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Students Rights


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#1 godzilla15

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 08:22 PM

Should students in school have the same rights as they would have outside of school? What rights should be restricted in schools and what rights should be guaranteed in all locations?

Recently the Supreme Court decided in Morse v. Frederick that free speech did not exist in schools if the speech advocated drug use. The case is very complicated and I could not reasonably sum it up, so I will link to the wikipedia article. Morse v. Frederick

Do you agree with the ruling?
Since this was not on school grounds and Frederick had not attended school that day should the school have control over what he says?
Should Tinker v. Des Moines have been applied to this case?

I don't believe it is mentioned in this article, but I read it somewhere else, that the reason Tinker V. Des Moines was not considered was because this was not political sppech. If Frederick was promoting the legilization of pot then Tinker would apply, but Frederick said the message was nonsensical, that he saw it on a bumper sticker and decided to put it on a banner to get on TV. Since the message was nonsensical Tinker does not apply because Tinker only protects political speech.

What are your opinions on this case? What are your opinions on student free speech, or other rights, such as freedom of religion in schools?

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#2 yano

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 09:17 PM

In highschool and lower I do this while-in school during the day students shouldn't have a complete free speech. They shouldn't be able to disrupt the school, cause harm to other students, or promote anything illegal. Now outside of school I don't think the schools have the right to limit the students freedom of speech unless it is at a school function.

Now in college and up we can see what happened in the late 60s and early 70s about the Vietnam War. I don't think freedom of speech on college should be restricted at all unless it illegal (in the sense of illegal narcotics, substances being used etc...) However when it comes to demonstrations, and protests I don't think any of it should be limited. We tried limiting it and we say what happened to the police and students at Kent State University in 1970.

Now an interesting thing is the recent protest of students having the right to carry guns on the premises due to the VT shooting. Students would wear empty holisters around campuses nation-wide in protest for the right to carry guns on campus. I do believe that we as students should have the right to protect from people with guns or get extra police to protect us from just that.

If the school is going to take away my right to protection, then I think my family should have the right to sue the school if a mad-gun man showed up and killed me.

#3 MaraM

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 09:20 PM

I honestly think I see where you're coming from on this, Yano, but egad, while you are calm and collected under pressure, what about those with a quick ignition button and in a fit of anger pulls the gun and kills a fellow student.

Do agree that once my child is within his or her school, it is up to the school to protect all students. Into their care my precious child goes - and yup, I would think that a family should have the right to sue a school for negligence at the very least. (If a little friend comes here and is hurt - even accidently - I can be sued big time ... and that is nothing compared to having your child murdered). The first school it happened to - no, for how could they even imagine something this dreadful - but after all these times, yes, protect the children but do not expect them to protect themselves.

As to schools trying to control the speech of a student when not on school property - geesh! Just as on school property, children should have the right to free speech as long as it causes harm to no other person nor is encouraging illegal acts.
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#4 JacksonT

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 01:09 AM

Well as a high school freshman myself I have seen my own as well as others first amendment rights violated some of the worst was last year at my middle school we got a new vice-principal who would suspend people for wearing what he would call gang colors when really they would wear clothes mostly shirts that where a solid color such as blue or red it pissed of a lot of students in one instance several students came wearing blue in support of another who had been suspended for that reason.

#5 ussr1943

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 07:03 PM

Run Down on Rights in School:
While you're in school it is a case of student safety, disruption, promotion of illegal activities that limits your rights. While you are in school you are considered an ambassador or Unit under the school, as to that effect at all school activities the school has the right to limit the rights of students. This right is extended to speech, writing, and dress code. The schools also have the power to search any locker or class or parking lot if they feel that a crime has been committed, is about to be committed, or if a student is in posesion of illegal substances, or weaponry.

Symbolic protest is however guaranteed. Meaning any student is free to wear items such as a black armband or an all color shirt to protest. power to search does not extend to searching the student's person nor their own posesions, unless an officer of the law , be it a liason or other, is present and provides probable cause.


That principal could get away with banning certain shirts under his observations that the shirts cause "disruption" and promote "illegal or violent activities" being gang related, therefore is acting in the "safety" of the students.

Personally I believe that our schools set a bad example, we are taught in a gov't mandated classes about our gov't and our rights, yet the school has the right to abridge those rights. But I guess it's under the preface of "the common good and safety" of those present attending school or related functions. There is always a war between "the common good, safety and welfare of the state" Vs. Civil Liberties.
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#6 MaraM

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 08:47 PM

It hardly seems 'fair', I guess - but in realty, 'fairness' doesn't count a lick when one hits the real world and the average work place.

Some kids see wearing a tee-shirt with a swaztika as fine (after all the symbol existed long before the Nazi's took power) but it's banned from being worn in our schools. Perhaps just an early lesson that our 'rights' are rights as long as they cause no harm to others. Do realize this is an extreme example, perhaps, but is just another lesson of what awaits us when we hit the 'real' world?

Perhaps it's a matter of there not being a 'clear line' between what are rights and what are privileges at times?
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#7 jgweed

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 01:37 PM

Very few "rights" are absolute. Both legally and morally many of these, including freedom of speech, have certain more or less well-defined limits. Children before they reach majority, servicemen in uniform, convicts in prison, and the mentally deranged are treated as special cases.
Public schools traditionally are seen and therefore given the responsibility and rights of, substitute parents to exercise some authority over those attending them.
Now in the case mentioned---and I have not read the nice distinctions drawn by the Supreme Court in rendering their judgment---it does seem that a school was allowed to over-reach this authority. I do not think it is the business of a school what a student does outside school boundaries as long as the actions in-themselves are perfectly legal, not life threatening and not a disruption of the educational process.
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#8 xXAlphaXx

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 02:10 PM

Well, I understand waht you are talking about in the Morse v. Frederick case, thier have been many cases like this that have made it to the supreme court, but when you are enrolled in school, your parents sign a Du Process before you are able to attend.

For the saftey and the best interest of the student's and every one else they force you to relinquish some of your rights when you are on school campus.

Also on the other topic, Tinker v. Des Moines (Witch I belive was the case where they preforemed an illigal search and seziour (spelling is kinda off today can't remember how to spell it) on the girl in the bathroom and found marijuana) that case was also throughn out of the supreme court becuase her parents also signed a Du Process. Either way she was found in possetion and becuase it was on governmnet property it was Posesstion with intent to sell and distribute.

People aregue this country is terrible but people just don't want to give up a little for it. (Giving up your rights in school to make it safer.)
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#9 groovicus

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 03:50 PM

your parents sign a Du Process before you are able to attend


Huwhazzat? Du Process? Do you mean Due Process? First of all, due process is a principle (not the guy that gives you detention for skipping your government class) that limits how and to what extent the government can infringe on your rights, ie, you can't be jailed for no reason at all, etc. I have no earthly idea how your parents could have signed it. They might have signed some sort of waiver.

Since this was not on school grounds and Frederick had not attended school that day should the school have control over what he says?

It doesn't matter. He was still at a school function.

Should students in school have the same rights as they would have outside of school?

Sort of a silly question really, because when not in school or at a school function, they are not students, they are minors.

@yano

If the school is going to take away my right to protection

The school isn't taking away that right. You willingly give it up when you step on school grounds. Besides, who says you have a right to protection? The second amendment? Sorry. That is to keep the federal government from infringing on the right to bear arms. The school can do whatever it pleases.

#10 Andrew

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 05:04 PM

Speaking from the perspective of a relatively recent high school grad (Class of 2001), I have had the experience of being a minor student as well as an adult non-student within the last few years.

Most schools in the US assume that they have authority in loco parentis, and have been emboldened by decisions such as Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District. While this assumption is not necessarily untrue, it does lend itself to being overextended.

My personal belief is that the less government we have the better off we'll be. I myself have been subjected to the horror of what passes for "discipline" "justice" and "due process" in the California public schools. Our children are at the mercy of capricious, self-important bleeps for the most part. While there are many, many school administrators and teachers who truly care about the kids and want them to learn, be safe, etc. There are just enough power hungry control freaks out there to make life hard for everyone.

Ok, rant over. I need a cigarette...

#11 groovicus

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 08:25 PM

here are just enough power hungry control freaks out there to make life hard for everyone.


That is not a condition specific to school; that is just a general condition of society.

#12 Andrew

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 11:19 PM

True, but not many areas of society are compulsorily imposed by law like schools are. If you boss at work is a power hungry control freak then you have the option of quitting. A student has little to no such ability to extricate themselves. In towns like where I grew up, where there is only one high school, we didn't even have the option of transferring to another school.

Until the day one turn 18 years old in this country one is a non-person. A minor is nothing more than an extension of the parent, as far as most institutions are concerned. Many of the rights enjoyed by adults are not found in the "kiddie" version.

For example, when I was a teenager (16) I was accused of making terrorist threats at school. The charges were false but I found myself expelled and facing felony charges. Unlike 'adult' justice systems, there is no pretense that the accused is innocent. As a matter of course, the accused is presumed guilty and the entire system is built on that premise. Of course, they don't use words like 'guilty' and 'innocent' but rather just say that the 'charges were found to be true or untrue'. There is no appeal, no trial to speak of, nothing.

While the above isn't specifically about schools it does illustrate the (wrong, IMO) belief by people that until a teenager hits that magic number that confers upon them the cognitive powers of an adult. Children and teens are, for lack of a better word, treated like the property of the parent rather than individuals with rights.


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#13 godzilla15

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 03:25 PM

Sort of a silly question really, because when not in school or at a school function, they are not students, they are minors.

Actually Frederick was 18 when this occured, meaning he was not a minor.

The event was a public parade. All the school did was let them out of class early to watch the parade. Does this qualify as a school sanctioned event?

Also Frederick was originally suspended for 5 days, but after he was told he was suspended he began to quote Thomas Jefferson to the principal. The suspension was then increased to 10 days. Was his freedom of speech impeded in this case?

#14 godzilla15

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 03:32 PM

I understand what xXAlphaXx is trying to say, but it is a catch-22. You have to sign a waiver that limits your rights in school in order to attend school. If you don't sign the waiver then your parnets are arrested because it is illegal not to go to school. So in effect you either give up your child's rights or go to jail. The school and by extension the governement is forcing you to give up your rights.

Also Tinker v. Des Moines was not about pot. It was about a student led protest of the Vietnam war. Students went to school wearing black armbands and were suspended for disobeying the dress code. Also the case was not thrown out, the Supreme Court sided with the students in this land mark decision.

#15 fireflame88

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 04:59 AM

Well if you have been in singapore.... U have no rights anywhere.... yea something like that




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