June 18, 2024

The Myth of Student Free Speech

Saw this and it made me laugh.

OK, so this kid decides to wear his John Edwards 2008 T-shirt to school (High School) and gets upset about his free speech being infringed upon when they sent him home.

“Bong Hits for Jesus” anyone (a.k.a Morse v Frederick)?  The point is that a school has a right to set policy that limits the rights of students to promote an environment of learning and preventing disruption.  The school had a clear policy that T-shirts espousing any political nature were prohibited.  In fact, according to the school’s policy a John Deere T-shirt would be prohibited.  Now, had Mr. Palmer (the student in question) actually been able to show that another student was able to wear a non-sanctioned T-shirt (especially one espousing a political position) then he would have grounds on unequal treatment.  This however will likely go nowhere.  I honestly wonder at the student’s thinking in this matter.  Either he never noticed that no one ever wore a T-shirt with a political message, or he knew better and is doing it as a stunt (a la “Don’t Tase Me Bro”).  Either is disturbing.


I am a Consultant in the IT world and have been doing that for the past decade or so. My work has given me a passion for seeing problems and wanting to solve them (or at least suggest solutions). Politically, I fall on the Conservative +6.1, Authoritarian +1.6 scale using the PoliticalCompass.org test. I vote Republican and eschew the Libertarians mostly due to their lack of a realistic foreign policy.

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