"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

Search This Blog

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Should Freedom of Expression be Allowed in a Public High School if it Could Incite Violence?

Should this shirt be banned from public school?

Should wearing a shirt proclaiming "RIP" for a gunned down young man be allowed to be worn in an Omaha high school or banned?  AsktheJudge.info writes:

Did the t-shirt constitute “. . . a respectful display of their feelings for a fallen friend” as the plaintifff’s lawyer has stated? Or did the school act properly in preventing a disturbance on campus and possible gang violence?

Here's the story of the shooting of Julius Robinson who split off from one gang to form his own gang and a former gang member gunned him down with a .357 Magnum resulting in Robinson's death.   Here is a link from 2008 when the shooting happened with readers' opinions.  


  1. The schools have a responsibility to keep the kids in their care safe and if that infringes upon their free speech rights, so be it. Stories like this help make the argument for school uniforms. I loved it when my son wore school uniforms when we lived in Louisiana. It was much cheaper too.

  2. This district had the policy of "No RIP shirts" in place before the these students wore them, so this particular case seems to be more of a "disregard for district-wide policy" than a "can't wear that particular shirt"...but questions abound about the general cases.

    Who decides what constitutes "inciteful speech"? Does a shirt which says "God bless America" incite violence because somebody disagrees with those particular religious ideas? Does a Nine Inch Nails shirt incite violence because it stirs up strong emotions of hate and rage? Where does it stop/begin? (I agree uniforms are good -- but is it the government's place to arbitrarily declare some non-uniform shirts okay and others not? The Supreme Court has ruled (often) that students' free speech rights do not end at the school door...)


Keep it clean and constructive. We reserve the right to delete comments that are profane, off topic, or spam.

Site Meter