Skip to comments.Free speech means free speech
Posted on 03/11/2006 5:33:36 PM PST by texassizednightcrawler
The First Amendment to the Constitution is arguably the most important. This amendment, packaged with the nine following it as the Bill of Rights, grants citizens the freedoms of press, speech, religion, peaceful assembly and a right to "petition the government for a redress of grievances."
Freedom of speech cases are often some of the most hotly contested in the country. Recently, a case involving a high school social studies teacher has been given national media attention.
The case involves Denver teacher Jay Bennish, who was put on paid leave from Overland High School after comparing President George W. Bush's State of the Union address to some of Adolph Hitler's speeches.
Defending the allegations, Bennish said, "My job as a social studies teacher is to argue alternative perspectives and viewpoints so that students are aware of those points of view. They are simply thrown out there to encourage critical thought."
We at the Parthenon agree with this sentiment. Whether Bush or Hitler's speeches and policies are similar is not the issue. The issue is American citizens having the right to voice their opinions. We, the politically mixed staff of the Parthenon (contrary to popular belief) always agree unanimously to an open dialogue. After all, it is the First Amendment that gives us the opportunity to print a newspaper four days a week to inform students, faculty, staff, alumni and anyone else who reads the Parthenon of campus events.
Free speech means free speech. One of the bedrocks of our democracy is the right of all citizens to say what they want. Similarly, the foundation of education is for students to be able to think critically about their fields of study. A high school teacher's job is to plant the seeds of critical thought. College is about honing in on that thought and figuring out a place in the world, with beliefs and philosophies in tow, and expanded as much as possible. How can a person pinpoint a set of ideals without trying on a few for size?
Like all presidents, Bush's policies and procedures are up for public debate. At least we hope so. It is up to the people to to challenge all parties' views to determine what is best for the country.
Response: However, it does not mean license i.e. filth, blasphemy, sedition, treason etc.
His freedom of speech ends when he clocks in to work on my tax dollar.
Ok, I'll argue. Take away the 2nd and the 1st will die a short death.
The teacher said that he liked to introduce different perspectives into the classroom discussion and that they did not necessarily repreent his views (that he was forcing on the students, a trapped audience listening to an authority figure).
If his convenient lie to the press were true, he would be able to offer up incidents where HE presented the argument from the right (without condensation) rather than leaving it up to his audience to provide that perspective.
As any bored student will ask, "is this going to be on the test?". I doubt that this whole discussion was relevant to the class and was not going to be addressed in any homework assignment or test. Why leave a paper trail of the sedition he preached?
Odd, they left out the right to keep and bear, or maybe not.
Damn straight, he can say what he wants, but not from a taxpayer provided pulpit.
If he wants to spew anti-American socialist clap trap, he can walk to the public square and preach away. While on the job, do the job, which is teach geography, not social studies anyways.
I seriously doubt that this teacher dissected the Nazi like Wellstone Nuremberg Memorial Rally (covered on the networks) where the Zeig Heils were replaced with "WE WILL WIN! WE WILL WIN! WE WILL WIN!".
Did this same author rebuke X42, the impeached former president, who is on record as saying that the people who drew the "12 cartoons" should be prosecuted?
I'm pretty much in agreement with that.
Besides, if you send your kid to a public school you get what you pay for.
Sorry, I fail to see how this comment (or most of his that has been aired last week) have any connection to teaching GEOGRAPHY! It is propaganda under a different name, that is what is so revolting about this story. If he were teaching political science, I might not think twice about him comparing Bush to Hitler, but com'on Geography? No way. Our public schools are in terrible shape and are being used by the Left to indoctrinate an entire generation.
I agree but even private employers have the right to control emploee speech.
So you're telling me he was spitting while presenting that argument? Gross.
I agree but even private employers have the right to control employee speech.
Let one of them threaten the President's life and they'll soon learn.
The left is very selective in how they define "free speech".
It certainly doesn't apply to Christians or conservatives on most college campuses.
There are so many holes in this dimwit's argument, that..(choose your own metaphor here).
The left's so called concern for free speech is so transparently partisan, it would be funny if they weren't so pervasive in academia. And embarrasing (for them) if they were rational enough to feel embarassment.
It is also wrong about the number of the Bill of Rights. There are eleven Amendments in the Bill of Rights. The 27th Amendment is now ratified, and it was written by Congressman James Madison as part of the 17 Amendments which passed the House. 12 of those passed the Senate. And ultimately 11 of those Amendments were ratified as part of the Constitution.
Don't say fag.
Don't bad mouth hitlery.
Don't advertise English as a first language.
Don't fly the Confederate Flag.
Don't call teddy 'the swimmer'.
Don't ever wear a Cross to a public school.
Don't ever question a baggage inspector.
Don't ever question the left's patriotism.
And whatever you do, don't ever say Merry Christmas!!
I've tweaked one of Bennish's rants a bit so that it's more representative of the opposing point of view. Any right-thinking public school teacher who cares to try using it in class is welcome to it.
"Do you see how abortion is at odds with a nation that claims to support equal rights? At odds with caring and compassion?
Since Roe v. Wade became the law of the land millions of Americans have been executed for the crime of being unwanted and inconvenient. Executed without a trail. Murdered. Ripped apart in the womb and disposed of as medical waste.
Not only were their lives snuffed out, those who killed them were paid to end their existence. How can individuals who could perform such a callous act for profit call themselves doctors? The last time a physician performed such heinous acts with state sanction his name became so infamous that it is still vividly remembered today - Doctor Josef Mengele.
Now, I'm not saying that those who perform abortions are Nazis perpetrating a Holocaust,but there are some eerie similarities..."
Now, don't worry about saying this in class. I'm sure all the caring, tolerant, and understanding folks on the left side of the aisle will be more than happy to defend your 1st Amendment right to present an opposing point of view. Why, I'll even bet that Matt Lauer will lob a couple of softballs your way!
|I was a geography teacher before I was a social studies teacher|
For you Bennish > oIo
When something starts off with an inaccuracy, what follows is useless drivel.
The First amendment grants nothing. It presupposes such rights already exist and that the government can do nothing to forbid a citizen's exercise of them. In fact, the Bill of Rights grants no rights, it recognizes specific rights we possess and tells the government, "hands off!" Further on, in the Ninth and Tenth amendments, the framers said, "anything we forgot to list here, the rights already exist."
The smartest accumulation of people in history, the founders of the US knew that any right that could be granted could easily be withdrawn.
Free speech does not mean freedom from the consequences of your speech as an college campus liberal demanded Speech Code will document.
Uh..he's a Geography teacher, not a social studies teacher.
Free speech means free speech.
True. So if Bennish wants his right to free speech, he needs to NOT be paid.
During class, it's not 'free speech, it's taxpayer funded speech.
Leftists want to remove all mention of God from the public domain, now if we extrapolate to the Declaration of Independence, and remove the 'endowed by our Creator', this would than mean that our rights are given by the government - if our rights are given by the government than the government can take away those rights.
I really don't think these Socialist Left wing liberal idiots have thought the whole removing 'in God we trust' thing through enough.
On the one hand they kick and scream about Bush being a 'dictator' and how the US is a tyranny, while on the other they pave the way for a genuine state of tyranny.
But then, liberal left thinking isn't exactly grounded in reality now, is it?
I wish I could shake 'em by the shoulders and say 'look, this is reality - see how different it is from your fantasies? Now wake up!". Wishful thinking...
The actual prope issue with Bennish is incompetence and irrelevance. He is supposed to be teaching Geography, not Militant Socialism and Revolution. In order to properly utilize Mr. Blemish's talents the school should institute a class in Problems of Revolution or Stridency in Vacuity.
So then I assume that the Marshall University school newspaper has published the Mohammed cartoons.
We could send him on a cultural exchange to Cuba.
Nothing in Freedom of Speech releases the speaker from consequences. It is true that the government may not limit free speech beyond the obvious limits of slander, incitement, etc. but other hearers may take legitimate action to the disadvantage of the speaker.
The government isn't censoring the teacher but giving him guidance and direction and correction regarding improper or inappropriate material in his classroom.
His employer, the school, has every right AND DUTY to ensure that his classes are taught properly or as they see fit.
He went out of bounds and was brought back in.
No one is saying that he can't rant about Bush being like HItler and this isn't a Free Speech case. On his own time he can say anything he pleases.
Precisely. Free speech doesn't mean free speech. The First Amendment says, "Congress shall make no law..." It means just that, only that and nothing but that. The Dixie Chicks made the same error in thinking that free speech means free speech.