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Freedom of Speech: Students Should be Permitted to Speak Their Minds

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/5/2014 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,266 times Debate No: 45284
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Many people in the US every live very decent lives. Most take the freedom of speech for granted. They don"t have to fear police day and night. Americans don"t have to mind what they say around their friends, coworkers, and family members. Though the lives of American students aren"t as strict and demanding, it can come close to that feeling. Freedom of speech, granted by the first amendment, is not really the freedom of speech. Students can speak their minds, but are ostracized, ignored, marginalized, and finally expelled. All human beings must be free and able to express themselves and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas, regardless of anything.

First of all, the freedom of speech is protected by the Constitution in the Bill of Rights, specifically in the First Amendment. To not allow students to completely speak their minds is to be considered unconstitutional. "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 redress of grievances." (First Amendment, U.S. Constitution). Right there it states that you can"t take away the freedom of speech, no matter what. Remember, this is in the Constitution. The freaking Constitution! To go against it is a crime. One might argue that this evidence is too vague; it does not state the specific do"s and don"ts of the freedom of speech. Citizens can bend the rules, and it is up to us whether or not it is crossing the line.

The website begs to differ. The website posted a specific list of do"s and don"ts of the freedom of speech. The specific don"t that relates to this debate is "To permit students to print articles in a school newspaper over the objections of the school administration." Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, 484 U.S. 260 (1988). Most who oppose the idea of permitting students to print what"s on their minds might say, "Ha, it"s says they"re not permitted! So what"s your point?" To say this would be correct, but it says specifically over the school administration. It does not say over every objection a student writes. For example, a student may not write (according to the First Amendment), "Man, screw the school admin." This would be an objection over the school admin., and this would be unconstitutional. But, if one were to write, "Man, f*** Camdenton." (#irony), they should not have to be censored. There is no law permitting this student to post this comment. No one should have to be blocked because they feel like their comment is true.

Honestly speaking, even objections over the school admin. should be permitted. Why should they have to be blocked to not say what they believe about the school admin? One might argue that to permit this would be unconstitutional. This is true, but there is no point to be argued here. There is no reason students should not be permitted to speak over the school admin. In fact, if this were to be allowed, all it would do is benefit them. They would know what the students have on their mind that negative about the school admin., and try to fix it so that way the students have nothing to say bad about the school admin. in the first place. A very good counterclaim would be that many students would abuse this privilege, that they might use to bully others, and literally cross the lines and boundaries that were set in place beforehand. This is completely true. In fact, you would be completely right in saying this. The only thing that would be arguable is that this is very situational. Bullying shouldn"t be allowed, so to take the appropriate actions be censoring it would be constitutional.

It is true that students would probably misuse this right, but think about it, Martin Luther King Jr. probably misused this right back in his day. To speak about something that very taboo can be considered "crossing the line". If he had not gotten his point across, the world itself would be a very different place. It is the same thing in this scenario. If students don"t get to speak about the school administration, then students won"t learn to speak freely about anything, which in turn makes the leaders of tomorrow not be leaders at all, but followers of nothing. The future lies in the students of today. If they don"t have a voice, then nobody will. They won"t change the world for good, but for bad, and what"s going to be the worst thing about all of this is that all of this happened all because the school administration was just too strict. My final statement is that the freedom of speech among students should be permitted as long as the context is of purposefulness, does not harm anyone in any form or fashion, and is true to the student who writes their thoughts. Thank you.


one factor you forgot to include in your examination is that unlike adults kids to have a bigger impact on their peers. An adult has the capability to express their opinion and simply had a group of opposes and supporters, they have developed a mental ability to deal with whatever negative comments they may receive. Adults also have a sort of freedom to walk away from the situation, unlike children. Children on the other hand who have an opinion which is not widely excepted can undergo Ruthless criticism from peers, neglectful/critical parents, and many other stress inducing environmental factors; however the child is not as well equipped or is nowhere near developed as the adult as a result the stress not only impairs their ability to function but also can drastically affect their development in negative ways. I see how you can argue that not all children what experiences same thing, but the fact is that the majority of children in America really aren't equipped with those vital coping skills to deal with criticism. Think of this freedom of speech issue with students more as a safety barrier, it provides children with the freedom to speak, but sets up barriers to prevent these issues. A perfect example of the society you are talking about where children do have this complete freedom of speech can be seen in all around America in bullying campaigns, these are the efforts to reverse the damage caused by the unguided free speech. Counselors provide plenty of outlet and open ears for students who need to expressing an opinion that is different.
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