language creates two big First Amendment problems. First, schools can punish any speech as long as they can cite “intimidation.” Second, schools can punish students for comments made after school hours, in the privacy of their own home.”–(Do Students Still Have Free Speech in School?) It is very hard to say exactly where the line between civil criticism and hate is. during high school, i can understand there being some action taken by authority. not every student will know how to handle hate, or how to peacefully disagree with those bashing them. or their views. in college, however, most of the students should be able to handle all but the most severe situations on their own. We have ways to block people if they are being hateful towards us an our views. If online hate escalates to something more, like threats or stalking, then school authorities should be permitted to do something about it.
      On a different note, I personally would not like it if authorities were able to rifle through our personal belongings and technology without my permission. students should be able to speak up about what bothers them about their school without having the school punish them for looking bad. “Students absolutely must have some safe space where they can complain when schools are dirty, dangerous, or overcrowded, without fear that the long arm of school discipline will reach out and grab them.”–(Do
      Students Still Have Free Speech in School?)

  • Craig

    Students are limited in what they can and cannot say in a school setting. We are given words that we can and cannot use and often are punished if we do not abide by these rules. due to this a lot of teens use social media to share their problems. In 2012, after a Minnesota student wrote a Facebook post saying a hall monitor was “mean” to her, she was forced to turn over her Facebook password to school administrators—in the presence of a sheriff’s deputy. (Do Students Still Have Free Speech in School?). The problem with this is that the students are still being punished over posts on their social media accounts. There are many more examples of this such as, In Kansas, a high school class president was suspended for a Twitter post making fun of his school’s football team. In Oregon, 20 students were suspended over a tweet claiming a female teacher flirted with her students. And just a few days ago, also in Kansas, a student was suspended for a tweet that made the principal “uncomfortable” (in the wording of the school’s disciplinary incident notification). A little more than a month into President Trump’s time in office, we’re seeing reports of upticks in both hate speech and protests on high school and college campuses. In the ten days following the election, almost 900 reports were made of harassment and intimidation, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, including incidents taking place at schools. (How “Free” Can Student Speech Be On School Campuses?).

  • Brooke Ponke

    Our freedom of speech has been an issue that is debated often and is extremely important now following the recent election. It is essential for people to speak out for their beliefs, morals, and values. Showing support or concern for issues that are currently facing us is one of the ways that we can speak up for what we believe. However, how far does our right to stand up for these beliefs go on school campuses though? Stated by KQED, “in the ten days following the election, almost 900 reports were made of harassment and intimidation, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, including incidents taking place at schools.” I think that student speech in schools should be free as long as it ensures the safety of others. It was posted that some “protestors lit fires and damaged buildings which forced the cancellation of a visit from a right-wing writer who outed a transgender student at another recent campus visit and has been barred from Twitter for violating anti-abuse policies” (How “Free” Can Student Speech Be On School Campuses?). Going as far as damaging property and risking the safety of others should not be allowed on any school campuses.
    Student’s freedom of speech, however, is limited in many campuses across the nation. As stated by David R. Wheeler on an article posted on The Atlantic’s website, “there are numerous examples of schools punishing students for seemingly innocuous online activity”. The expression of non-harmful and non-offensive speech online should not cause students to get punished. Our generation’s ability to access technology and social media sites is continuously growing, making it even harder for schools to limit and protect what is said online, and although schools possess the right to control what is directly related to school, they do not/ should not have the right to control anything else stated online. It is important for students to use their freedom of speech without being limited due to school’s control so that they can make a positive contribution to our society.

  • Jordan Hull

    In our generation I don’t believe that students are able to get the opportunity of free speech at school. And I think that most student feel the same way and that is why there are all of the riots and disruptions happening. I don’t think it is helping when people are so caught up on the election and like to start drama and arguments over anything they can because that just makes the administration of the schools want to withhold their right of speech even more. It is hard to give students the right to free speech at school when most of them want to take it out of hand and light fires and go crazy on each other. “In the ten days following the election, almost 900 reports were made of harassment and intimidation” (How “Free” Can Student Speech be on School Campuses, 2017) This goes to show how influenced people can be and how people can take it too far. I find it a little boggling that people will riot and protest and do whatever they can to start a big deal over something, but when it comes to the administration telling them they can’t do those kinds of things anymore, they riot and protest and do whatever they can to make a big deal out of that situation too. It is a lose lose situation for the school when the students act immature and arrogant. Most of these students are just followers anyways. They just want to do what everyone else is doing. And this just goes to show what our generation has come to. Now the question here was, “How “Free” Can Student Speech Be On School Campuses” and the answer that I think best fits is, however free the students choose for it to be. If the students are using their freedom of speech at school for the right things and not taking it out of control then they will probably have a better chance to have their voices heard then to have to fight with the school board about what they are allowed and not allowed to do and say.

    • maddie swan

      I agree with you Jordan that students do not have the amount of free speech at school that most students believe we should be given. The downside to that as you said is students taking words that are said out of proportion.

  • Grace

    As a nation, the United States faces a turning point that will define its citizens for the next few hundred years. Students of the future will read about us and discuss how they would act if they were alive then. While learning about slavery in early America, the Women’s rights movement in the beginning of the 20th century, and the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s, I always wondered what my family would have believed in or what they would’ve acted on. This is the same question we have to ask ourselves every day. How would you act then? The answer is how you act now. And silence is an action with more of an impact than is thought.
    Our generation needs to lead a movement against silence and this movement does not stop “moving” when we walk into school. As said in Tinker vs Des Moines, students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate,” (Wheeler, 2014). The “Leader of the Free World” is frustrated and tired with his job. He believes our freedoms are exposing his weak side. He is working hard to make everyone quiet. Already he has silenced the science community by only letting research and data be released after his administration deems it “okay”. He is trying to spread “alternative facts” which he grabs from his alternate universe. And the media, which is the public’s ally, is enemy number one. With DeVos holing the reigns to our academic future, I’m sure teacher’s will be targeted next. I’ve seen this take place already as people attack any educator with an opinion that differs from their own, as if teachers cannot speak or live separate lives than the ones they lead in their classrooms.
    The LA Times is not far-fetched when saying, “supporters of free speech should shiver” (2017). How “free” can student speech be on school campuses? As free as it is anywhere else, no matter the fret received from those satisfied being silent. Right now, we cannot afford to be silent. I refuse to be villainized by future generations and if that means I have to pick up the slack of those who place duct tape over mouths then so be it. I want to read a US History textbook when I’m eighty-five that lauds my generation for speaking up when the government told us zip our lips shut and throw out the key.

    • Jalynn

      Grace, I do not agree with your approach for answering this question. I understand that you hold resentment towards the government for a variety of reasons but the question at hand is not about Trump, it is about how free should student speech be on school campuses. In my opinion, students should be able to express whatever their opinion and belief is on any certain matter. We should be able to say whether I am a Democrat or a Republican. We should be able to share what we want. But free speech should not be limited at the things that people want to hear. In Kansas a student was suspended for tweeting that her teacher flirts with students. (Wheeler, 2014) Students should be able to say what they want in all aspects. I also think that a student that uses racist speech should not be punished. I do not think that that is right for somebody to say, but by taking away rights and just punishing them for their words will not create change. Discipline will not change the culture. The culture of speech has to be changed by the people. Not the authority. If authority tells students that they shouldn’t do things, it makes them want to do it more. According to David Wheeler and the Atlantic in 2014, “In the landmark Tinker cases, the Supreme Court specifically warned schools that they could not forbid student expression simply because they wanted to avoid controversy.” Not only that schools shouldn’t just say that you can’t say something because something is offensive, but they legally cannot. All in all, nobody really wants to hear people use racist and offensive speech, but the fact of the matter is that legally they can speak that way. And so the only way to change that speech, is by attacking the culture of our society. Doing this would preserve the rights of our citizens while at the same time creating change for generations on end.

  • Breanna McNamara

    As far as The Freedom Of Speech is concerned, I believe that we shouldn’t abuse it or take it for granted. I do love that students are speaking up for themselves and trying to make a difference but I just don’t want to see it go too far. Students should be sitting in the classrooms and finishing school, they shouldn’t be out protesting when they have other priorities. Black lives do matter, they matter so much that we want them to have an education, we want them to excel from the past and do great things. Students are on their phones in school trying to create or add to the movement instead of acquiring the information that is being taught to them. “If we don’t encourage young people to use their First Amendment rights, our society is deprived of their creativity, energy, and new ideas. This is a huge loss, and also a human rights abuse”, (David R. Wheeler, 2014). This is very important to realize, the fact that it is okay to speak up for what you believe in, I don’t want kids to end up realizing that they should have picked up their pencils instead of a picket sign. Some think that their children can be a part of the First Amendment in their classrooms instead of out on the streets. “There’s a lot of things I don’t support for my own child,” Anderson said. “But I know for a fact that my daughter is more of a well-rounded person because she is pushed to ask questions”, (Kristen A. Graham, 2017). We have the ability to speak our minds, we are given the right to. Nobody tells us we can’t speak up, I just think that there is a fine line we could cross and I don’t want to see us heading in that direction. I say speak up for what you believe in, but when it comes to school or work, you shouldn’t allow priorities to interfere with your beliefs. So go on, speak up, nobody is stopping you.

    • Jimmy Santos

      Breanna, I do see your point of view on this situation, as I too do enjoy people embracing their rights. However, I do disagree with your statement of “going too far.” There have been situations where it has gotten out of hand. And I can agree with that. But going too far classifies it as a whole other topic. I do believe that freedom of speech should be practiced but within limits of being peaceful and respectful and there should be set boundaries to prevent violent or disrespectful circumstances. Unlike the case of Mary Beth Tinker as mentioned in Do Students Still Have Free Speech in School? 2014 Where she was suspended for wearing a black armband in protest the Vietnam War. That is where we lose our freedom of speech and I do not think actions like suspension for peaceful protest should be condoned. And situations like the Kansas school incident also mentioned in Do Students Still Have Free Speech in School? 2014 Where the principal suspended 20 students for “suspicious wording” is outrageous. Cases like these are irrational and do violate the rights of students. It doesn’t matter how s/he felt about the messages or believed there was a subliminal message. If it was not stated clearly it does not cross the boundary of unsafe or disrespectful. Actions need to be taken for messages that clearly threaten the safety or someone of something else, but until then there are no actions that should be taken against these people.
      Respectfully,
      Jimmy Santos

  • Taylar Walsh

    A student’s free speech should always be encouraged. Students need to learn to speak up for themselves and what they believe in. Having a voice is a right that no one should be able to take away from you. Students should voice their opinion but in a civil matter. I’m not against protests, but when protests get violent or turns into a riot that is when it has become too much. I personally feel that many of these people protesting aren’t fully aware of what they are protesting against. Many people don’t understand why the government is doing certain things. But it is always for the wellbeing of the United States. According to the Atlantic, “schools regularly punish students for online comments, even if those comments are made away from school property and after school hours. Schools do these kinds of things to protect their students. Someone might be heavily influenced by a groups actions and might want to do something themselves. They might think their actions or protest is civil but could potentially harm someone else intentionally or unintentionally. So, the schools are trying to make sure these things don’t happen or hurt anyone. “In Oregon, 20 students were suspended over a tweet claiming a female teacher flirted with her students. In Kansas, a student was suspended for a tweet that made the principal “uncomfortable” in the wording of the school’s disciplinary incident notification.” (The Atlantic) I understand students say things for multiple different reasons but, many of these cases are ridiculous. Our country has become so sensitive to everything everyone has to say. Maybe some of those students in Oregon thought the teacher was flirting but I bet the other half of the class thought otherwise. Everyone looks at the same situation differently. Maybe the teacher was just a really kind person or maybe she was flirting. The incident in Kansas, is pretty ridiculous. This student gets suspended just because the principal didn’t like what she said? So what? That principal shouldn’t be such a pussy about the things that might hurt their feelings. I think students should have a voice but not something that could harm someone else.

    • Jason

      Taylar, I agree with your statement that every student’s free speech should encouraged and to voice their opinion in a civil manner. Not only does this apply to student’s, but to every citizen of the United States. You are right in saying that free speech is a right that no one should be allowed to take from you.
      I neither, am against protests, it’s just the protesters get too out of hand and end up causing riots and all sorts of chaos in the streets that can all be avoided just by keeping the protest calm and civil. According to the Atlantic, “Schools are so prone to censor and intimidate whistleblowers who complain about school conditions on school time. Students absolutely must have some safe space where they can complain when schools are dirty, dangerous, or overcrowded, without fear that the long arm of school discipline will reach out and grab them.” I do see why schools would maybe censor students for complaining but complaining about the school being dangerous or overcrowded, students should never be censored for these conditions can make the student uncomfortable at school therefore they may not succeed. I also agree with your opinion on the incident in Oregon where 20 students were suspended over a tweet claiming a female teacher flirted with her students. This case is just ridiculous, those students were suspended because they felt their teacher were flirting with them and making them uncomfortable. The students should be allowed a voice in their school and to not be censored just because they were accusing a teacher of something that maybe is not so school appropriate.

  • Logan S.

    Free speech among people has always been a heated and debated topic. “Protesters lit fires and damaged buildings.” (Youth 2017, pg.4) Free speech has been taken to a new extreme. Protestors are speaking out against diversity among students in their campuses. Issues in and out of school have created reports of hate crimes and incidents of bias for use by journalists researchers, and civil rights groups. Students are doing this to “document hate” as well as organize in huge numbers, mobilizing demonstrations and walkouts across the country. “Mobilizing demonstrations to voice their views on issues including immigration, education, and civil rights.” (Radio Editor 2017, pg.2) There is more than one issue going on here at once. People believe that because of the color of their skin that they still don’t have the same rights as other people in the United States. The problem needs to be fixed on campuses. For students safety, these violent outbreaks must be stopped. It is very hard to put a limit on speech due to the fact that we have freedom of speech guaranteed in our constitution.
    “This University should be ashamed to have someone like you.” (Prieto 2017, pg.5) Schools cannot do this. Many immigrants come here legally. It is the illegal immigrants who bring shame to the country. The school should not have the right to be able to target students like this. A limit on what schools can say is needed. It is because of comments like this that protests break out. Freedom of speech may never be changed. It is up to us to draw the line of what is acceptable and not.

  • Jake T

    Students are speaking now more than ever before. Speech is spurring from racial and gender arguments among Americans. A large part of these protests is generated from our newly elected president, Donald Trump, and his view on these issues. “In the ten days following the election, almost 900 reports were made of harassment and intimidation,” (SPLC 2016, p.1). As US citizens we do have the constitutional right to express our freedom of speech. However, there is a fine line between the freedom of speech and the speech that can harm others. “There’s so much racial injustice going on at any given time it’s hard to discern specific moments,” (Brooks, 2017 p.2). This goes to show that other students are realizing how the other students are expressing their freedom to speech freely. Some students are not even able to speak their native language because of how people view them and how they use their speech to offend them. As technology progressed, student’s ability of free speech is greatly diminishing. At the school that I currently attend, I know that someone in the school is monitoring what people say and do have the ability to punish anyone in the school for these comments. “Schools regularly punish students for online comments, even if those comments are made away from school property and after school hours,” (Atlantic, 2014 p.2). Students have to be aware that their speech and freedom to use it is going to be monitored heavily in the years to come and can be punished for it if required.

    • TaiLi Samson

      KQED Freedom of Speech

      Jake T, your point is extremely valid and has made me question the parameters regarding the 1st amendment here in America. Although it is important to be able to speak opinions freely without fearing harm, students and other citizens should be well aware of the harm that they can impose on others if the words are negative or threatening. Freedom of speech in schools is an important right and should definitely not be taken away, but there is a point where the line needs to be drawn. For example; “when Mary Beth Tinker was 13 years old, she wore a black armband to her junior high school to protest the Vietnam War. The school promptly suspended her…”. The black armband may have symbolized something more than clothing to a school official, but the student wasn’t specifically calling individuals out or putting them down with negative comments. The black arm band instance was taken to court and Tinker won the case in favor of the 1st amendment. Yet, there are other forms of speech that should not be protected under the 1st amendment. If the speech or symbolization of an object worn or carried by a student makes another person feel endangered, it should be taken down. However, the speech that does not victimize other people directly should be protected in places like a school campus. The population of America may be starting to realize this because “New bills being put in place to enforce the freedom; “their common purpose is to limit the grounds on which a public college or high school can censor the content of school-sponsored media, and to protect faculty advisers against retaliatory personnel actions for their students’ journalistic works” (New Voices Press Freedom, Frank La Monte), and rightfully so.

  • sawyer kulman

    Sawyer Kulman
    English 4
    2/20/17

    How “Free” Can Student Speech Be On School Campuses?
    “hard to see…It’s systemic, it’s deep and it’s hidden.” Says Soraya Shockley when talking about racism and hate speech. There is no face of discrimination in the united states like the KKK once was. It is hidden now and you never know what a person thinks about people with simply a different set of facial features or skin color. I would say a different group of people, but there is no difference between people besides what they look like, we are all just people.

    “Protesters lit fires and damaged buildings, forcing the cancellation of a visit from right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos, who among other things–outed a transgender student at another recent campus visit and has been barred from Twitter for violating anti-abuse policies.” Says youth radio. The problem that I see is that now instead of speaking out against a person that students did not want to visit their campus, they have now instead lit fires and damaged buildings. What’s wrong with this situation is not that the students did not speak out, because they did, but the means by which they spoke out, were incorrect. Instead of causing damage to your school, your home and a place you cherish, you instead should have went and talked with the dean of students and he could have possibly gotten you a petition to revoke the visit from Mr. Yiannopoulos.

    Today’s society values speak very highly and we really take everything to heart about what people say. This means that people should be more careful about what they say and who they say it to. This doesn’t mean that we can stop free speech and we should not be punished for any reason about speaking out unless what has been said causes harm or potential harm.

  • Emily daily

    Do we really have free speech anywhere? to be honest I think you see a lot of consequences if you do speak out. which seems weird because of the first amendment and our freedom of speech. in an article attached to this KQED https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/04/do-students-still-have-free-speech-in-school/360266/ “The digital age, with its wonderful capacity to democratize speech, is so important to students’ rights, but also carries new and interesting threats to students’ rights,” Tinker says. “If we don’t encourage young people to use their First Amendment rights, our society is deprived of their creativity, energy, and new ideas. This is a huge loss, and also a human rights abuse.” if we spoke out at school we could get suspended because the school deems it as inappropriate. so I believe that we really dont have free speech at all.

    • Megan Graves

      I agree with you. I feel like we are going to be criticized, punished, and judged because of what we say. It doesn’t matter what we do, we’re always going to face some sort of consequence for our “freedom of speech”. To add on, we would get in trouble at work if we spoke out. It would be considered discrimination, or even harassment, when we aren’t even intending it to be. Everyone just wants to be able to voice their own values and opinions without complications. Speaking out in schools can be monitored but online activity cannot. And I think that anyone can easily say what they want without fear of being in trouble, while they talk on social medias. As you already have attached, “The digital age, with its wonderful capacity to democratize speech, is so important to students’ rights, but also carries new and interesting threats to students’ rights,” Tinker says, from Do Students Still Have Free Speech in School? I could not agree with this statement more. But if students should have to watch what they say in school, they should also do the same while online. Or anywhere for that matter, just out of respect and being decent humans.

    • Laura Stoner

      I agree Emily! Students are speaking out more and more, but are they spreading positive or negative opinions/comments? I don’t think we really have freedom of speech because anything you say can cause an argument or anything worse. According to youth radio (Free speech on campus) stated that, In the last ten days following the election, almost 900 reports were made of harassment and intimidation. Its different to “voice” your opinions but to let it get as extreme to hate crimes doesn’t really make sense.
      David R. Wheeler also stated in his article Do students have free speech at school said “However, the Internet has since complicated the meaning of the ruling, and those same advocates now worry students’ rights to freedom of speech are again under attack”. Its ashamed that us students have to watch what we say because others get offended and anybody can twist what you say and make it worse. We also have to watch what we say because it’s easy to get suspended now a day for expressing how you feel in schools. I wonder has this always been an issue? If not, when did it change to be this way. I never thought that by the way I felt, I could easily get into trouble for it. I hope students will stand up for themselves and what they believe in because it is important to know that no matter what you feel, your opinion isn’t wrong and should be expressed without getting into trouble.

    • gen

      I agree it is almost as if they like fooling people into thinking they have a voice but they do nothing but encourage consequences for people taking action about something they feel very strongly about.

      • Emily daily

        glad to see someone feel the same way

    • Adam Pall

      I would agree that it
      seems we do not have true freedom of speech and that there are consequences
      when we do speak out. There is a fine line though between protecting freedom of
      speech and getting rid of hate speech referenced by the above text when it
      says, “The events at UC Berkeley have renewed debates about the
      current state of both hate speech and free speech on campuses.”
      And in the article by David Wheeler when he says, “Although
      some administrators target cyber-bullies, others punish students whose only
      offense is posting an online comment that the school doesn’t like.”
      It seems that more often than not though that students are punished simply for
      speaking out. David Wheeler points out several instances of this in his article
      including, “a Minnesota student wrote a Facebook post saying a hall monitor was
      “mean” to her, she was forced to turn over her Facebook password to school administrators—in
      the presence of a sheriff’s deputy.” He also points out that, “Schools
      are so prone to censor and intimidate whistleblowers who complain about school
      conditions.” And “Schools regularly punish students for online comments.” While
      it is important for schools to monitor what students are doing on the internet
      and make sure there is no cyber-bullying going on it is also important that
      schools protect students first amendment rights and do not punish them simply
      because they post something the school doesn’t like. There is a very fine line
      between monitoring online behavior and infringing on students first amendment
      rights and schools need to make sure they do not cross that line.

  • maddie swan

    Students have in the past few years have been voicing there opinions more then ever. Speech can be harmful or helpful but should we be making the decisions for who can say what or wear what when it comes to schooling? “In 1965, when Mary Beth Tinker was 13 years old, she wore a black armband to her junior high school to protest the Vietnam War. The school promptly suspended her” (David R. Wheeler, 2014) This is a non violent way of stating her opinion, if she was spewing hateful words to someone who supported it then i would see a problem but what is wrong with wearing a black arm band it isn’t hurting anyone. Would the same thing happen if someone is wearing a cross necklace? They would obviously not get suspended. Now i realize one represents war and one is a religious figure , but they are both accessories that represent an opinion and why should either of them be punished? As for the verbal speech it should always be encouraged. I believe that having the same rules for what you can and can’t say in school for a kindergartner the same as an 18 year old is a little ridiculous. they should obviously be strict when your young so you will know what is right and wrong to say. On the other side of that high school is pretty crappy and we should be able to say so without being told to watch our mouths. We have ideas and opinions and we should be able to voice them without the fear of being told that we need to calm down or the threat to call home. “students shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” (David R. Wheeler, 2014)

  • Logan Mansberger

    Logan Mansberger

    20 February, 2017

    KQED

    5th Hour
    How “Free” Can Student Speech Be On School Campuses?

    I agree with Mr. Satchwell, I believe we live in a generation where political correctness is of the most import ways to speech when speaking “freely.” I think speaking freely has many different aspects to focus on, it doesn’t matter what view or opinion is expressed in school campuses someone will always be angry or upset. Living in the digital age of social media the likelihood of free speak being acceptable is exponentially diminished in public places, “In 2012, after a Minnesota student wrote a Facebook post saying a hall monitor was “mean” to her, she was forced to turn over her Facebook password to school administrators—in the presence of a sheriff’s deputy. The school made an out-of-court settlement with the student.” (Wheeler, 1) A major cultural shift has taken place in society, people have become less tolerant of free speech and have become quicker to judge. It’s much harder to say something out loud than it is to chastise someone for opening expressing their views on a certain topic. Since 1974, the Student Press Law Center has been committed to protecting students rights, “Since 1974, the Student Press Law Center has been the nation’s only legal assistance agency devoted exclusively to educating high school and college journalists about the rights and responsibilities embodied in the First Amendment and supporting the student news media in their struggle to cover important issues free from censorship.” Personally, students almost have no ability to express views without being labeled for politically correctness or hurting someone emotionally. Students must think before they express what they want to say, and express their views lightly -trying to avoid hostility.

    • Ryan Sotelo

      I agree with what you’re saying! I feel like “political correctness” is such a vague term that can be so openly interpreted that people are always going to be stepping on someone’s feelings, or like you said be labeled. Free speech is constantly being challenged in our school systems, but I feel like by having conscious students, and even the “Student Press Law Center” we will still be able to uphold free speech. #myCMSTArgs

  • Nick H.

    The constitution and the rulings of the Supreme Court uphold the idea of free speech. They make it perfectly clear that everyone has the right to free speech even in school zones. Students don’t just magically “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate” (Do Students Still Have Free Speech in School?). The problem lies when people get punished for what they say or do. Yes, everybody has the freedom to say whatever they want. However, I think that it can be expected when an individual makes a comment or action that could cause direct harm to another individual then there will be consequences. I believe that this principal applies to the right to protest too. We all have the right to peacefully protest. Those rights go out the window though when there is serious danger or damage being done. I fully promote the idea of free speech because “if we don’t encourage young people to use their First Amendment rights, our society is deprived of their creativity, energy, and new ideas” (Do Students Still Have Free Speech in Schools?). As a student I don’t see or feel like I am or any other students are restricted to what they can say as long as it is appropriate and told in a peaceful manner.

  • gen

    Do we really have freedom of speech? It really just feels like we fake ourselves into believing we have rights because that is what they brain wash us into thinking, but realistically speaking people who protest or say something to the wrong person can pay a huge consequence for it later. Everyone is scared to actually voice there opinions because they will get harshly punished for them later. The problem is they tell everyone say whatever you want you have the right but they do nothing to stop people from getting arrested at protest. Whether freedom of speech is protest or actual conversations no one really feels like they have 100 percent freedom to say something without fearing judgements or consequences. We have restrictions on what we can and cannot say all the time even on this very website it you say something inappropriate your comment will be deleted. It is very unfair because it is all based on perspective and a lot of the times people get consequences only because they do not have the same beliefs as someone of higher power.
    #MyCMSTArgs
    http://www.kptv.com/story/33708265/arrested-protesters-have-first-day-in-court

  • Seryna Valencia

    Every high school is different in their, policies, practices, student bodies, ethics and more so it is a hard task to define what should be done or not done in regards to speech on campus. Some of the guidelines for public high schools are written here: http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/Main-Menu/Public-education/The-law-and-its-influence-on-public-school-districts-An-overview/Free-speech-and-public-schools.html. In general, like most things, I believe every situation should be handled on a case by case bases. A good practice that can be adopted is a free speaking area on campus. Here there would be a trusted faculty member to facilitate the students and help guide them in appropriate speech making practices. The students who attend would be taught the definition of hate speech, bias and harassment and would be subject to a trial following with possible consequences based on the severity of their wrong doing. I think that people in high school want to be involved with the world around them but may not have the tools to do it respectfully so that is where problems for the administration arises. If people are taught and able to practice free speech in high schools, then they would be better off in college and when they enter the real world as well. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowFreeSpeech

    • John Ramirez

      I agree with you. In high school we are kind of told not talk about controversy, well atleast where I was from. To go from a place that tells you how to think, talk and limits the amount of information to one that is much more diverse can have an impact. I too believe we should start allowing students to have open conversations before college. It should all be open dialogue. #MyCMSTArgs

  • Julia

    The first amendment states ” The United States constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion ensuring there is no prohibition on the exercise of free religion and abridging the freedom of speech.” Any student, any person, has the right to express themselves and say whatever they want. Even if it’s racist, prejudice,or disturbing. Of course it’s harassment, but we cannot control what people say, we can only control how we react. Violence on the other hand is not speech! It only creates more hatred and it violates the rights of others. Students should engage in peaceful protests so that they can get their message across to others, in a mature, effective way. Why is our first reaction anger when someone doesn’t have the same views? The solution is communication. Nobody is born to hate the pigment of a stranger’s skin. This is taught over years of parents brainwashing their children. In 2015, the Youth Radio collected a dispatch from a Harvard Student named Sorya Shockly saying ” Racial injustice is hard to see… it’s systemic, it’s deep and it’s hidden.”

    • Lizet Ortega

      I really like your comment, and I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH THIS. You are right, nobody is born to hate, a person’s actions and beliefs are often defined by the environment they grew up in. We cannot control someone’s else beliefs or try to change their perspective, now imagine a world where everyone thinks the same? now that would be awful. How can we learn or understand someone’s point of view if we refuse to listen and continue to shut them down? I agree with you when you say that it is important for everyone to use their freedom of speech but more importantly for everyone else to peacefully disagree and communicate what they disagree with. Studies have found that everyone has at least something in common, but often times we choose to focus on what we disagree with and focus one just that, the disagreements. As a diversity society, let’s understand and each and like you said, work together not against each other. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowFreeSpeech

    • devinn bradford

      You are absolutely right but keep in mind that saying whatever you want may cause violence for you specifically. I think that saying what you want, but in a manner that is respectful, is the key to it all. It is not necessary about being open minded, because some things you just don’t agree with or like. Some things in life are black and white honestly. #mycmstargs #donowfreespeech

    • Justis Haruo Kusumoto

      Julia, while I agree with much of your post-the courts have found harassment, particularly sexual harassment, to be a clear exception to free speech. There’s a great Chicago Tribune article here that explains the difference between sexual harassment and free speech: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1995-01-17/news/9501170017_1_sylvia-bowman-massachusetts-supreme-judicial-court-co-worker
      Just like the 2nd amendment gives people the right to bear arms, the courts and Congress have interpreted this–within reason. The 2nd amendment clearly gives us the right to own guns, but it doesn’t give us the right to own military grade stinger missiles. Just as the first amendment gives us the right to say what’s on our minds doesn’t mean we can sexually harass people who are not particularly public figures. There are legislative and judicially interpreted limits on both free speech and other rights given to us in the 27 amendments. Keep that in mind before making a blanket claim in favor of free speech. There are some major exceptions when it comes to sexual harassment and public safety. #MyCMSTArgs @2ndheartmom

  • Lizet Ortega

    Yes, Students should be able to openly express their concerns, beliefs and ideas. How can a student speak their mind if they are being censored by their own government? I mean, I get it, people get hurt and thought history we’ve seen that if we don’t agree with it, then we shouldn’t allow it…but is this always right? I actually heard about the protest happening in Berkeley and as a friend of a former Berkeley student, I can only share the little information I got. She told me she was scared, yes she didn’t like the fact that a white-supremacist like Milo Yiannopolous was giving a speech at her campus BUT the outcome of the protestors became more violent than the speech itself. In my opinion, every State University should allow their students to express their minds freely, without “speech codes” or censorships. We, as students, need to learn that in the real world we are going to encounter opposition of many kinds, whether it is against our race, gender, religion or simply what we believe in. But students need to learn how to cope with this and deal with this situations without violence. If a public speaker attending a campus is speaking against certain groups or minorities, we need to learn to support each other and understand that he is just a visitor. Words hurt, yes I know that, but we need to learn to be able to see pass that and instead, maybe don’t attend the event. Campuses nowadays are really understanding and they know the variety and diversity of students attending their campuses. We have international students, transfers, exchange students, locals, out of towners and many other kinds, people who come from different environments with obviously different beliefs. Instead of trying to change their perspective, let’s communicate because the only reason a person is closed-minded is because they haven’t had the opportunity to open them yet, right? #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowFreeSpeech

  • Lucas Hamp

    I think speech is for everyone. But the way these people choose to use this right is an insult to the very idea of free speech. It can be at times a loop hole for people to use to get their point across. Its speech with hostility mixed in. yet if I was in their shoes and if my speech wasn’t getting across the people I needed, I would take action and step it up. The way they stepped up their “game” was the wrong way to go about the situation. I think they might have forgotten one vital key to speech. The key is to get people to listen and make them think about it. Not want to cover their ears and blow the whistle on these teens. Adding hate to the speech and protest’s does not help them. Its only adding a wall of non-acceptance to the public. They’re just simply making the problem more complicated. If this escalates anymore the innocent bystanders will get caught in the crossfire of protest and hate. These teens need to think about their actions. And what they can change to make the public take their side. Speech is for everyone, but how you choose to use it must represent who you are and what you believe.

  • Kayla Murphy

    Everyone has a right to the first amendment, which is freedom of speech. The Bill of Rights was made to keep people’s rights protected. Obviously, you shouldn’t be allowed to bully people or harm people in a verbal way. “Schools regularly punish students for online comments, even if those comments are made away from school property and after school hours.” (Do Students Still Have Free Speech in School?) I believe that everyone should be able to voice their opinions, as long as they are not directly targeting someone and abusing them through hurtful words. It doesn’t matter if a student said something online after school hours, if it hurts another person and causes a problem in school, they shouldn’t get away with it. Students should be able to stand up for what they believe in, for example, the presidential election. Everyone has the right to say who they like better, but they do need to respect others in that process. They shouldn’t send hate letters to people who don’t agree with their opinions. So in conclusion, students do have a right to speak their opinions, as long as it doesn’t directly harm another person. People will always disagree but everyone has the right to speech as long as you know the difference between right and wrong speech.

  • Emma Lynn

    In American schools our right to free speech is supposedly open to all. “As the United States Supreme Court said in 1969, ‘It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional right to freedom of speech at the schoolhouse gate.’” ( SPlC, 2017, FAQ 1). Though Bullying and other harmful words are prohibited we generally have the freedom to be vocal as we please. People claim that schools monitor students words in real life and online too often “You can’t equate online speech created on personal time with in-class speech, and it’s dangerous to try,” (Wheeler, 2014, para. 10). But in reality they are just trying to keep students safe. Students who have access to complete free speech can abuse these powers in cases like UC Berkeley. “Among the most visible and violent campus-based unrest post-election took place last week at UC Berkeley. Protesters lit fires and damaged buildings,…The events at UC Berkeley have renewed debates about the current state of both hate speech and free speech on campuses.” (Youth Radio, 2017, para.6). Students with access to free speech with no repercussions will eventually resort to violence, just because they can. Groups such as SPIC are trying to help students learn about their rights and how to use them. They do this by “
    Create greater awareness of, and protection for, the rights of students to gather and distribute news and commentary,… Improve students’ access to essential documents and meetings, and teach them to put the knowledge gained to productive use.” (SPIC, 2017, Strategic Vision).

  • Devra Athanasiadis

    How “Free” Can Student Speech Be On School Campuses?
    Student speech on campus should be just as free as it would be anywhere else. The first amendment is the right to speak out about any opinions without censorship or restraint. This also implies that what you’re saying doesn’t harm or target another person. The freedom of speech on campuses is so incredibly important because those are educated young people with an opinion. The only reason administration should ever get involved in something a student says is if it is threatening someone, harming someone or targeting someone. Every student sees life a different way and if they want to voice that out loud, on social media or in a paper they should have the right to do so. “Tinker v. Des Moines. In their verdict, the court vindicated Tinker by saying students do not ‘shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.’”(Wheeler,2014, para.1) This means that just because they’re in a school doesn’t mean they can’t voice their opinions because its might offend someone. In The article by Wheeler, I found some troubling examples of the lengths schools will go to just to keep students quiet or punish them for sharing their opinions. “And just a few days ago, also in Kansas, a student was suspended for a tweet that made the principal “uncomfortable” (in the wording of the school’s disciplinary incident notification).”(Wheeler,2014, para.6) This principle went through a student’s twitter and then suspended her for voicing her opinion about something on her private social media based on their feelings. That student is missing class. They are missing education because the principle was “uncomfortable”. Yet the school does need to step in when there is a valid incident and control harmful actions by their students. “ In the ten days following the election, almost 900 reports were made of harassment and intimidation, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, including incidents taking place at schools.” (Youth Radio,2017, para.1) In this case the school has the obligation to protect others from their students harmful words. There is help for students who are wrongly accused of abusing their first amendment right. “The SPLC provides information, training and legal assistance at no charge to student journalists and the educators who work with them.” (SPLC.org,2017, para. 1)

  • Cody Wright

    Today our world is a fast and bustling place where it may seem like racism doesn’t existed, but sadly the reality is that racism is still around and in school campuses all over the country. Take for example this short explanation by Bianca Brooks, “There’s so much racial injustice going on at any given time it’s hard to discern specific moments. Latino cafe workers are not allowed to speak Spanish around students. A professor gave an anecdote about his childhood and used the word “nigger” at least three times to describe himself (he’s Southeast Asian). I was told I was “extremely well spoken” by an architecture professor of mine. During my freshman year, white women would continuously come up to me and touch my hair without my permission. In a class play, a drama professor assigned two white girls to play Latinas and told them to not be afraid to “act like stereotypes” or “explore Uptown.” (Campus Life: Racial Injustice Edition). Even in the smallest instances we see racism play a role within her life style on campus. I feel we should let these students speak out peacefully as it is their first amendment right in the constitution, the document that is supposed to uphold our country. Bonding together as a whole country to rid itself of racism will only make us stronger and help fix the issues we see in our society.

  • Katelyn Olson

    Freedom of speech is the single most referred to amendment in the Bill of Rights. School grounds have recently appeared to slowly take away student’s first amendment rights. “A little more than a month into President Trump’s time in office, we’re seeing reports of upticks in both hate speech and protests on high school and college campuses” (Free Speech on Campus). There is no lying that Trump’s election has caused an uprising in protests in general and with the average protester age being 29, we can expect that a lot of protesters are high school age. When high school students do stuff, more students join in, soon enough the entire school is together. I believe this is a good learning experience for students to become more involved in politics. I can completely understand that schools do not want students to use vulgar language or have inappropriate graphics on their clothes, but expression should not be taken away. There was a supreme court case in which a girl silently protested the Vietnam war in school and was suspended. The Supreme Court reached the verdict that “students do not ‘shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate’” (Do Students Still Have Free Speech in School). If a girl simply wears a black arm band to protest a war, there is absolutely no reason for immediate suspension. “If we don’t encourage young people to use their First Amendment rights, our society is deprived of their creativity, energy, and new ideas. This is a huge loss, and also a human’s rights abuse”, Mary Tinker said after the trial (Do Students Still Have Free Speech in School).

  • Megan Griffes

    Megan Griffes

    How “free” can student speech be on school campuses?

    Free speech has it’s limits as do other things. Free speech should never come to the point of hurting others and destroying property like we have been seeing recently across the nation. As for schools, free speech should not take away from the purpose of a school, that purpose being education and self growth. This most definitely leaves room for protests and freedom of speech, just with limitations. One article says “If we don’t encourage young people to use their First Amendment rights, our society is deprived of their creativity, energy, and new ideas. This is a huge loss, and also a human rights abuse.” (Wheeler, 2014, para. 4) It would be a shame for students to not use their knowledge and education to form an opinion and fight for what they believe in. While one Harvard student says she thinks “…the uptick in conversation is great.” (Shockley, 2017, para. 1) conversation being that of freedom of speech, not everyone agrees. Some believe there is no place for such protests. Schools do not want their reputation damaged or to be associated with negative behavior. A school does have the right to monitor what goes on, also with limitations. One source says “…the burden remains on the school to furnish a legitimate educational reason for censoring – and that cannot be simply protecting the school’s P.R. image.” (2014, para. 1) Not all schools are worried about their reputation and they should not all be put in the same freedom-of-speech-hating category because that is not at all the case. Students right to freedom of speech should not be limited by what the school does and does not like but should be limited by the amount of harm and disruption it causes to oneself and others. And if it stays limited to peaceful action, there should not be a problem.

    • Jonny Ballesteros

      I agree with you on how free speech should never lead to violent acts. I feel by doing this it takes away the whole purpose of getting your point across. This is why I believe schools prevent students to speak out or have speech codes. Peaceful protest and movements have more impact as well! #MyCMSTArgs

  • Libbey Jacobs

    In America, well the world really, we have become sensitive to things that have any relevance to us. As Bianca Brooks wrote “It’s our responsibility to own these fights as our fights, as our duty.” in the (Campus Life: Racial Injustice Edition) and I believe that to be true, in the first amendment it gives us the right to freedom of speech. In the video (Student Press Law Center) there’re people talking about the students right to express themselves and one line stuck out to me. “When passionate discussions are a distraction from school instead if the whole point of school, you know schools have lost their way” and I completely agree. In some of the articles that I read in (Campus Life: Racial Injustice Edition), the main idea is that the professors, or teachers, can get away with saying anything really. A drama teacher can tell an actor to play out the stereotypes or a professor can tell a colored student that they are ‘intelligent’ for their skin tone. But I got the hint that they, as students, could not get away with saying those things to their teacher or any other student.
    So, you ask me “How ‘free’ can a student speech be on school campuses?” and my answer: not much. Students are limited on what they can really say and, though bulling is one of the bad things to freedom of speech, why can a student who would like to contribute to their academic success be silenced?

  • Olivia DuBay

    Despite all of the incredible advances our society has made in terms of diversity, acceptance, and more obviously, in civil rights, there are still people experiencing the lasting effects of racism. “I feel like I have to prove that I’m no different than they are socially or intellectually. It forces me to code-switch and assimilate, which in turn makes me feel less authentic” (Shockley, 2017, para. 2). To be so young and to feel the need prove something to others and to yourself as a way to say “I am no different than you” is an obvious sign that we are still experiencing some pretty intense problems. “I hope that… students of all walks of life can find the right way to make everyone feel as welcomed and loved” (Loggins, 2017, para. 1). Simply the fact that this quote even exists is evidence that a change must be made and that there is a cost to some of the things being said. On one hand, some statements made may go too far, but as the Supreme Court ruled in Tinker v Des Moines, (students do not ) “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate” (Wheeler, 2014, para. 2). However, the expanse of mediums through which a student can share their feelings has grown and the rights of students to speak freely is again becoming abridged, “Schools regularly punish students for online comments, even if those comments are made away from school property and after school hours” (Wheeler, 2014, para. 2). Though some of these comments are in fact fine examples of cyber-bullying, some of them may also simply be comments that the school does not agree with. Perhaps, then, the problem lies not in what is being said, but the context in which it is said in.

  • Hannah Warren

    Hannah Warren

    Some of the most important civil rights movements gained their momentum or began on college campuses — Anti-Draft Vietnam, Anti-Apartheid, Black Power, the Chicano movement — -to name just a few. (Youth Radio, 2015) I believe that students can have free speech at colleges, it is the time in their lives to speak out about what they feel strongly about. “If we don’t encourage young people to use their First Amendment rights, our society is deprived of their creativity, energy, and new ideas. This is a huge loss, and also a human rights abuse.” (The Atlantic, 2014) They cannot punish students who are speaking the truth and who what others to listen to what they are fighting for. If there is violence happening then that is a different story, it is not freedom of speech if all you are doing is hurting others to get what you what. It is not only students who have the freedom of speech at campuses, everyone has the freedom of speech thanks to the First Amendment of the Constitution in the United States of America. We have been having this problem for years now in the United States trying to use our right to speak the truth about problems that have occurred in the last few years. Especially the police force with hate crimes against United States citizens who are just trying to protest peacefully most of the time. “But with thousands of police departments failing to report alleged or even confirmed hate crimes to the FBI, we lack foundational information about how many such crimes occur in any given year, where they might occur the most and least, who the targets of such crimes tend to be, and how this has changed over time.” (ProPublica, not date) I believe that one day we will find peace and be able to have the freedom of speech without any consequences or without anyone getting hurt along the way.

    • Dollie Partida

      When you talked about how the most important movements gained their momentum or began on campus, I was completely agreeing with you. In the civil rights movement and other movements young adults and college students were the ones being activist and spreading awareness.I agree that if free speech is completely prohibited from college campuses our country will never be able to progress as it did in the past. Especially now in the times where we have taken a huge step back due to the beliefs of congress and the president. #MyCMSTArgs

  • Gabriella

    The First Amendment uphold the freedom of speech for everyone, and many think that students don’t have freedom of speech anymore (Do students still have free speech in school anymore?, 2014, para. 1). They claim that the internet has complicated the meaning of freedom of speech, and that online comments are being punished especially cyber bullies by school administration. I do not agree. The internet does not take away students freedom of speech unless they post something mean about another student, the school administration can punish that person for posting something bad about another person -which is bullying. This is called slander, slander is when someone tells another untruths about a person meant to hurt the, and their reputation. And you can sue people for slander. So I don’t think that the freedom of speech is being taken away in schools, administrator are just doing what they are supposed to be doing. Hate crimes are becoming more common nowadays and it is a growing problem (Documenting hate, n.d., para. 1), because many say that it is their freedom of speech to say mean things about another person, or do things to another person because that is their way of expressing free speech. But when it comes to the case of the girl protesting the Vietnam war by wearing a black armband and she was punished, that is taking away her freedom of speech. Yes, the supreme court ruled in favor of the girl (Do students still have free speech in school anymore?, 2014, para. 1), but it is still happening today. The argument is that schools just want to avoid conflicts between students, but students are going to argue no matter what. On college campuses there are many racial injustices happening, and people are wondering when it crosses the line for free speech (Campus life:racial injustice edition, Soraya Shockley, 2015, para. 3). There is not a certain way that schools can handle problems when facing freedom of speech, there will always be things out there that are questionable, problems with freedom of speech should not interfere with being at the school.

  • Collin Kingma

    Collin Kingma
    2/21/17
    KQED

    How “Free” Can Student Speech be on School Campuses?

    How free can the free speech of students really be? Especially when they are on school campuses, a place where they spend most of their young lives. This amendment is coming alive in present day. It is being used more and more as time goes by. School may feel like a prison for most of us, but most things are allowed. Some rules go against laws and that would make the average person mad at this sight.

    The Election of President Trump into office irritated many and almost split the United States in half. Trump supporters go after Hillary supporters and vise versa. This especially happens in school, where teens are just looking to stir things up. “In the ten days following the election, almost 900 reports were made of harassment and intimidation, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, including incidents taking place at schools (Youth Radio, para 1).” Hate crimes are becoming more and more common among teenagers these days, partly because of the past election and the extreme beliefs that people follow.

    Nowadays, expressing your voice is becoming very easy. You can say whatever you want at the touch of your finger tips. In, of course, 140 characters or less. This expression can be viewed by the whole internet. Some people take it too far and voice extreme opinions and/or hate comments. Usually this is taken down, but that brings up free speech laws. Schools get into this fight too. “However, the Internet has since complicated the meaning of the ruling, and those same advocates now worry students’ rights to freedom of speech are again under attack (Wheeler, para 2).”

    “Such broad language creates two big First Amendment problems. First, schools can punish any speech as long as they can cite “intimidation.” Second, schools can punish students for comments made after school hours, in the privacy of their own home (Wheeler, para 9).” Can schools do this? Even after school hours? What laws will be made for the future? Of course, some of these comments can be considered a crime, but some may disagree. I believe that comments can get bad enough to be a crime. Cyber-bullying is a very serious topic in modern day as the internet is expanding at an exponential rate. Can this be stopped without considering the government is communist?

  • Maxx Nichols

    Today protest is one of the most common way people use the freedom of speech. Whenever people do not agree with something or someone, they, for the most part, peaceably assemble and use the US Constitution’s amendments to back them up. The first and most popular amendment of the constitution grants the citizens of the United States freedom of speech, religion, the press, and the right to peaceably assemble. Having the privilege to live in a country as great as our, we should and we do all have the ability to use our first amendment. Bianca Brooks states, “Some of the most important civil rights movements gained their momentum or began on college campuses…” (Youth Radio Interview, Nov 16, 2015, para. 2). However, when it comes to using the gift of free speech, too many people abuse it. Students should have the right to peaceably protest no matter which side of the argument they are on, but, they need to stand within the parameters of the US Constitution. “In the landmark Tinker case, the Supreme Court specifically warned schools that they could not forbid student expression simply because they wanted to avoid controversy” (David Wheeler, April 7, 2014, para. 11). I believe in this 100%. There will always be controversy because people are all different. There are always people that do not agree with what is going on, and they should have the right to do so. There are cases when schools should be able to step in. There is no place in the constitution that states that people are allowed to destroy property, burn things in the street, and cause a disruption to everyday life. For example, during the anti-Trump protests, people were breaking windows, burning flags, and blocking roads. This is not freedom of speech, this is acting like a child, therefore the students should be treated like children and the police and the administrators have every right to stop

  • Jack Guirey

    I think that college campus should be
    allowed to be what there are meant to be; places in which new ideas and knowledge
    can be learned and shared. Early on grade school, from kindergarten all the way
    up through high school we are taught the basics on how to learn. In college we
    are exposed to new ideas and ways of thinking. College to many people is where
    they can feel free to express and find themselves. In my opinion it would be a
    violation of the first amendment of the freedom of speech. “If we don’t
    encourage young people to use their First Amendment rights, our society is
    deprived of their creativity, energy, and new ideas. This is a huge loss, and
    also a human rights abuse” (Wheeler, 2014, The Atlantic). Along with
    individuals expressing new ways of thinking, colleges historically play a large
    part in the beginning of social and civil rights movements. According to Bianca
    Brooks from Youth Radio, “Some of the most important civil rights movements
    gained their momentum or began on college campuses — Anti-Draft Vietnam,
    Anti-Apartheid, Black Power, the Chicano movement — -to name just a few”. Consequently,
    history looks back positively at all these civil rights have accomplished, so
    it is important allow free speech and new ideas to grow. That being said
    however, it is important to acknowledge that free speech can, at times,
    infringe on people’s emotional and even physical safety when it goes too far. In
    recent months following the presidential election there have been a recorded
    uptick in hate speech and intimidation (Youth Radio). I think that free speech
    has the potential for good but it also has the potential for allowing hate to
    go far out of it’s acceptable boundaries. If anything our free speech on
    campuses should be kept in check only when it violates people’s rights and is
    determined to be hate speech.

  • Mason Buck

    Free speech is what our nation is founded on, it is an essential of keeping governing institutions from abusing their power. Whether it’s a school board, or congress, free speech cannot be taken away. We can see, however, that limits can be placed on free speech. The famous example is shouting “fire!” in a crowded theater when there isn’t one. Limits on free speech go further than that though.

    The Supreme Court case Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, enforced that words that “inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace.” are unconstitutional. This ruling has been applied to hate speech today, but what constitutes a breach of peace or infliction of injury?

    The blurry line between hate speech and free speech can be hard to understand, but as David Wheeler points out, many institutions have begun to abuse this confusion. “There are numerous examples of schools punishing students for seemingly innocuous online activity. In 2012, after a Minnesota student wrote a Facebook post saying a hall monitor was “mean” to her, she was forced to turn over her Facebook password to school administrators—in the presence of a sheriff’s deputy. The school made an out-of-court settlement with the student, who was represented by the ACLU.” (Wheeler, 2014) If schools try to prevent free speech for little or no valid reason, many students will lose their voice.

    There is, however, a line in the sand, despite how washed away it is. Students how use common hate words should be punished. Our society is more accepting of others now than at any other point in our nation’s history, but some do not want to accept this truth. “Latino cafe workers are not allowed to speak Spanish around students .A professor gave an anecdote about his childhood and used the word ‘nigger’ at least three times to describe himself (he’s Southeast Asian).” (Brooks, 2015) Hate speech is still used in our society, and systemic racism runs deep in parts of the county. The first step in stopping this is rooting out clearly harmful and peace disturbing words.

    In conclusion, students should have the ability to speak their minds, as long as that speech is within the bounds of the courts. Student free speech was started with Tinker v. Des Moines, and will continue to exist as long as people are willing to defend it.

  • Amelia Wagenschutz

    Since 1965 with the ruling of the Tinker v. Des Moines Supreme Court case, we as students have had the right to “free” speech in school. But really what does free speech mean and what are the limits? It seems like in recent years administrative staff and teachers at school have been taking away some of these rights. They have mainly been punishing students for comments online or other online activities that they don’t like. “…student banter that would have gone unnoticed in the pre-digital era has drawn swift punishment. In Kansas, a high school class president was suspended for a Twitter post making fun of his school’s football team. In Oregon, 20 students were suspended over a tweet claiming a female teacher flirted with her students. And just a few days ago, also in Kansas, a student was suspended for a tweet that made the principal “uncomfortable” (in the wording of the school’s disciplinary incident notification),” (Wheeler, 2014, para. 6). In this digital age, it seems like schools are trying too hard to monitor their students. I would argue that this is not their place. Unless the comment is being made at school or during school hours and is harming someone it should not be any of their business. The first amendment does not say though that teachers cannot limit their students like this. “It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional right to freedom of speech at the schoolhouse gate.” But the First Amendment prohibits only government officials from suppressing speech; it does not prevent school censorship at private schools. A state constitution, statute or school policy could provide private school students with free speech protections.” (SPCL, 2017, para. 1). Students can still be attending schools were their teachers limit their speech. I do not necessarily think this is right. Although I think everyone has the right to say how they feel as long as it is not hateful towards someone else. Yes, I know that in this day and age someone out their is going to be offended by what you say, but all I’m saying is to be kind. Don’t say things just because you can, say them because you feel like you should and that the world will be a better place because of it. The old saying “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all” says what I’m trying to say best. People need to remember this after the recent election. “A little more than a month into President Trump’s time in office, we’re seeing reports of upticks in both hate speech and protests on high school and college campuses. In the ten days following the election, almost 900 reports were made of harassment and intimidation, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, including incidents taking place at schools.” (Youth radio, 2017, para. 1). When I read this, I wondered who were these people? Are they supporters of Trump or are they protesting Trump? This to me is ridiculous, people need to be kinder to one another, in the end it isn’t about who is in office or what we can and can’t say. People are so focused with what they can’t say and so focused on hating. In schools especially even though it’s not the schools place to monitor what students say online, most of the time what students are saying is mean about other students or teachers.

  • Emma Dunneback

    How “free” can student speech be on school campuses?

    “In 1965, when Mary Beth Tinker was 13 years old, she wore a black armband to her junior high school to protest the Vietnam War. The school promptly suspended her, but her protest eventually led to a landmark Supreme Court case: Tinker v. Des Moines.”(Wheeler, 2014, para. 1) This case was the beginning to many other student cases where they believe that their first Amendment of freedom of speech is not being granted to them. Now that students have access to the internet it is taken to a new level, because students are being punished for comments made online even off the school campus and not on school hours.

    According to some students from the NYU there is also racial injustice taking place. “The thing about racial injustice on campuses is that it’s usually hard to see and easier just to ignore.”(Shockley, 2015, para. 1) This is the very unfortunate part is that it is not seen by everyone but I believe part of the issue is so many times before racial inequalities have been blown out of proportion and so has “cyberbullying” for example, a student got in trouble for have a tweet that a teacher simply didn’t like, not that it was offensive, the teacher just didn’t approve of it.

    “Protesters lit fires and damaged buildings, forcing the cancellation of a visit from right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos, who–among other things–outed a transgender student at another recent campus visit and has been barred from Twitter for violating anti-abuse policies.”(Youth Radio, 2017, para. 2) In a case where property or people are getting damaged I understand that this is inappropriate and is taken way too far. But when you are simply giving you opinion, you are exercising your first Amendment and no one can tell you that you can’t. Teachers are taking it was to far and not giving students their basic rights.

  • Olivia Rick

    First, I’d like to define what ‘speech’ is. Speech by definition is the expression of or the ability to express thoughts and feelings by articulate sounds; a formal address or discourse delivered to an audience. Speech is not an act of violence, or an action of any kind. It is voicing an idea (yours or another person’s) but by DEFINITION never says the idea is voiced through “lit fires and damaged buildings” like some protesters have used (Campus Life: Racial Injustice Edition (Youth Radio/Medium)). I am not saying I support the quote on quote free speech some violent protests have exercised. Freedom of speech is the right to articulate one’s opinions and ideas without fear of government retaliation or censorship, or societal sanction.
    With that being said, a school would fall under a societal sanction and they have no right to impose on a student’s freedom of speech. Students don’t have the free speech that they should have in schools. In many schools, students are being punished for things they say NOT on school property and NOT during schools hours (Do Students Still Have Free Speech in School by David Wheeler). A student’s speech has not been “free” enough. They should not be punished for exercising their free speech that many others exercise throughout all of America. If it was an employee of a corporation, the corporation would have no right to fire the employee for tweeting their stances on gay rights, for posting something on Facebook about another employee being mean, or something completely irrelevant to the corporation that was considered offensive. This same rule should be applied to all schools. Even more so to public schools than private schools and corporations because kids do not have much of a choice at which public school they attend and should not have to appease to their “boss”. All children are forced by law to go to school so they should not be taking away our rights when we go. What a student does off of school grounds is none of their business and that includes all aspects of their social life, even social media. A school would never search a student’s home (and wouldn’t have the right to for that matter), so why would they take it upon themselves to search a student’s phone or social media? It’s frankly an invasion of privacy and I won’t sugarcoat it as if I am okay with it. If a student’s social media raises flags to the police, then that’s one thing, but it is never a principal’s position to punish a student for saying how they feel. Schools should be paying more attention to websites like SPLC (http://www.splc.org) that stand for free speech for all students, who have the right to maintain their rights inside and outside of school regardless of how “offended” an authoritative figure gets.

  • Hannah Watton

    Do now prompt: Schools need to provide safe spaces and intellectual freedom for all students. How should they handle students’ free speech in today’s climate? #DoNowFreeSpeech
    Hannah Watton’s Response

    I do not believe that schools are safe spaces, but I do believe that schools use the phrase “safe space” as their excuse to limit students freedoms of speech and expression. In today’s climate, schools should learn that the more they let the students express within a classroom setting, the less likely they will be to lash out in ways such as protests and rebellious acts.
    To address my first point, if school was truly a safe space there wouldn’t be intellectual freedom or freedom of speech whatsoever. I do not believe that safe spaces and freedom go hand in hand. Freedom of speech means freedom of opposition and with conflicting ideas there can be no assurance of peace. School should be a tool for education, a place for lively debate, and yes, freedom of speech and expression. I believe students should be able to speak openly with their educators about religions and beliefs and should be able to share their ideas with fellow students. I understand that rules about dress code and modesty are important for the focus of the students and teachers. I do not understand banning a student such as Tinker from wearing a simple armband in peaceful protest against the vietnam war. Now, students are even getting punished by schools for what they do and say off of the grounds. Students know that the internet was once a safe space. Students knew this and used it to reach out in the only way they felt they could without real backlash. In the article by David R. Wheeler Do Students Still have Free Speech In Schools He says, “Student speech—often in defiance of administrators—has helped keep schools transparent. In September, students writing for an Ohio high school newspaper looked at public records and discovered that what their high school’s administration had called an “alleged assault” by a student was actually an alleged rape.” The internet is a way for students to reach out to the outside world. Schools should not have the right to interfere with that. The thing about the internet was that even when the words are pushed upon people, there was no worry of physical backlash. Now, with schools digging their way through student’s social media accounts there are very few places in which students can express who they are and what they believe without some authority controlling what they say…. That’s all for now

  • Hannah Watton

    I do not believe that schools are safe spaces, but I do believe that schools use the phrase “safe space” as their excuse to limit students freedoms of speech and expression. In today’s climate, schools should learn that the more they let the students express within a classroom setting, the less likely they will be to lash out in ways such as protests and rebellious acts.
    To address my first point, if school was truly a safe space there wouldn’t be intellectual freedom or freedom of speech whatsoever. I do not believe that safe spaces and freedom go hand in hand. Freedom of speech means freedom of opposition and with conflicting ideas there can be no assurance of peace. School should be a tool for education, a place for lively debate, and yes, freedom of speech and expression. I believe students should be able to speak openly with their educators about religions and beliefs and should be able to share their ideas with fellow students. I understand that rules about dress code and modesty are important for the focus of the students and teachers. I do not understand banning a student such as Tinker from wearing a simple armband in peaceful protest against the vietnam war. Now, students are even getting punished by schools for what they do and say off of the grounds. Students know that the internet was once a safe space. Students knew this and used it to reach out in the only way they felt they could without real backlash. In the article by David R. Wheeler Do Students Still have Free Speech In Schools He says, “Student speech—often in defiance of administrators—has helped keep schools transparent. In September, students writing for an Ohio high school newspaper looked at public records and discovered that what their high school’s administration had called an “alleged assault” by a student was actually an alleged rape.” The internet is a way for students to reach out to the outside world. Schools should not have the right to interfere with that. The thing about the internet was that even when the words are pushed upon people, there was no worry of physical backlash. Now, with schools digging their way through student’s social media accounts there are very few places in which students can express who they are and what they believe without some authority controlling what they say…. That’s all for now

  • Mallory Dixon

    I strongly believe that a student’s free speech should be supported. We should all be able to stick up for what is right and what we believe in. No one should ever be able to take away your freedom of speech like your mom takes away your phone when you are in trouble. As long as the student is able to voice their opinion in a polite and kind matter, there shouldn’t be a problem. We are in a country that is so great that everyone has natural rights from the second you’re born. Since the official presidency of Trump we have seen more protests than high school breakups. “A little more than a month into Presidents Trumps time in office, were seeing reports of upticks in both hate speech and protests on high school and college campuses,” (Youth Radio, 2017). I am not against protesting but when it has become too violent or turns into something more than just a protest I believe that is too far. “If we don’t encourage young people to use their First Amendment rights, our society is deprived of their creativity, energy, and new ideas. This is a huge loss, and also a human rights abuse,” (Do Students Still Have Free Speech in School?, 2014). But I do think that protests should be peaceful. No one knows what experiences people are going through or had gone through but just because someone thinks differently that yourself that shouldn’t make them any less of a person. “But with thousands of police departments failing to report alleged or even confirmed hate crimes to the FBI, we lack foundation information about how many such crimes occur in any given year, where they might occur the most and least, who the targets of such crimes tend to be, and how this has changed over time,” (Documenting Hate, n.d.). We should all be able to feel safe where we are without having to worry about violence. One day I believe that we could have the feeling where we are protected and have the right to say what we believe in.

  • Kayla Stout

    Kayla Stout
    2/21/17

    According to our first amendment, we as americans have the right to free speech. This applies to anywhere- school, work, home, the streets, etc. Though technically we can say what we please, I believe that there is an unwritten extension to it, and that is using it in moderation, or to an extent. Basically, as long as you are not hurting anyone else, you can say what you so desire. I would challenge this in that the majority of things we say affect others, be it in a positive or negative way. For example, you and your friend may be comfortable with your opinion on something or someone, but it may hurt someone the person that it concerns. For example, “I have found that everyone has been extremely welcoming and friendly. But I do know that there is a small group of individuals whose ignorant, rude and derogatory actions have sparked this lively movement on my campus.” (Campus Life: Racial Injustice Edition, Youth Radio/Medium).
    The majority of the controversy is centered around how others feel, and what topics fall under permissible, and those that are inexcusable, say discrimination. I think that students don’t have the ability to utilize truly free speech, but I don’t think anyone truly can anywhere either. “Mary Beth Tinker was 13 years old, she wore a black armband to her junior high school to protest the Vietnam War. The school promptly suspended her, but her protest eventually led to a landmark Supreme Court case: Tinker v. Des Moines.” (Do Students Still Have Free Speech?/The Atlantic). This girl was punished for exercising her freedom of speech, which proves my point about the unwritten rule.
    “Assembly Bill 165 would allow schools to demand that students hand over their cellphone to government officials – not just local police, but deans, principals and campus police, too. This would consequently give these officials the right to search through all electronic communications and obtain access to private social media accounts – all without a warrant.” (Student Press Law Center, Jessica Kelham-Hohler). This seems unconstitutional to me, and if we truly had free speech, why would it matter what the students may or may not be saying? In conclusion, freedom of speech is applicable to an extent, but some forms of speech are deemed as bad and are punishable. This is as free as we can make schools to ensure safety and ability to coexist with people who have different views.

  • John Ramirez

    I believe now more than ever, we need to be able to fully express ourselves. Our constitution upholds the right of not only freedom of speech, but the freedom of press. I think things like speech codes baby us, they set limitations to the conversations and it is mainly one sided. Having speech codes suppresses the language in a certain place but does not necessarily suppress the person’s feeling. This creates underline racial tension and like what has been happening, people think that just because people don’t say racial remarks there is not racism when in fact there is. I think everyone should be allowed to say what they want and it is our own personal responsibility to call out what we think is wrong.

  • John Ramirez

    I believe now more than ever, we need to be able to fully express ourselves. Our constitution upholds the right of not only freedom of speech, but the freedom of press. I think things like speech codes baby us, they set limitations to the conversations and it is mainly one sided. Having speech codes suppresses the language in a certain place but does not necessarily suppress the person’s feeling. This creates underline racial tension and like what has been happening, people think that just because people don’t say racial remarks there is not racism when in fact there is. I think everyone should be allowed to say what they want and it is our own personal responsibility to call out what we think is wrong. #Mycmstargs

    • Ciana Bell

      I completely agree John! Our ability to speak freely and write freely is an amazing right that we Americans have. Strict rules and regulations on what we are allowed to say and write does not create for a kind society but rather it causes individuals to protest and does create fro added tension. The only aspect that should ever be restricted is when ones speech leads to riots or eminent danger. Other than that, it is our constitutional right to speak freely, not the schools right to regulate.

    • Stone Dennison

      “our constitution upholds the right of not only freedom of speech, but freedom of press” This statement is true to an extent. The realm of speech at hand is limited-protected speech. Speech that can be limited dependent on time, place, and manner. I choose to comment on your post due to the fact of your actual knowledge of what is free speech. Did you know free speech is not absolute?(per Supreme Court) The Supreme Court has ruled that speech can be limited depending on time, place, manner. We all know we have free speech, but our extent of knowledge regarding the freedom of speech ends there usually. Research, see what isnt free speech and what is. NOT FREE SPEECH PER US COURT: Of students to make an obscene speech at a school-sponsored event.
      Bethel School District #43 v. Fraser, 478 U.S. 675 (1986).

  • Jonny Ballesteros

    We all know that we have our right of freedom of speech but in a way it has been taken away from us because of speech codes and other rules applied to campuses located in various areas. Recently, we have seen students stand up with their respected classmates and local community to speak out in what they believe in. I think anyone and everyone should be allowed to say what they want without verbally or PHYSICALLY attacking someone. Reasons why I think they add these speech codes or rules is to keep those that are being attacked safe but then it takes away the opportunity for someone to speak and express how they feel. If protest can stay peaceful and not focus on winning the argument but just informing individuals in what they believe in then their wouldn’t be front page articles of respected schools causing violent protest.According to http://www.debate.org/opinions/do-nonviolent-peaceful-protests-work, most people say that peaceful protest works over doing violent actions at a protest. Most importantly, you get your point across without being told to stop or leave a campus. So, I think by having a different approach we can have our freedom of speech back on campuses. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowFreeSpeech

  • Elaina Schupbach

    Student speech should be free on campus, but unfortunately, it is not as free as you would think in some places. Today, students can be more easily punished for the things they say on, or off, campus. The internet and social media play a large part in the widening issue of student’s freedom of speech on campus and where the boundaries are. Social media is a place where administrators are finding more reasons and evidence they can use to punish students for saying something that the school feels is wrong. The article Do Students Still Have Free Speech in School? states that, “schools regularly punish students for online comments, even if those comments are made away from school property and after school hours”(Wheeler, 2014). This means that the school basically has an effect on what students say when they are not in school, which seems very wrong and unfair. The same article also mentions that some students have been punished for strange reasons and in ways that were unnecessary. For example, “In 2012, after a Minnesota student wrote a Facebook post saying a hall monitor was “mean” to her, she was forced to turn over her Facebook password to school administrators—in the presence of a sheriff’s deputy”(Wheeler, 2014). The supreme court has helped to protect student rights in the past, and still has attempted to protect them today, “The Supreme Court reduced, but did not eliminate, the First Amendment protection of high school students’ “curricular” speech in the 1988 Hazelwood ruling”(Know Your Rights, 2014).

  • Evan Koetje

    Evan Koetje
    2/21
    How ‘Free” Can Student Speech Be On School Campuses?

    Because of what the First Amendment says, Americans have the freedom of speech. This applies to student speech on campus. Though, is this truly the case? In this now technology and social media driven world, it is evident that no matter where you go or do, people always have a way of getting to you and having contact with you. Since this is the case, students are being punished more frequently and much easier no matter where they are. “In 2012, after a Minnesota student wrote a Facebook post saying a hall monitor was “mean” to her, she was forced to turn over her Facebook password to school administrators- in the presence of a sheriff’s deputy. The school made an out-of-court settlement with the student, who was represented by the ACLU.” (Wheeler, par. 5). If this isn’t over the top, I don’t know what is. This completely goes against what the First Amendment stands for. Especially when you look at the fact that schools are punishing these students from their own homes, it has crossed the line. Though, when you look deeper into it, it gets more controversial. “Intended to protect teachers from cyber-bullying, the law prohibits students from making any online comments meant to “intimidate or torment” a school employee.” (Wheeler, par. 8). When you look at it this way, schools are only trying to keep their employees safe. Though at the same time, “intimidate or torment” are very vague, and in my opinion can be taken advantage of. Overall, I would say that student speech should stay as free as anyone else’s. A school is a place where learning should take happen and it definitely should not tamper with one of America’s foundations. Yes, students can be cruel, but in the end so can everyone else. If you are going to crack down on the students, then you better crack down on everyone else.

  • Dollie Partida

    Yes, schools do need to provide a safe space for anyone that is feeling exhausted, terrified or angry from today’s kind of topics. It is the schools duty to make us feel safe and protected in our campus. There should be programs that mentally support an help their students. For example, Chico State has it’s very one program called “Safe Place”. This is an area where you can go and talk about anything and express your feelings however you want. Although not all opinions and thoughts are positive those with different side perspectives also have the right to speak out for what they believe. We cannot control what others say, regardless if it’s harassment or empowering words. They will always be able to speak on their own. However, we could monitor and create consequences for those that go to the extremes and are now just harassing others rather than speaking their mind. Schools should be able to take action and limit free speech when it’s endangering other students. I agree with “It is very much within the jurisdiction of the school authorities to prevent or prohibit students from indulging in certain activities that may potentially pose a threat to a school environment conducive to learning” from http://www.theedadvocate.org/students-and-free-speech-what-is-a-schools-responsibility/ .
    I have not personally experienced racism here in Chico but I very much agreed with what Soraya from Harvard said “I haven’t experienced racism but I have experienced racial discomfort. Walking into a room and being the only person of color happens on a much more regular basis at [Chico] than at home in the Bay”. This is something I’ve heard a lot of my friends say too. #DoNowFreeSpeech #MyCMSTArgs

    • Neve Roby

      I didn’t know that Chico has a program that creates a safe space for students thats a stellar thing to know. I agree that you can’t control what others say no matter what they’re saying because we have the right to say whatever we believe in. While certain things may be taken as hate speech they’re usually just unpopular and offensive opinions and while they may offend people they aren’t causing any harm so I don’t think schools really need to take any serious protections like employing speech codes. Good post! #DoNowFreeSpeech #MyCMSTArgs

  • Neve Roby

    I think that yes schools should provide a safe space but schools are also subject to following the first amendment. I think that this goes back to a practice debate in class about speech codes, while I agree that schools should be a safe place they also have a duty to promote healthy debates about current topics. These codes shield students from opposing or unpopular opinions, how will they learn to respond to such opinions after they graduate if there are protections. Hate speech codes or any sort of protection can obstruct the kind of education that promotes tolerance of diversity in other ways. What most campuses would see as harassment, intimidating or hate speech are just really unpopular and offensive opinions & while they may do those things they aren’t causing serious harm. As a social institution, a university should be open to all opinions, popular and unpopular. The ALCU has a well written article about hate speech on campus & how it effects people. https://www.aclu.org/other/hate-speech-campus #DoNowFreeSpeech #MyCMSTArgs

    • Brigitte Dahrouj

      The article you linked stated, “The First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects speech no matter how offensive its content.” This is false there are forms of unprotected speech; there are things you cannot legally say or do even with the first amendment protection. I have linked on my comment a lecture on unprotected speech if you’re interested. In addition, I think there is a difference between unpopular opinions and hate speech. You can say controversial things without being offensive.

    • Eric Ascencio

      Neve, i agree with you when you say that college campuses shouldn’t let people protest about hate. At the same time I think people should be allowed to say whatever they want. If it is a violent riot then obviously they should not be allowed on campus. Its the same way in the real world according to the first amendment you have to the right to protest and say what you want but as soon it turns violent the police shut it down. I couldn’t have said it better myself when you said how are students going to survive in the real world if for four years at a university all they heard were positive things and they agreed with everything they were told or saw. I think listening to opposing side and things that u dont believe in or agree with makes you more well rounded and ready for the real world. #DoNowFreeSpeech #MyCMSTArgs

  • Brigitte Dahrouj

    We need speech codes set in place for hate speech. Hate speech is protected by the first amendment. There is a difference between sharing a controversial opinion and hate speech, so these speech codes would not prevent healthy debates. Hate speech, as opposed to controversial opinions, disrupt the learning environment and make students feel unsafe. You can say “I don’t support immigration,” but if you say “I hate immigrants” that’s offensive and can make immigrant students feel threatened and like they can no longer safely speak without being attacked.
    Another important point to make is that harassment codes are considered speech codes. We need protections for students who are harassed. Speech codes provide accountability for those who can’t behave in a manner that keeps students safe, and protection for the students who fall victim to those who misbehave.
    Another thing to take into account is that the first amendment has limitations. This is a small lecture on unprotected speech that could help with that understanding https://www.coursera.org/learn/chemerinsky-individual-rights/lecture/YHtxn/unprotected-speech
    #DoNowFreeSpeech #MyCMSTArgs

  • Ciana Bell

    While I do believe that schools should provide safe spaces and intellectual freedom for all students, I feel that it should do so in a ways that does not limit ones free speech. Safe spaces for speech should not mean that speech is then limited elsewhere, rather it is only a means for those who fear speaking publicly to express themselves. With that in mind, I feel that schools do not need to “handle students’ free speech” but rather aid in their expression and ensure for safe places for their discussion. When free speech results in riots is the only time that it must be handled by the school. A recent event that is a perfect example of this was the US Berkeley Riot. http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/02/03/uc-berkeley-riot-tests-free-speech-incites-funding-threat-from-trump/ The Students actions with relation to their free speech expression was not a safe or beneficial use of expression on campus. In cases such as these, the school should “handle students” in an attempt to ensure the safety for the majority. #DoNowFreeSpeech #MyCMSTArgs

  • Stone Dennison

    The first amendment does provide for the freedom of speech, among other things. Stop right there, because there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the idea of absolute speech. The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that speech CAN BE LIMITED dependent on time, place, and manner. Example.) Tobacco commercials are banned from national television. Hate speech at schools being protected at public schools is an iffy subject. Hate Speech can be considered a limited speech, or non protected speech and can legally banned constitutionally. If the speech at hand is interfering with others’ protected rights, it can be challenged as “free speech.” I urge everybody to research the 3 types of speech: Protected Speech, Limited-Protected Speech, and unprotected speech. We are dealing within the realm of Limited Protected speech, speech that can be restricted upon time, place and manner. http://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/educational-resources/about-educational-outreach/activity-resources/what-does. This is a government article stating what is protected and what is not. What is not protected? Check it out before you take the first amendment for face value. #myCMSTArgs #donowfreespeech

  • devinn bradford

    I personally believe that we have the right to say whatever we want and feel however we want. On the other hand, I believe there is a flip side to it. Due to the color of peoples skin, people are considered minorities who’s voices tend to be weakened by white privilege. Honestly speaking, the majority of hate speeches are geared toward minorities so this does not affect other people who literally experience these things. It is people that do not identify with hate speeches being directed to say that you just have to deal with it, but there is a way to say what you want. You have to keep in mind that saying what you want could get you in a position that you may not like. Choosing your words wisely, tones, and presentation is what it is all about. #donowfreespeech #mycmstargs

    • Mackenna Neal

      yes you are right! Maybe we need to focus more on establishing tolerance among people rather than the importance of freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is very important, but maybe that isn’t the big problem here. If people were more understanding and considerate of other cultures and people, then freedom of speech wouldn’t be considered a problem. #DoNowFreeSpeech #MyCMSTArgs

  • Mackenna Neal

    I believe that all college campuses should not regulate speech, and embrace freedom of speech. It is a way for students to engage in discourse safely, and learn how to interact to each other respectfully. I do believe there is a huge difference between allowing free speech on a college campus and allowing free speech on a high school campus, . High school is a tricky time for most people. Kids say and do a lot of stupid things. It may not be fair to take away freedom of speech on a high school campus, but to regulate it. Not to say that high schoolers can’t talk about important issues, but enforce a more zero- tolerance policy if someone says something too offensive. This is a touchy subject, that I don’t know a lot about on, but would like to know more. #DoNowFreeSpeech #MyCMSTArgs

  • Freddy Ortiz

    Like high school you speech is regulated, and people must fallow respectable guidelines to crate a safe environment for all. It may be controversial as many say it goes against the first amendment, but these school institutions are not erasing the first amendment from existence. Schools only chip away at it as a whole. You are not oppressed or forbidden to express yourselves, but given guidelines to fallow as schools want to be a peaceful environment free of harassment, or prejudice. By crating guidelines what can be said or expressed are regulated for the safety of the majority of a school’s institute inhabitants.

  • Aileen Carranza

    Student’s free speech shouldn’t be limited unless they are directly offending someone or have intentions of hurting someone. Besides that student should be free to express their opinions on everyday events going on in the world they are living in.

  • Madyson Emory

    One thing that all people must remember, first and for-most, is that people are not born hateful; they don’t come out of the womb spewing hateful propaganda and nasty things. Children learn that from the people around them, and unless it is corrected, they will pass those same hateful messages along to other young kids in the area, and so-on. Now, to give an answer as to whether or not speech should be regulated around your schools and college campuses, I say no. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” This is what the First Amendment says, and as the American people, we should abide by this rule. Granted, while people say incredibly rude and ignorant things, it is their right to voice their opinion, no matter how wrong, morally or not, it may be. The people also have to remember that this can’t apply to all nations as this is the American Constitution. Even then, if our speech was limited in any capacity, we lose our ability to converse as some of the most interesting and beneficial conversations are the ones that are controversial, that are deemed taboo by society, that are deemed “Too wrong to talk about” in the eye of the people.

  • Grace

    Yes, the First Amendment states that we are allowed free speech. However, if the speech is damaging the reputation or quality of life for others, I don’t think it should be allowed. Same goes for how bullying is prohibited in school environments; their hurtful words aren’t tolerated, so why should hate speech be? I think there is a clear and obvious line between just speaking your mind and hate speech. These hate crimes and harmful interactions between people is not just a matter of opinion, in many cases, it threatens someone’s life and their right to exist. Racists should not be allowed to openly express their hatred for those of other races, they should not be allowed to freely express their extremely hateful views towards innocent people. Same goes for homophobes and sexists. Opinion is okay, but hateful prejudice is not. Cause even if it’s just their open hatred of a group (which is already bad), it instills and promotes the idea that other groups of people are lesser than others, which very quickly will lead to open violence. Words hurt, slurs hurt, and will lead to violence. That’s just how it works. So yes, freedom of speech should be okay, as long as it doesn’t disrespect someone else’s existence.

  • Alita Stukel

    Freedom of speech has always been an issue, especially in school areas. Students have a harder time with their opinions because of the social setting of a school. Kids can be easily judges, but its also hard for kids to understand that school isn’t the place for opinions involving politics or religion. Teachers don’t exactly jhave the right to tell the students to keep their opinions to their selves, but its hard to keep them from crossing a certain law. Eventually, I feel like the students can just learn to censor themselves

  • Cali Smith

    Of course, everyone has the right of free speech in the United States, but many protesters do not understand the law and are blindly protesting for something they think is right. A school campus is also not an appropriate place for protests. A school is a place for learning, while they may peacefully express their ideas and opinions in class, taking it as far as they are is disrupting the class and learning of others.

  • alejandra

    Students should have the right to free speech wherever they go, no matter what. It’s a person’s way to expressing themselves, especially at such a young age. Although, everything has their limits. It shouldn’t get to the point where someone might feel in danger or so offensive that it can hurt their feelings. By handling it schools should explain these limits to their students so then no harm is done to anyone.

  • Craig

    The reason why schools should provide safe places for students because they have the right to have freedom of speech to advocate for things they believe in,

  • Justis Haruo Kusumoto

    Schools need to provide safe spaces and intellectual freedom for all students. How should they handle students’ free speech in today’s climate? #DoNowFreeSpeech
    The Atlantic, April 7th, 2014: https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/04/do-students-still-have-free-speech-in-school/360266/
    Several decades ago, when a student wore an armband to school in protest of the Vietnam War, she was suspended by school administrators. The Supreme Court, however, disagreed, in a 7-2 decision in the landmark case Tinker v. Des Moines. The court found that constitutional rights to freedom of speech and expression do not, and should not be discarded once a student enters a campus.
    However, this was back in 1965. Today, school administrators prowl the internet and exact harsh discipline on students for a variety of online comments made outside of the classroom and on their own time. The new frontier for conflict over free speech has manifested in the digital world. State legislatures have also clamped down, including North Carolina, as outlined in the Atlantic article, giving schools a massive and broad set of authority to oppress student speech and expression. Obviously, school administrators will always have their own unique approaches and views on these issues. So, the courts must re-interpret the first amendment in digital communication cases as well, to apply the Tinker decision to speech monitored online outside of school time and facilities.

    Hate speech is a different but similar issue. While reprehensible, there are certain areas at schools and on campus that allow or should allow free speech regardless of where it is. The courts have maintained that certain types of speech that pose a clear and present danger to public safety, such as yelling “fire” in a crowded theater are clearly illegal. Also, while many controversial types of speech often disrupt learning on campus, it’s important that free speech have some moderate regulation in the classroom environment. Sexual harassment is also another exception to free speech, accompanied by speech inciting violence or posing a clear and present danger to public safety.

    When controversial, white-supremacist sympathetic alt-right speakers come to a college campus, they have every right to do so, as long as they are not interrupting a class (unless they have been given an invitation). Similarly, racial and sexual minorities should have an equal right to express themselves and speak freely. Restricting people like alt-right speakers (I will not say his name because he’s a fame-seeking jerk) on college campuses like Berkeley only give them more attention outside of that campus. Keeping these complex issues in mind it’s important that colleges and schools extend the first amendment to its legal boundaries under the law on their campuses.

    But controversial alt-right jerks are not the only people being wrongfully censored, and people on the right are incredibly hypocritical for calling out liberal universities for censoring right-wing speakers. Just a few months ago, one of the bastions and intersections of neoconservatism and American evangelism, Liberty University, has become a new host spot in this free speech battle, but few have paid attention. When students working on the school newspaper, including editor Joel Schmieg, published some critical analyses of Trump following the release of tapes in which he casually described sexual assault and a lack of respect for women, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. suppressed their column. You can read the article from Politico here: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/jerry-falwell-donald-trump-liberty-229964

  • Marissa Diaz

    Freedom of speech in schools is great for everyone, it’s a way for students minds and beliefs to expand. We grow up in a home taught certain things and in schools you’re around peers who have been taught different. Freedom of speech is a way for students to learn from each other and learn about each other, we’re exposed to new ways of life and together a greater environment should be created.

  • Morgan

    Free speech will always be a topic of controversy. While many will say that free speech is allowed, but when it becomes discriminatory or hateful it’s suddenly not. There are going to be people that will express their opinion that you might think is hateful, but that is their right to express that. Not one opinion is more important than the other. Some might be more hateful than the other and there might be some in which you don’t agree with, but in the end, it is their right to express it.

  • Justis Haruo Kusumoto

    Schools need to provide safe spaces and intellectual freedom for all students. How should they handle students’ free speech in today’s climate? #DoNowFreeSpeech
    While racism and xenophobia are unacceptable, speech codes and restrictions in schools are often abused by administrators, in the name of campus safety or public good. Therefore, schools should allow speech to occur on campus as far as it is legally permissible. That means, all speech, with the exception of clear and present threats to public safety, sexual harassment, and several other categories should be allowed on college campuses.
    Unfortunately, censorship on college campuses is not restricted to the right or the left. “Political correctness” has invaded our entire society, and wreaked havoc on intellectual freedom. If we place restrictions at universities beyond current law, as we have seen at many schools like Liberty University, we risk giving administrators too much power to suffocate real, intellectual freedom. Liberty University, a bastion of conservatism and evangelism, recently emerged as another site of the free speech controversy. Joel Schmieg, in the fall of 2016, was the editor of the school paper. He and other student journalists wrote a critical column about Trump following the release of a crude audio tape where he talked about groping women, which was subsequently censored by Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., a political ally of Trump. You can read the article here:
    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/jerry-falwell-donald-trump-liberty-229964
    So, with this in mind, but also public safety, universities should defer to the decisions of Congress and the courts for what is acceptable and what is illegal speech. If we move beyond existing legal restrictions on free speech, we may truly imperil intellectual freedom.

Author

Youth Radio

Youth Radio is the Peabody Award-winning youth-driven production company headquartered in Oakland, California. For more Youth Radio stories and lesson ideas, check out www.youthradio.org .

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