Skip to comments.5th Grader Suspended For Anti-Obama Shirt
Posted on 09/23/2008 9:47:33 AM PDT by Ultimatum
AURORA (MyFOXColorado.com) - An 11-year-old in Aurora says his first amendment rights are being trampled after he was suspended for wearing a homemade shirt that reads "Obama is a terrorist's best friend."
The fifth grader at Aurora Frontier K-8 School wore it on a day when students were asked to wear red, white and blue to show their patriotism.
(Excerpt) Read more at myfoxcolorado.com ...
Uh. Duh. He was refusing to allow you to infringe on his 1st amendment rights. Hello
That is about one third of the child's life and about half of his waking life. That is a huge percentage of existence in which to deprive someone of free speech. And to what end? Is not a school a place where a child is is exposed to the benefits of our Constitution? Is the child to be taught that conformity and censorship are values to be exalted over our First Amendment rights of free speech? What is the educational value of stifling the independence of thought of this young child?
You say there is a school rule prohibiting such free expression and it is merely the enforcement of a rule. So we are to accept that free speech can be circumcised by the government merely because the government makes a rule? What purpose does the rule serve?
You might say that the exercise of free speech will be so discordant as to frustrate the purpose of the school which is to learn. I say it is the job of the administrators of the school to so control the environment that free speech can thrive and the students can still learn. What would the law say if the administrators held that no African-American kids can attend a school because their presence disrupts and makes learning impossible?
The courts would not listen to such an excuse for a minute. They would instruct those administrators to get in there and adjust the environment for the higher value of admitting African-American children. Why do we surrender our precious free speech rights without a struggle?
I don't think kids should be allowed to be disruptive, rather it is a left-inspired message or a right-inspired message. Kids don't vote. This kid is being used as a propaganda tool just like those Obama lovers with their kids wearing their peace sign shirts. Pathetic. This is not how good people behave.
“The boy’s father says he intends to pursue a lawsuit against the district.”
And dad will lose. The precedent for this is well-established.
What kind of dad lets his 11 year old kid put a bullseye on himself like that? Pathetic.
But, if the kid had been wearing a “Bush lied-people died” or “No war for oil” shirt, this would have fell under the guidelines of freedom of expression.
Children don't have the same 1st ammendment rights that adults do. Schools routinely forbid wearing clothes with sexually suggestive messages, profanity, gang colors, etc. You can argue about political messages (this shirt was crude and ugly and should have been banned for aesthetics alone)but the school is within it's rights to ban certain types of clothing, provided the ban is equally applied.
Good point. I would get someone to wear a “McCain is a terrorists best friend” shirt and see how the school reacts. That would be the eye-opening test.
I have to disagree with you Z. The 1st amendment does not say that little kids cannot express their opinions. Just because they do not vote does not mean they cannot express their opinions. I do agree that this is most likely from his father beliefs, but if obama’s peace shirts are being brought in to schools, so can shirts depicting what a conservative believes as well.
My young adult children are all very conservative but I never would have allowed them to be disruptive at school. It would have undermined their chances of growing up to be the great people they are today. I did not want my children to be bitter victims of "unfairness". Life isn't fair.
And he'll win; it happens time after time.
The district screwed up. If they had claimed that the boy was suspended because he created a disturbance, they would have won, no problem.
But suspended for “willful disobedience and defiance”?
When you willfully disobey an order that is unlawful, the law is on your side.
It would be like a police officer ordering you to let them into your house but they don’t have a warrent to show you.
If you refuse, they can’t charge you for defying them.
If the school district cannot show that they reserve the right to force any student to change any shirt they want, the school may very well lose this case.
A father who is so self-centered that he has lost sight of his responsibility as a parent. He is teaching his son to be a cry-baby and a tattle-tale. His child is now a victim on the national stage. I think he needs to switch parties.
I was involved in a t-shirt case at my kids school, same age bracket (8th graders). Went all the way to the Supreme Court. It was decided in favor of the school administration, per precedents. Elementary level kids do not hold the same rights as older kids do. If the school says it is disruptive, and acts within established rules of the school, the dad won’t win this one.
Kids don't get the same 1st Amendment rights in a school. The administrators have the right to keep order.
In this case, the T-Shirt was inflammatory and insulting of Obama supporters. If I'm a teacher, I don't want it in the classroom, as it would lead to disruptions, arguments and possibly fights. This is an elementary school - all kids at this age know is their parents' politics.
the kid is under age. I don’t see how he can win.
This matter involves the same mental process, and knee-jerk reaction, found in liberals damaging vehicles carrying McCain/Palin stickers.
“Children don’t have the same 1st ammendment rights that adults do.”
My kids did and do have 1st Amendment rights. Then again, they are/were homeschooled and are not pawns or wards of the state.
Free your kids and the future follows.
Lemmee see if I got this straight - a 5th grader is suspended for wearing an anti-Obama shirt in a public school system where teachers regularly speak out against conservatives with no disciplinary action, is that about it!!??
Shoot, I don’t see any bias or hypocrisy in that!!
See, nathanbedford, it didn’t take long for the authoritarian Rulebook Harrys to show up.
BTW, mjalisco555, just WHERE does it state in the Constitution of the United Stated of America that minors have no First Amendment right?
Do you think that this behavior should be regulated by the state? "Good people" don't swear, tell off-color jokes, pick their nose in public, or wear unsightly clothing either. Should everything that "good people" don't do be "not allowed" by the state?
The way things are headed in public schools, a student will be suspended for "willful disobedience and defiance" for refusing the sexual advances of his teacher.
Quite the contrary; I am saying that parents are responsible for the behavior of their minor children.
The school acted appropriately. The kids are having enough trouble learning what they need to learn. We don’t need to permit the additional distraction of dueling t-shirts.
I missed the part of the story where his wearing the shirt caused a riot so can you please explain to me how a shirt is disruptive?
Dunno about that; depends how the Tinker Test is interpreted and by which court.
Hopefully, that's how many people will vote against NOBAMA!
If you refuse, they cant charge you for defying them.
NO, they just barge past you, arrest you, murder you and kill your dogs and they seem to get away with it every time.
Get real. At the very least he should have been sent home for the day. School is no place for this type of shenanigans.
I distinctly recall that in 1985 in Read vs. Saddleback Valley Unified School District (Mission Viejo, CA), I was victorious (based on the famed “Bender” case) in my defense of the 1st Amendment rights of students to express their religious views.
There is precedence. The court decision supported that the rights of the students does not stop at the school house gates, the Constitution and its Amendments provide protections no matter how old you are, or where you are.
I grew up in a small town in NE Ohio that was heavily Democratic. When I was in grade school back in 1968 and ‘72, most of the kids wore their Humphrey and then McGovern buttons and I dutifully wore my Nixon buttons and had Nixon stickers on my bookbag.
Of course there were some arguments.
This was a Catholic school mind you, but the nuns allowed this and in fact used it as a way to teach us about the issues of those campaigns and incorporated it into their lesson plans about how American elections worked in our great republic.
Fights? Yeah one or two. But those who started it got the unpleasant duty of raking all the leaves in the church cemetery the following Saturday.
Ahhhh.....the good old days.
My apologies, sir, I forgot to ping you to my response.
If it was a global warming, or anti-war, or McCain is Keating’s best friend on his shirt nothing would have happened and YOU know it.
...and somehow, you think that that makes it alright?!?!
Children should not be walking billboards is basically what it comes down to and I can agree with that.
Sorry... My main complaint was that the t-shirt was sloppily done. He should've spent a little more time on it!
I bet a "Bush Knew" or "Bush is a terrorist" t-shirt would've went over just fine!
Actually, the police never have to “show” the home-owner a warrant. The warrant is applied for at the local court of law in that jurisdiction - ever see the police get a warrant to go after drugs? They just boot the front-door of the house and go in..
If it was in fact a warantless search than that’ll have to wash out in a day at court against the offending police dept.
“What kind of dad lets his 11 year old kid put a bullseye on himself like that? Pathetic.”
Not at all when I started school I was instructed to openly chalange anything that I didn’t agree with, which I did.
I also got straight As through school, a couple of them by going over the teachers head.
With the help of a couple of friends we even got one teacher that started to spew collectivist/communist crap to transfer to another school.
Of course that was 65 years ago.
I had a similar experience in Kansas. They let the Gideons in to distribute Bibles. We could listen to daytime World Series games on our transistor radios, if we kept the sound down. Played dodgeball every lunch hour . . . .
This isn’t a free speech issue, I am sure we can come up with tons of t-shirts that would not be allowed in school. However, the school was still very wrong in this issue. The school said it was going to be Patriotic Day and to wear red, white, and blue. They didn’t set any other peramiters and for that they should apologize. They didn’t say wear red, white, and blue with no political message, so the kid should definitly not been suspended and I say they win their court case.
I attended my son's open house last night (A Philip Randolph in Jacksonville, FL -80% black magnet school.) I must have counted 50 Obama shirts on parents and kids.
My son chose to go back to public school after the rigors of homeschooling. He is in all AP courses, and his teachers universally praise his "original" thinking and well articulated arguments in class discussions.
My proudest moment of the night was meeting his metrosexual AP English teacher who had encouraged his class to write from a feminist viewpoint and had them read and draw conclusions from Ernest Hemingway's Hills like White Elephants
Not wanting to give away the "surprise" of the story, he asked his students what "operation" the characters were discussing. My son completely derailed the class with his supposition that the woman had a penis and was being encouraged to have it removed. He supported this with elephant imagery.
Some people are quick to judge and scream "flip-flop" at the drop of a hat but I am not one of those people. What I like most in life is exchanging ideas with people and if I am open minded and open hearted I frequently benefit from a fresh outlook on an old position. I completely agree that someone may have a "right" to do something but I don't think we can talk about rights without talking about responsibility and that is probably one of many areas you and I are in agreement.
Heheh. I got kicked off the school bus in '68 (East Texas) because my parents were Humpfreyites and I didn't know it mattered. Ohh, the shame of not knowing "Nixon's the one!"
Of course McCain is probably to the left of Humpfrey now...hard to say and they like it that way...I'm glad somebody was listening when I said "the only way I'm supporting McCain is if he picks Palin for VP..."
That’s it! It was said - the word ‘terrorist’ offended someone. PC in play - if one does;t want to acknowledge something they go into ‘offensive’ mode. To be anti-terrorist is being patriotic. So he incorporated the colors the school asked for and the message the school wanted - to show patriotism. The 8th grader thought it through but the school didn’t. Hope he gets enough for college plus.
I could not agree more. Nice to meet you Z.
It’s nice to see an argument here for personal responsibility and accountability.