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View Full Version : 'Barbie Is a Lesbian' Shirt Suit Settled


iGav
Apr 2, 2004, 11:43 AM
I wonder what Ken would think?? heheh

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=oddlyEnoughNews&storyID=4736412&section=news

Savage Henry
Apr 2, 2004, 11:58 AM
Man, these guys have a lot of time on their hands! :rolleyes:

[he says, scouring the forums to write inane garbled messages that mean nothing to no one ... ho hum]

Opteron
Apr 2, 2004, 09:48 PM
iGav iGav iGav:o what wold we ever do without you:p

Kuby said the school system also agreed to require teachers and administrators to undergo sensitivity training to improve relations with gay and lesbian students.

Dam people in the US as SOOO conservative.

Dippo
Apr 3, 2004, 12:20 AM
Why does it always seem that taxpayers always get to foot the bill.

I think that the school was within their rights to suspend her.
The article doesn't say if it went to court or not...

Well, I am sure Mattel would be within their rights to sue her now :)

Dippo
Apr 3, 2004, 02:17 AM
Sorry for the double post but I found a picture:

http://eur.news1.yimg.com/eur.yimg.com/xp/reuters_ids/20040402/i/92727680.jpg
Friday April 2, 08:13 AM Natalie Young holds a t-shirt with the words "Barbie is a Lesbian" written on it in her lawyers office in New York City, April 1, 2004. Young settled a lawsuit brought against the New York City Department of Education, the city of New York and several teachers after she wore the t-shirt and was suspended from school and told not to wear it again. As a result of the suit, the Department of Education agreed to change school policy recognizing and allowing for political speech and expression by students. REUTERS/Jeff Christensen


Are we sure she is a girl???

darkblue
Apr 3, 2004, 04:32 AM
That incident caused quite a stir over here in Sydney. She has every right to wear what she wants though, I suppose.
Sure, there were some :eek: and :( and maybe even :mad: but it's example to show that she wasn't denied freedom of speech.

It would be nice to see that right applied in areas of more importance...

748s
Apr 3, 2004, 08:02 AM
Sorry for the double post but I found a picture:
Are we sure she is a girl???


if i have to explain you'll never understand.
sheep stand together, eagles soar alone.

miloblithe
Apr 3, 2004, 08:29 AM
Are we sure she is a girl???

I think you're missing the point. The joke she's making about Barbie being a lesbian is a response to exactly the kind of joke that you're making. It's just her joke is a little more clever.

mkrishnan
Apr 3, 2004, 12:05 PM
I think you're missing the point. The joke she's making about Barbie being a lesbian is a response to exactly the kind of joke that you're making. It's just her joke is a little more clever.

I agree...for politically-conscious wear, this is relatively benign. It's too much to ask that the school experience be sheltered so much for the chiildren of the conservative that words like "Lesbian" are non gratis. If the shirt said something meaner, maybe, but this isn't so bad, and she (and her peers) are 15, not 6. :mad:

OTOH, I also agree that Ken is the silent victim here. Barbie has the right to make her own decisions about her sexuality, but she should not string poor Ken out. And his hair's too plastic and he doesn't dress well enough to be gay. :eek:

rainman::|:|
Apr 3, 2004, 03:12 PM
the point here is that if the shirt said "barbie is a christian", we never would have heard a word about it.

paul

XnavxeMiyyep
Apr 3, 2004, 03:50 PM
the point here is that if the shirt said "barbie is a christian", we never would have heard a word about it.

paul

Good point. And unfortunately, it is the case.

mkrishnan
Apr 3, 2004, 04:04 PM
Good point. And unfortunately, it is the case.

Yeah, it is rather sad. :(

wdlove
Apr 3, 2004, 04:32 PM
the point here is that if the shirt said "barbie is a christian", we never would have heard a word about it.

paul

Actually, the ACLU would probably bring a complaint even more strongly about the word Christian. There track record is to remove religion from the public. It's a very sad commentary on our society. :(

XnavxeMiyyep
Apr 3, 2004, 04:35 PM
Actually, the ACLU would probably bring a complaint even more strongly about the word Christian. There track record is to remove religion from the public. It's a very sad commentary on our society. :(

It's sad that they try to remove anything (unless EXTREMELY offensive) from our society. We're supposed to have freedom of expression.

rainman::|:|
Apr 3, 2004, 04:47 PM
Actually, the ACLU would probably bring a complaint even more strongly about the word Christian. There track record is to remove religion from the public. It's a very sad commentary on our society. :(

The ACLU would have championed her right to wear a christian tshirt, provided that other students were not being discriminated against (such as, someone was banned from wearing other religious symbols). The ACLU is not some wild anti-christian organization, as it's purveyed to be. And it's not sad that there is an organization that believes if you get certain rights, everyone else does, too. The ACLU simply does not believe that christians should be held to a double-standard, simply because they claim majority.

i didn't mean to infer some lesbian v christian thing, just used it as an example. christian students widely enjoy the right to wear religious apparel, yet someone wearing a shirt that conflicts with a christian ideal is suspended? surely not in America...

paul

XnavxeMiyyep
Apr 3, 2004, 05:18 PM
The ACLU would have championed her right to wear a christian tshirt, provided that other students were not being discriminated against (such as, someone was banned from wearing other religious symbols). The ACLU is not some wild anti-christian organization, as it's purveyed to be. And it's not sad that there is an organization that believes if you get certain rights, everyone else does, too. The ACLU simply does not believe that christians should be held to a double-standard, simply because they claim majority.

In that case, I take my comment back. I did some research on the ACLU, and realized that you were right.

Dippo
Apr 3, 2004, 06:36 PM
the point here is that if the shirt said "barbie is a christian", we never would have heard a word about it.

paul


We wouldn't have heard about it because the media wouldn't want to cover a story about someone being denied religious freedom.

The seperation of church and state would be twisted to prevent someone from wearing such a shirt.

rainman::|:|
Apr 4, 2004, 01:13 AM
We wouldn't have heard about it because the media wouldn't want to cover a story about someone being denied religious freedom.

The separation of church and state would be twisted to prevent someone from wearing such a shirt.

i promise you, go into any high school across the country, you'll find people wearing christian shirts, WWJD bracelets, dozens of cross necklaces... that christian apparel is a part of high school society is not at issue here. France is the only major country I know of that does not allow religious freedom of speech in schools, and that law was passed very recently (to the dismay of many Muslims in the country). I think the law is abhorrent (although a typical, good-intentioned attempt to stop potential violence). A court in the very city i live with, des moines, declared in 1969 that students don't shed their religious freedom of speech at the door in schools. free speech based on religion in school is a very real legal principle and one that the ACLU has used many times in legal battles against school administrations. you just can't have it both way, if they're going to argue religious freedom of speech, they're going to argue that religion itself cannot quell the free speech of others.

and, for the record, i think making fun of lesbians' gender identity is kind of tired, don't you?

paul

sonyrules
Apr 4, 2004, 01:17 AM
the point here is that if the shirt said "barbie is a christian", we never would have heard a word about it.

paul

Aint that the truth. Unless there was a satan worshiper or something simular... But not enough out there to care.

gwuMACaddict
Apr 4, 2004, 03:28 PM
the point here is that if the shirt said "barbie is a christian", we never would have heard a word about it.

paul

i don't quite agree with you about this. different schools in different locations in the country have certain dress codes to deal with sensative issues. for instance, i know that in some inner city school in baltimore you are not allowed to wear bandanas of any kind- this is to prevent gang violence and other diruptive behavior.

i think the point was that the school didn't have a properly worded dress code, or as i understand it, any dress code at all. the most recent articlel i read said that the school system was going to review its policies, and make changes. dress codes are in place for a reason, to quell disruptive behavior and avoid disruptions that could take away from time that could be speant learning in the classroom.

also- i don't think i'm that old... but she wore this shirt when she was around 12 years old correct? it was just settled now, if i understand correctly. do most 12 year olds even have a clear understanding of what lesbian and gay is?

vniow
Apr 4, 2004, 03:36 PM
also- i don't think i'm that old... but she wore this shirt when she was around 12 years old correct? it was just settled now, if i understand correctly. do most 12 year olds even have a clear understanding of what lesbian and gay is?


I've known I've liked girls since I was five.

gwuMACaddict
Apr 4, 2004, 04:01 PM
I've known I've liked girls since I was five.

that was just my own curiousity, i don't recall being interested in the opposite sex until at least 12 i guess... :rolleyes: :D :o

rainman::|:|
Apr 4, 2004, 04:16 PM
i don't quite agree with you about this. different schools in different locations in the country have certain dress codes to deal with sensative issues. for instance, i know that in some inner city school in baltimore you are not allowed to wear bandanas of any kind- this is to prevent gang violence and other diruptive behavior.

i think the point was that the school didn't have a properly worded dress code, or as i understand it, any dress code at all. the most recent articlel i read said that the school system was going to review its policies, and make changes. dress codes are in place for a reason, to quell disruptive behavior and avoid disruptions that could take away from time that could be speant learning in the classroom.

also- i don't think i'm that old... but she wore this shirt when she was around 12 years old correct? it was just settled now, if i understand correctly. do most 12 year olds even have a clear understanding of what lesbian and gay is?

I've known since i was about 5-6. Society contains enough anti-homosexual inflection that it's easy to identify the quality in yourself, pretty quickly. Once you figure out how hard it will be to come out, then the denial starts.

Schools may, depending on state laws, enact dress codes, but that's not designed to strip a student of free speech. They still might, for instance, wear an armband to protest a war, or pass out literature about religion. Public schools simply may not quash that. The administration's burden is heavy in showing that free speech disrupts learning activities, courts usually side with the student in these cases... Unless you're doing something like, blocking an access point to the school with a protest. Obscenity is also a quick way to lose your free speech.

That this was apparel is really just incidental. If they had a dress code, she could have put the logo on her bookbag, her organizer, or even pass it out via photocopy. She's explicitly protected in doing so. The school screwed up, they deprived her of a civil liberty without due cause.

Private schools may enforce any dress codes they want, and do not necessarily have to preserve free speech.

more information:
ACLU Student Rights (http://www.aclu.org/FreeSpeech/FreeSpeechlist.cfm?c=87)

paul

gwuMACaddict
Apr 4, 2004, 04:39 PM
paul, none of what you said above do i dispute... you said that this case was akin to wearing a christian shirt- that is what i disagree with. not basic rights. my point was that this was a school dress code issue and the school made the mistake of not having a carefuly thought out, well documented policy...

G4scott
Apr 4, 2004, 06:51 PM
I do not think that student's have the right to wear clothes that carry a message that could be disrupting for other students. They may have freedom of speech, but if that speech interferes with other students' ability to get an education, then there should be actions taken against it. If a teacher had to take time out of class to stop an argument about the t-shirt, then the person wearing the t-shirt should be removed from the class room, and not allowed to wear the shirt. I don't know if that was the case here, but I can see why administrators would want to keep kids from wearing shirts like that, because they don't want to have the possibility of disruptions happening in class.

windowsblowsass
Apr 4, 2004, 07:04 PM
in my school theres a clause that says the principal (we call him hitler) can change any puishment for anything he wants

mkrishnan
Apr 6, 2004, 04:29 PM
I do not think that student's have the right to wear clothes that carry a message that could be disrupting for other students. They may have freedom of speech, but if that speech interferes with other students' ability to get an education, then there should be actions taken against it. If a teacher had to take time out of class to stop an argument about the t-shirt, then the person wearing the t-shirt should be removed from the class room, and not allowed to wear the shirt. I don't know if that was the case here, but I can see why administrators would want to keep kids from wearing shirts like that, because they don't want to have the possibility of disruptions happening in class.

Isn't the problem with this way of handling things that it creates a tyranny of troublemaking students? Say I like to pick arguments with people (for the sake of argument :). Say you wear a "Barbie is a Lesbian" t-shirt and I disrupt class to start an argument with you about your t-shirt, because I think it offends my sexual mores. Then the teacher kicks you out. Fine. Say, the next day, someone (else) wears a Greenpeace t-shirt, and I pick an argument with them because I think that Greenpeace undervalues the plight of the blue-collar worker, all to easily pushing to shut down industrial operations when the result is massive layoffs. Fine. Then, the next day, I pick an argument with someone (else) who is wearing an N*Sync t-shirt because I think that Justin Timberlake is a loser who would never have a hit if the Neptunes weren't backing him up. Fine. Then, the next day, I pick a fight with someone (else) because they're wearing Diesel jeans, and Diesel is so 1990s.

Is the problem what all these other kids are wearing, or my attitude? :)

Don't get me wrong -- I see value in your argument. If it's objective and consistent, i.e. wearing uniforms, I think it can be a good idea. If it's just reactionary and they ban whatever causes trouble, I think it sends bad messages about responsibility to the kids in the school...

1macker1
Apr 6, 2004, 04:50 PM
I dont see how this is proper wear for school. If the girl is proud to be a lesbia, the it's her business. But the shirt is a bit much, atleast for school.

rainman::|:|
Apr 6, 2004, 05:00 PM
I dont see how this is proper wear for school. If the girl is proud to be a lesbia, the it's her business. But the shirt is a bit much, atleast for school.

because law provides her freedom of speech, and it was being trampled here. It may seem trivial to some people, but it's the little cases like this that make it hard to enforce freedom of speech-- it's easier to roll over and look the other way, than to do what's right. But then, they don't let her wear the shirt, next we know the administration is scrutinizing every t-shirt being worn, pretty soon kids are only allowed to express opinions in keeping with the school administration. If that's what you want for your child, to be a mindless drone, protected from any diversity, send them to a private school. Public schools are only part-way about book learning, they're also the place that kids learn about society, and learn to interact, and share ideas... how to function as people. Functional people do not shut down every time they see a t-shirt that is outside of their opinion. they ignore it, which is what kids in this situation *did*.

i agree 100% with mkrishnan, the problem here isn't free speech-- it's people trying to cap that speech. That's when all of the problems start, and the courts get involved.

paul

mactastic
Apr 6, 2004, 05:15 PM
I dont see how this is proper wear for school. If the girl is proud to be a lesbia, the it's her business. But the shirt is a bit much, atleast for school.

How about a girl who wears a 'FLIRT' or 'DIVA' shirt? Is that too much too?

Dippo
Apr 6, 2004, 05:48 PM
How about a girl who wears a 'FLIRT' or 'DIVA' shirt? Is that too much too?


Yea that too much too. These kids should have to wear uniforms, then we wouldn't have these problems.


People should be considerate and think that maybe other don't want to be exposed to such things.

mactastic
Apr 6, 2004, 05:51 PM
Yea that too much too. These kids should have to wear uniforms, then we wouldn't have these problems.


People should be considerate and think that maybe other don't want to be exposed to such things.

How about a WWJD shirt?

rainman::|:|
Apr 6, 2004, 08:31 PM
Yea that too much too. These kids should have to wear uniforms, then we wouldn't have these problems.


People should be considerate and think that maybe other don't want to be exposed to such things.

why not just homeschool them? in fact, if you did it right, you could prevent them from even leaving the home before the age of 18. Make sure they're never "exposed to such things"...

in my world, values were based on what you were taught, not what you were protected from seeing. i guess that changed. it must be that children are far too stupid to realize other people have different beliefs... we must make everything perfectly sterile and sanitary to preserve their fragile little minds.

and they say political correctness has gone too far... if school uniforms were enforced in the name of political correctness, to create a "non-emotionally-hostile" environment (that sounds like a PC-ism), Christians would claim that they're being persecuted, that the liberals struck again.

as any good conservative will tell you, school uniforms are absurd, the government has no business meddling there. A minor's apparel is the concern of their respective parents.

paul

Bedawyn
Apr 6, 2004, 08:44 PM
People should be considerate and think that maybe other don't want to be exposed to such things.

*blink* And I'd rather not be exposed to war or poverty or fundamentalists or homophobia or The Popular Crowd(tm) or Justin Timberlake or mustard. And heaven preserve me from grapefruit. And I'm sure most high school kids don't want to be exposed to homework, and I would have given dearly not to be exposed to gym class.

But you know what? We don't get that choice.

OTOH, I also agree that Ken is the silent victim here. Barbie has the right to make her own decisions about her sexuality, but she should not string poor Ken out. And his hair's too plastic and he doesn't dress well enough to be gay.

Nah, a nonissue. Ken came out years ago back with the Earring Magic...

Dippo
Apr 7, 2004, 07:13 AM
and they say political correctness has gone too far... if school uniforms were enforced in the name of political correctness, to create a "non-emotionally-hostile" environment (that sounds like a PC-ism), Christians would claim that they're being persecuted, that the liberals struck again.


School is a place to learn, and not a place to display controversial and disruptive views. When some shows up with the "All gays are going to burn in hell" T-shirt, I am sure you would want to send them home. How is that any different?

1macker1
Apr 7, 2004, 09:05 AM
Yeah i think a "FLIRT" shirt would be too much for a CHILD in school. The 'DIVA' shirt isn't bad. You don't have complete freedom of speech in school. Not in high school, not in college. Trying going to class and saying "******", or "******", and see how quick your freedom of speech is revoked. I think there is a line and she crossed it. Who's to say what that line is, not me.
How about a girl who wears a 'FLIRT' or 'DIVA' shirt? Is that too much too?

rainman::|:|
Apr 7, 2004, 10:04 AM
You don't have complete freedom of speech in school. Not in high school, not in college.

I don't know how many ways i can say this. Yes, you do. Entirely. Protected by law, Guaranteed by the Constitution, upheld by the courts, unabridged by legislation. complete freedom of speech. The only two cases where this is not true, are obscenities ("flirt" and "lesbian" are not obscenities, by the way) and disruption. That was not the case here.

Dippo, kids have worn shirts like that, a kid wore a shirt with a similar sentiment when I was in high school, very pointedly at me. However the message was not threatening, or obscene, so I had no problem with it (besides the annoyance factor, but i'm annoyed equally as much by people that wear Tommy clothes, so whatever)...

Schools, as I said, are only halfway about book learning-- Social interaction is the other component, which has been recognized many times over. If you send your child to public school to learn textbooks and nothing else, you're sending them to a place designed to teach them more than that. That's why there's private schools and homeschooling, for parents that are terrified that their children will be corrupted into godless communists by hearing other opinions. You want control, you pay for it-- I'm not footing the bill for your kid to *not be offended*.

paul

1macker1
Apr 7, 2004, 10:22 AM
Public schools is not the place for learning other things than book learning. I dont know when this all started, but it should end. Social interaction is a part of school, but to a certain point. Just because a person attend public school, he/she should not have other people's values shoved into their face. If you want respect for what you believe in, there are tasteful was going about it.

G4scott
Apr 7, 2004, 10:44 AM
Is the problem what all these other kids are wearing, or my attitude? :)

In this case, you should be the one kicked out of school.

I don't care who you are, but when you are in school (high school and below), you do not have the freedom of speech that you have outside of class. You are there to learn. If your speech disrupts class, or keeps others from learning, it's going to be silenced, because that type of behavior shouldn't be tolerated.

I'm all for freedom of speech, but the second it interferes with any of my rights, or the rights of others, I'm going to do something about it. Students in a public school have the right to an education, and I think that that's more valuable to them at that point than freedom of speech. That's what college is for.

mactastic
Apr 7, 2004, 11:30 AM
Public schools is not the place for learning other things than book learning.

Ok, lets start by cutting the football teams. Fair enough? I assume you aren't a college basketball fan?

I dont know when this all started, but it should end. Social interaction is a part of school, but to a certain point.

Ok, no proms either. Nor after school clubs or any of the festivities leading up to HS graduation.

Just because a person attend public school, he/she should not have other people's values shoved into their face. If you want respect for what you believe in, there are tasteful was going about it.

Agreed. So stop shoving your values into that girl's face and let her wear her shirt. :p

rainman::|:|
Apr 7, 2004, 12:38 PM
In this case, you should be the one kicked out of school.

I don't care who you are, but when you are in school (high school and below), you do not have the freedom of speech that you have outside of class. You are there to learn. If your speech disrupts class, or keeps others from learning, it's going to be silenced, because that type of behavior shouldn't be tolerated.

I'm all for freedom of speech, but the second it interferes with any of my rights, or the rights of others, I'm going to do something about it. Students in a public school have the right to an education, and I think that that's more valuable to them at that point than freedom of speech. That's what college is for.

Huh, looks like i have to say it again. I'll make this one for the record:

students DO have freedom of speech.

There is no argument about that, it's simply legal precident. Period. If you want to argue that they *shouldn't*, go ahead, but they DO.

The constitution guarantees freedom of speech. it does NOT guarantee that you won't be offended. So, even if you ARE offended by something, your rights have not been infringed on.

I'm serious, if you don't like it, go for private school. You simply cannot run public schools as some sort of religious institution, nor can you make public schools cater to a religious population. That's why the school MUST stay out of all matters religious. Lowest common denominator, which is pure unadulterated LIBERTY.

Thank god there are people out there willing to stand up for YOUR liberties, when you're not. I'd hate to see what kind of world you complacent naive people came up with. You can't see the implications of your own actions one step ahead of you, you just do what's pragmatic for the situation at hand. Amazingly enough, it's how EVERY single dictator in history took power.

Public schools are about learning society. A social structure is formed, and within the mini-society, instruction and education occurs. To deny that is sheer folly, again if you want them to be shielded from the world, homeschool them.

You people act like your ability to instruct your children is being taken away. It's not. You can still give them morals and values any way you want, you can teach them that girls who wear "flirt" shirts are hellbound whores, you can teach them whatever you want. But you can NOT decide what other children do. you are completely stripping all responsibility for children from parents, including yourself-- Then you'll be surprised when, after mentioning being at church on a weekend, your daughter is suspended for making religious commentary. Or, how about a first-grade girl that is excited to bring in cupcakes for her birthday, to be expelled for "perpetuating a derragetory gender role"... Or the children that can't play sports anymore because it's too violent. You have to remember, if you're going to inflict values on a child from the administration, it won't necessarily be YOUR values that are inflicted...

Leave parenting to the parents. Leave schools alone. There are plenty of other places they need to be helped, this is not one of them-- How about you spend some of this time worrying about how the no-child-left-behind-act is going to mean LESS money for supplies for your child, or how teachers are paid so abysmally that there will soon be a shortage. Instead, we have to play "fashion police" and inspect kid's t-shirts. It'd ludicrous. Again, conservatives should be outraged.

paul

takao
Apr 7, 2004, 12:44 PM
hm this reminds me of the janet jackson overreaction...

i find the tshirt funny (IMHO of course)
i've seen worse ("BRING DICH UM !" translate: "KILL YOURSELF !" in 15cm bold,black letters on neon-green shirt, and of course more insulting things, and no problems with that)

we had 7-8 2x1 meter swimsuit posters in our classroom( in 8th grade up to 12 grade) ..sure some teacher didn't like them but they were tolerant enough to leave them where they were

Dippo
Apr 7, 2004, 12:52 PM
Dippo, kids have worn shirts like that, a kid wore a shirt with a similar sentiment when I was in high school, very pointedly at me. However the message was not threatening, or obscene, so I had no problem with it (besides the annoyance factor, but i'm annoyed equally as much by people that wear Tommy clothes, so whatever)...

Sorry to hear that. I tell you that kids can be the cruelest.

Schools, as I said, are only halfway about book learning-- Social interaction is the other component, which has been recognized many times over. If you send your child to public school to learn textbooks and nothing else, you're sending them to a place designed to teach them more than that. That's why there's private schools and homeschooling, for parents that are terrified that their children will be corrupted into godless communists by hearing other opinions. You want control, you pay for it-- I'm not footing the bill for your kid to *not be offended*.

Most people aren't going to be able to afford private education, no matter how much they want it for their kids. There are plenty of problems with public education, the least of which is this issue.

The only real solution to this is to privatize public education!
I think school vouchers are a good start...

Dippo
Apr 7, 2004, 12:55 PM
Huh, looks like i have to say it again. I'll make this one for the record:

students DO have freedom of speech.

There is no argument about that, it's simply legal precident. Period. If you want to argue that they *shouldn't*, go ahead, but they DO.


Ah, no, that's wrong...

In 1969, Tinker v. Des Moines established that a school cannot restrict students? freedom of expression unless it can prove that the speech materially disrupts class work or involves substantial disorder or invasion of the rights of others.?

In 1998, Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, the Supreme Court decided that administrators have the right to censor speech on educational grounds. Hazelwood, which concerned the right of students to publish controversial articles in a school newspaper, concluded with the decision that the administration could censor any article it felt was inappropriate or harmful.

In the LaVine v. Blaine School District case in Seattle, Washington, in which LaVine was expelled for 17 days for writing a poem about killing 28 classmates and then himself. He handed in the poem to his teacher for critique and wound up getting thrown out of school.

1macker1
Apr 7, 2004, 01:22 PM
Ah, but u dont learn to play football in school. And you are not forced to play any type of sports.
Ok, lets start by cutting the football teams. Fair enough? I assume you aren't a college basketball fan?
GO VOLS!


Ok, no proms either. Nor after school clubs or any of the festivities leading up to HS graduation.


Agreed. So stop shoving your values into that girl's face and let her wear her shirt. :p Proms are of no use. You are not forced to attend any non-educational events. Unless your parents force you:).

I'm not forcing my values on her, i'm sure the hetrosexual students didnt have a "Ken is straight" shirts on:). When you wear or do something for attention, you usually get it. But who know if it's going to be positive or negative.

mactastic
Apr 7, 2004, 01:25 PM
AFAIK the courts have allowed restrictions on speech in public primary and secondary schools if the speech is disruptive to the learning process. Thus the bans on gang apparel. You have a limited right to free speech in public schools, but not as broad as you do in other venues.

mactastic
Apr 7, 2004, 01:26 PM
I'm not forcing my values on her, i'm sure the hetrosexual students didnt have a "Ken is straight" shirts on:).
But they might have had a 'Hooters' shirt on, right?

Rower_CPU
Apr 7, 2004, 02:19 PM
Ah, but u dont learn to play football in school. And you are not forced to play any type of sports.

Ever hear of PE? ;)

rainman::|:|
Apr 7, 2004, 02:20 PM
Ah, no, that's wrong...

In 1969, Tinker v. Des Moines established that a school cannot restrict students? freedom of expression unless it can prove that the speech materially disrupts class work or involves substantial disorder or invasion of the rights of others.?

In 1998, Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, the Supreme Court decided that administrators have the right to censor speech on educational grounds. Hazelwood, which concerned the right of students to publish controversial articles in a school newspaper, concluded with the decision that the administration could censor any article it felt was inappropriate or harmful.

In the LaVine v. Blaine School District case in Seattle, Washington, in which LaVine was expelled for 17 days for writing a poem about killing 28 classmates and then himself. He handed in the poem to his teacher for critique and wound up getting thrown out of school.

Thank you! finally someone interested in debating my actual points. The Tinker v Des Moines is the one i was referring to earlier, which held that students have freedom of speech. The 1998 case was basically an asterisk to the 1969 case, saying that some topics simply aren't appropriate for school-paid publications-- Leading to two points. First, it only applies to school run publications and communications, not to students on a personal level. Hazelwood v Kuhlmeier has nothing to do with a student's right to speech, just how the school can publish or refuse it. Secondly, it instituted the idea that if one side of an argument was shown in a school-based publication, the opposing side must also be heard-- Borrowing an example from the ACLU, that means that if a student writes an opinion piece condemning premarital sex, the school is obligated to publish an article praising premarital sex, should a student submit it of course. The idea here is that school can't use publications to enforce opinion as fact-- And morals/values are opinion, not fact.

Lastly, LaVine v Blaine was a matter of public safety, and safety is instrumental in providing education. Under the Tinker ruling, LaVine's writings were considered to be a hinderance to education... The ruling didn't really set much precident of it's own. Aside from being a hinderance, his writings could also be viewed as a threat of physical harm, which is also not allowed as part of free-speech. But, we've seen several times since then, that violent writings are in some cases protected by free speech-- Including a student that recently wrote a violent letter in his own home, which was then stolen and distributed at school. The school did not have the right to expell him in that case, because he wasn't on school property. But it was about killing a classmate, specifically an ex-girlfriend.

So, we see that students' free speech is not entirely without restrictions (neither is adult FOS, for that matter), but is overall still free. None of the cases above would affect the case in hand, because she did not use a school publication OR threaten someone OR hinder education for others. What she did was express a viewpoint at odds with the administration, which she is protected in doing--

paul

1macker1
Apr 7, 2004, 03:33 PM
They still have PE in schools today? And who's to say she didnt hinder anyone's education. I'm sure she distracted some students.

rainman::|:|
Apr 7, 2004, 03:40 PM
They still have PE in schools today? And who's to say she didnt hinder anyone's education. I'm sure she distracted some students.

PE is a requirement to graduate at the majority of high schools today. I can understand the reasoning behind it (kids = fat), but it's pretty solidly pointless (fat kids = skip PE).

It doesn't take ritalin to *not* look at the writing on some girl's shirt. If written messages provoked such mind-numbing confusion, teens would be wondering into walls every time someone walked by with an A&F shirt on.

I will admit that it might instigate conversation, but it's the teacher's choice to end that conversation during classtime.

paul

mactastic
Apr 7, 2004, 03:50 PM
They still have PE in schools today? And who's to say she didnt hinder anyone's education. I'm sure she distracted some students.
So the criteria is 'if it distracts one student'? And who's to say someone's red backpack didn't hinder anyone's education. Or their Dawson's Creek Trapper Keeper.

mkrishnan
Apr 7, 2004, 05:58 PM
So, we see that students' free speech is not entirely without restrictions (neither is adult FOS, for that matter), but is overall still free. None of the cases above would affect the case in hand, because she did not use a school publication OR threaten someone OR hinder education for others. What she did was express a viewpoint at odds with the administration, which she is protected in doing--

I agree wiith Paul about this. I'm not arguing for unlimited FOS for students either. But good jurisprudence calls for a law which can be applied consistently (so administrators have the same understanding of the dress code, without ambiguity), and can actually be followed by the students (so students know what they can and cannot wear). That's why I have a problem with saying, "let's wait and see if there's a disruption, and then kick out the kid with the t-shirt."

I suppose there ought to be some better standard, although they're all prone to abuse. For instance, free speech in the form of a threat to physical violence is not protected in general, and so it shouldn't be in school either. No "Kill all the whiteys" t-shirts. To the extent that there are hate crimes laws in a certain area, and those laws apply to speech, the same law ought to apply in a school.

I don't know what to think about Dippo's "All gays are going to burn in hell" t-shirt. I'm not inclined personally to view it as a threat or hate speech, though to me its awful close. And even if a school had an obscenity ban, I definitely wouldn't support using the word "hell" in proper context as obscenity. I guess if I apply my notion of a good consistent standard, and I imagine a student politely saying, "as a Christian, I believe that homosexual lifestyle is made up of unrepentent sin, and that unrepentent sinners go to Hell, and so I believe that gay people will go to Hell," I would not view this as threatening or hate speech. So, although I don't like such a thing at all, I suppose I'd have to say it ought to be allowed.

The alternative would be to construe this as hate speech or as threatening. But then I'm not sure what would prevent a hetero from making the same argument about the Barbie t-shirt....

I suppose, beyond being supportive from an ideological bent for this girl, I'm also slightly swayed by the fact that I think it's funny, which isn't fair to people like Dippo at all (who probably don't find it amusing).

Reminds me, a friend had a t-shirt that, at the top read, "God is dead -- Nietzsche," and at the bottom, "Nietzsche is dead -- God". We used to think it was really funny how much it offended people (especially middle-agers) who did not read the whole thing before becoming irate. ;)

takao
Apr 7, 2004, 08:02 PM
just an addition:
if i want to offend people with my clothes i don't wear my "bitch","sex" t-shirts (just for the record: both were presents)

i don't get attention with them anymore ..everbody has similiar shirts and think they are funny

if i really want to get attention i wear one of these 3 tshirts :
"US NAVY" (big on front,grey)
"US Army" (smaller font but with additional stars and stripes,black)
"US 127th Security Squadron: Operation Noble Eagle" (with small eagle,black)

all of them were presents from an american friend of my mother (all before the war)
never got so many negative reactions for my choice of clothes (and everybody wants to tell me his political opinion :rolleyes: especially those with che gevuara t-shirts ;) )

absolut_mac
Apr 8, 2004, 04:43 AM
The ACLU would have championed her right to wear a christian tshirt, provided that other students were not being discriminated against....

WRONG!!!

There was a case recently where a teacher was wearing a (Christian) cross to school and was asked to remove it by the school. She asked the ACLU for legal help and was flat out turned down by them.

She sued the school and eventually won, no thanks to the ACLU for helping her out with her First Amendment rights.

But they didn't hesitate to sue the city of San Diego for leasing a city park to the Boy Scouts of America - accused them of being a religious organization and discriminating against gays.

Somebody with more energy than me right now can dig up those links, I'm sure :)

rainman::|:|
Apr 8, 2004, 09:30 AM
WRONG!!!

There was a case recently where a teacher was wearing a (Christian) cross to school and was asked to remove it by the school. She asked the ACLU for legal help and was flat out turned down by them.

She sued the school and eventually won, no thanks to the ACLU for helping her out with her First Amendment rights.

But they didn't hesitate to sue the city of San Diego for leasing a city park to the Boy Scouts of America - accused them of being a religious organization and discriminating against gays.

Somebody with more energy than me right now can dig up those links, I'm sure :)

I hope someone does, because I could not find any information on the case you were referring to. I did, however, find a case where the ACLU sued because a student was NOT allowed to wear a star-of-david. Pro religion if not pro christianity. But, there's a key difference here-- A teacher is an employee, not a student. It's entirely appropriate for the school board to decide when and where religious symbolism and speech are appropriate from it's employees, just like employers everywhere else-- Your employer could make his own rules about this, which is something I support. You do NOT have freedom of speech at work, which you should know by now-- There are dozens of things I could say at my office right now that would get me fired and sued. teachers = no freedom of speech on the job. students = freedom of speech. And even if the ACLU did reject her (again, i'd like to see a link), it's because she is part of a union that takes legal action on behalf of it's members, a priviledge most people do not enjoy.

And, the BSA is a religious organization, for instance they have forced scouts out for refusing to acknowledge God in the way they find appropriate-- and in fact being an atheist (or even non-christian in many cases) is grounds for immediate explusion from the group. BSA discriminates on the grounds of sexual orientation and is protected in doing so because of it's private religious ties. The People for the American Way, for instance, have threatened to withhold all financial support until the discrimination ends. Stephen Spielburg actually did cut off support, and sent them a taped message expressing his disappointment in their decision. I fail to see your point.

Interesting sidenote on what terrible partesan liberals the ACLU is-- Show of hands, how many people know they're defending Rush Limbaugh in his drug investigation? They don't want doctor/patient confidentiality breached.

paul

Sparky's
Apr 8, 2004, 09:52 AM
I think this thread is leaning to the Political discussion forum, but here goes. My feeling is, a person is a person, wether a teacher or a student. We all have EQUAL rights. So if I want to wear the St. Christopher I have been wearing since I graduated Jr. High School to work (where I do teach and deal with the public), I don't see where my boss would have the right to tell me to remove it. I would however understand that if I was "flaunting" it in everyones face then I would be asked to refrain from doing so (maybe tuck it into my shirt). The choice I make to wear any piece of jewelry or clothing is my personal right, what I can understand is not doing it in a manner that interferes with those around me.

rainman::|:|
Apr 8, 2004, 10:05 AM
I think this thread is leaning to the Political discussion forum, but here goes. My feeling is, a person is a person, wether a teacher or a student. We all have EQUAL rights. So if I want to wear the St. Christopher I have been wearing since I graduated Jr. High School to work (where I do teach and deal with the public), I don't see where my boss would have the right to tell me to remove it. I would however understand that if I was "flaunting" it in everyones face then I would be asked to refrain from doing so (maybe tuck it into my shirt). The choice I make to wear any piece of jewelry or clothing is my personal right, what I can understand is not doing it in a manner that interferes with those around me.

So, you think an employer should be forced to allow it's employees to evangalize at work? For workers to display religious symbolism that puts the employer at risk of lawsuits (for several reasons)? If you owned a private company, would you be upset if an employee forced you to allow them to wear a "666" t-shirt? How about a pentagram? Should this unprecidented religious free speech carry over to their cubicle/office as well? Can they put up literature which could offend other employees, again exposing the employer to legal risk?

There's a very good reason that freedom of speech is suspended on the job-- employers are responsible for their workers during that time. Teachers are not exempt. This law is why, in recent example, the pilot that scared the hell out of his passengers could be fired for evangelizing on the job.

Obviously I have the utmost respect for individual liberties, but when you're on the clock, you represent your employer in an official capacity, whether you're a janitor or a CEO. It's only good business to keep controvercy out of that. And, when the employer is the government, it's even more important, to comply with the establishment clause.

Even if religious freedom of speech weren't suspended in the workplace, it could be argued that students are required to look at the teacher, and thus the religious symbolism in question. They're not required to look at each other. That's a big part of this.

whether this is a political thread or not, i don't know, but i won't see it if it's in the political forum :) everyone's behaving well though, and it's not partesan...

paul

MongoTheGeek
Apr 8, 2004, 11:08 AM
WRONG!!!

There was a case recently where a teacher was wearing a (Christian) cross to school and was asked to remove it by the school. She asked the ACLU for legal help and was flat out turned down by them.

She sued the school and eventually won, no thanks to the ACLU for helping her out with her First Amendment rights.

But they didn't hesitate to sue the city of San Diego for leasing a city park to the Boy Scouts of America - accused them of being a religious organization and discriminating against gays.

Somebody with more energy than me right now can dig up those links, I'm sure :)

The ACLU is in many ways a house divided against itself. There have been cases where they have had lawyers and amicus briefs on both sides of the issue. There are even times when they side with the NRA. :)

As Dick Morris says when Liberals have firing squads they stand in a circle.

Danrose1977
Apr 8, 2004, 11:18 AM
The truth is that its just a darn funny shirt... lol

You crazy yanks! Turning it into some big freedom of speech thing.... If there is no set uniform then of course she should be allowed to wear it!

In the UK this issue rarely would come up, almost all schools have a set uniform... deviation from said uniform is usually at most having your shirt untucked or wearing trainers instead of formal shoes. Uniforms make life so much easier... trust me... I'm a teacher!

Dan

MongoTheGeek
Apr 8, 2004, 11:18 AM
And, the BSA is a religious organization, for instance they have forced scouts out for refusing to acknowledge God in the way they find appropriate-- and in fact being an atheist (or even non-christian in many cases) is grounds for immediate explusion from the group. BSA discriminates on the grounds of sexual orientation and is protected in doing so because of it's private religious ties. The People for the American Way, for instance, have threatened to withhold all financial support until the discrimination ends. Stephen Spielburg actually did cut off support, and sent them a taped message expressing his disappointment in their decision. I fail to see your point.


The United Way has as well which is a major source of funding for local councils. Our council gets 15% of its funding from the UW. I personally won't support the UW for that reason.

The BSA does not require any particular religion, it does require *A* religion though. There are a number of troops sponsored by synagogs. The LDS sponsors most of the troops in Utah and has gotten into some trouble with national over some of their policies being to exclusionary.

The BSA is allowed to keep out people that it doesn't feel meet its moral standards for the same reason that B'nai Brith is allowed to keep out David Duke and the American Communist Party is allowed to keep out FBI agents. It is freedom of association, guaranteed by the first amendment.

rainman::|:|
Apr 8, 2004, 11:24 AM
The United Way has as well which is a major source of funding for local councils. Our council gets 15% of its funding from the UW. I personally won't support the UW for that reason.

The BSA does not require any particular religion, it does require *A* religion though. There are a number of troops sponsored by synagogs. The LDS sponsors most of the troops in Utah and has gotten into some trouble with national over some of their policies being to exclusionary.

The BSA is allowed to keep out people that it doesn't feel meet its moral standards for the same reason that B'nai Brith is allowed to keep out David Duke and the American Communist Party is allowed to keep out FBI agents. It is freedom of association, guaranteed by the first amendment.

This is true, i never said their discrimination was illegal (though it is immoral, IMHO). However, the BSA does require particular religions-- Christians and Jews are the only two faiths that meet it's requirements. If you professed faith in a Wiccan god, or Ala, you could easily be turned down. It all depends on the circumstances and the person administerring the oath. Quizzically they have tried, on some level, to include atheists by declaring Nature a "higher power", but i think the atheists in that case would still not declare it.

I've stopped supporting the BSA and any organization that does, because I think it's tremendously detrimental to enforce homophobia as a core belief onto young men. No more popcorn fundraisers for me, which actually makes me sad-- the BSA is otherwise a great organization that kids can learn skills in, and use to social advantage. Hopefully they stop their silly sexual-orientation discrimination so they can get proper funds again. My donations don't mean much, but Spielburg's do ;)

paul

MongoTheGeek
Apr 8, 2004, 01:27 PM
This is true, i never said their discrimination was illegal (though it is immoral, IMHO). However, the BSA does require particular religions-- Christians and Jews are the only two faiths that meet it's requirements. If you professed faith in a Wiccan god, or Ala, you could easily be turned down. It all depends on the circumstances and the person administerring the oath. Quizzically they have tried, on some level, to include atheists by declaring Nature a "higher power", but i think the atheists in that case would still not declare it.


Troop 155 in west chester PA is sponsored by "The Islamic Society" (IIRC preferred transliteration is Allah.) National demands a belief in a higher power, various differing Chartering Organizations have different requirements for their leaders. But the boys just must believe in a higher power. One of the things the LDS got in trouble for.


I've stopped supporting the BSA and any organization that does, because I think it's tremendously detrimental to enforce homophobia as a core belief onto young men. No more popcorn fundraisers for me, which actually makes me sad-- the BSA is otherwise a great organization that kids can learn skills in, and use to social advantage. Hopefully they stop their silly sexual-orientation discrimination so they can get proper funds again. My donations don't mean much, but Spielburg's do ;)


It may seem silly but there are a lot of people who disagree. There are also a lot of people who attribute the very low number of instances of abuse of the scouts on the policy.

BTW, I respect your will power in not buying all that tasty popcorn because of a cause you believe in :D

rainman::|:|
Apr 8, 2004, 01:42 PM
Troop 155 in west chester PA is sponsored by "The Islamic Society" (IIRC preferred transliteration is Allah.) National demands a belief in a higher power, various differing Chartering Organizations have different requirements for their leaders. But the boys just must believe in a higher power. One of the things the LDS got in trouble for.

It may seem silly but there are a lot of people who disagree. There are also a lot of people who attribute the very low number of instances of abuse of the scouts on the policy.

BTW, I respect your will power in not buying all that tasty popcorn because of a cause you believe in :D

Don't know why I spelled it Ala, god i'm having a weird day. It's good to hear of the Islamic sponsorship, religious diversity is important in an organization like this.

Remember tho, the catholic church has what's really the same policy, and obviously they've not had that luck with abuse records. I think what it comes down to is the willingness of the organization to abet pedophiles, the church spent decades harboring them whereas the BSA has tackled it's problems publicly before it became an epedemic.

What bothers me most about the BSA ban isn't the face value: While there are certainly gay people that would like to be scoutleaders (and some that were, before it became a big issue), they are few and far between. Doesn't mean they're not important, just not important to me. What bothers me is the fact that the BSA is making the direct analogy between homosexuals and pedophiles, which is as insulting as it is incorrect. Pedophiles occur in homosexual people with the same frequency as heterosexuals, according to studies done, and there's no reason to perpetuate this idea that all gays are child molestors. Now I'm not going to get into the "morally straight" argument, because obviously I don't think there's anything morally wrong with being honest about your sexuality, but clearly this policy was put into effect to "protect" the children from a group of people that they need no protection from, which does stigmatize the child in terms of dealing with gay people. At some point their inaccuracy becomes downright annoying, like when you hear an old woman say to her grandson, "Don't swim for an hour after you eat, you'll cramp and drown". You just want to go tell the kid "It's as much BS as it sounds, don't worry about it"...

paul