The Marketplace Vs. The University

March 22, 2010

Perhaps the most offensive line of the entire clip was about three seconds long to paraphrase it sounded something like this “They’re just kids they don’t belong in the discussion of the marketplace of ideas”. The justice comes off as a buffoon who sounds something like Max Funaro in this Onion Poll. The funniest thing about the justice’s decision and quote is I agree with it! I do think there is a difference between the freedom of speech that is protected by our constitution and the freedom of expression allowed in a school.

Being a stanchly conservative highly religious Jew, I agree with the sentiment on Chase Harper’s shirt, namely that all homosexual people will burn in Hell. Be that as it may, I don’t approve of his actions. Not because of he might offend someone who sees his shirt, so what? I’m sure if I wore this shirt  Chase would be offended (btw this shirt rocks I MUST OWN IT!). That is something that is protected by free speech, pissing people off. However a school falls under a different category, a school needs to be able to create an atmosphere that is conducive to learning. this is hard enough, just competing with the billion and one things on a teenagers mind, whose winning Dancing With the Stars, what his Face book Status is, What his girlfriend thought about his twitter twit, etc. if all personal expression was allowed in a classroom you could never teach. with the same logic substitute the offensive tee with the guy sitting next to you on the train blasting the newest crap that Lill Bow Wow put out through his cell speaker, he might say it is his freedom of speech to express his love for crapy music in public, but try that in a class room and I think we would all agree that it must stop (on a side note I am proposing a law that cell phone music be banned on subways, GET HEADPHONES we don’t want to hear it).

Chase’s tee shirt was a prop that could be used to disrupt a class because of it inflammatory nature. Because of that the school had every right to stop him from wearing the shirt in a school setting. I think the school asked for such an incident by creating a day for all students that was intrinsically offensive to certain students. However, in a school the school has the right to dictate what behaviors are conducive to a learning environment and what does not. That does not mean that stude3nts cannot have ideas that are contrary to the curriculum, or those that are held by the student body or even the faculty. It just means that in school those ideas can only be discussed in a classroom discussion or a similar setting approved by the school. The rest needs to wait for the marketplace.


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