Is There Free Speech in Middle School?

An 8th grade student recently decided to distribute flyers at her local California middle school informing fellow students that male students who identify as females are now allowed to use the girls’ restroom because of the new law AB1266.

She was stopped by a security guard and told to report to the principal’s office. That’s never a good sign!

The principal told her that it was against the law to distribute the flyers. He also told her that her church should be ashamed for telling her to do that. What?

First, she clearly admitted that it was her idea based on what she heard at church.

Second, did that principal just endorse of a religion (in fact ANY religion other than hers)?

He’s an educator shaping young minds, and he took that opportunity to beat up on her religious beliefs and her church. Coming from an authority figure to a young teenager, that sounds pretty intimidating. What kind of lasting impact with that exchange have on that young lady?

Legally, she did have a right to circulate the flyers. From the accounts, there was no hate speech or opinion on the flyer. Simply the facts about the new law that had been enacted.

The principal has since learned the error of his ways and has allowed her to continue the distribution. Hopefully there was an apology somewhere in there for the way he handled the incident.

I hope she isn’t one to cave to intimidation and that she’s learned about the value of both exercising and protecting the 1st Amendment which protected her in this case.

Read more about the story here.

Photo credit MS Office ClipArt

 

via The RealSide with Joe Messina 11/1/13

 

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