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[P]
"Straight Pride" shirt banned from school

By Wicket in Op-Ed
Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:30:12 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

There is an interesting article on cnn about about a boy in Minnesota that was barred from wearing a sweatshirt that read "Straight Pride" to school. The shirt depicted a male and female holding hands above the words.

I've always been very adamant about freedom of speech and civil rights, but yet am unsure how I feel about this. Under what circumstances should free speech be protected? Any and all free speech, or speech that won't harm another person? Is this a case of what the right-wing has been calling "reverse-discrimination"?


The issue, for me anyway, is if a public school is the correct forum for displaying such views. The school had already had problems earlier in the year when a student wore a headband depicting the confederate flag and a fight broke out, so I'm sure the school is already walking on egg shells to prevent another incident such as that one.

Are not the public schools in the US a place for learning, discovering one's self (the ones that aren't failing anyway), and a place where students should not feel excluded in such a way, ones that are only coming to gripes with their sexuality? Is this any different from someone wearing a "white-pride" shirt to public school?

This is an issue that is definitely treading the fine line of free speech, especially since the boy is being represented by the American Family Association Center for Law and Policy, a group that says on its Web site that it is opposed to "the radical homosexual agenda."

The Superintendent of the school, Dan Hoke, defended his actions of barring the boy from wearing the shirt to school, suggesting that it carried an anti-homosexual overtone and remarked that students should be "free from discrimination, harassment and disruptions such as fights or altercations."

I happen to agree with him on this, high school is hard enough dealing with all of the changes going on in the teenagers' bodies, life, etc., and then having to deal with something like this.

Should "free speech" such as this in public schools be protected?

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This is:
o free speech that needs to be protected 58%
o free speech, but a public school is not the correct forum 27%
o a vast right wing conspiracy 9%
o Jesse Helms 4%

Votes: 108
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o cnn
o a boy in Minnesota that was barred from wearing a sweatshirt that read "Straight Pride"
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"Straight Pride" shirt banned from school | 203 comments (202 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
The big unanswered question, (4.30 / 10) (#2)
by Rasvar on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 12:24:36 PM EST

Would a 'Gay Pride' shirt be allowed or not? If not, then it is being fairly handled. If another Pride shirt is allowed, then to not allow straight pride, offensive or not, would be discrimination.

Free Speech isn't so much the issue if the rules are fairly enforced. Schools, themselves, have always been allowed a level of freedom to decide dress codes and behavioral policy. It is only a problem if it is not handled in an equitable basis.

Simplistic (4.33 / 3) (#122)
by driptray on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 01:54:36 AM EST

Would a 'Gay Pride' shirt be allowed or not? If not, then it is being fairly handled. If another Pride shirt is allowed, then to not allow straight pride, offensive or not, would be discrimination.

This formulation has the benefit of simplicity but little else. Wearing a gay pride T-shirt is a very different thing to wearing a "straight pride" T-shirt. OK, if you're looking through the free-speech lens then they are the same - they're both just messages on a T-shirt.

But the free-speech lens doesn't always give you the best view (you can tell I'm not an American, huh). The reason why the wearing of the two T-shirts is different is because of the context and meaning surrounding them. One is confirming and supporting the rights of a, er, minority (that word again!), and the other is a fairly obvious attempt to denigrate and parody those rights. One promotes equality while the other attempts to stifle it.

I'm reminded of the old phrase that the law forbids both the rich and poor from sleeping under bridges. Well I think that's a bad idea for the same reason that I think the two T-shirts should be treated differently.

But I also happen to think that this just one dickhead in a T-shirt, and it would have been better off ignoring him. If some kids had a real problem with the T-shirt, the best course of action would be for the teachers to give quiet support to those kids, and encourage them to be open, defiant and proud about who they are. As it is it's a storm in a teacup. Imagine if there were 30 (or 100) kids wearing that T-shirt. Then the argument that the school was not providing a safe and supportive environment for its students might have a bit more weight to it.


--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]
What you say?? (5.00 / 1) (#192)
by tzanger on Mon Apr 09, 2001 at 04:28:27 PM EST

This formulation has the benefit of simplicity but little else. Wearing a gay pride T-shirt is a very different thing to wearing a "straight pride" T-shirt.

BULLSHIT.

I'm sick and fucking tired of "oooh the poor bastard minorities, let's just let them do this but not anyone else because, after all, they're minorities and it's hard on them..." If a pair of homosexuals walks hand in hand down the street and is unmolested but a heterosexual couple does the same and is lambasted for open affection it's okay because the homosexual couple are minorities?

If my son were to wear a shirt that said "white pride" or "straight pride" to school and got blasted that's fine. Hell I'd probably give him shit for lack of thought. But I'd raise bloody hell if he then came home the next day saying someone else wore a "black pride" or "gay pride" shirt and didn't get into trouble. That is discrimination plain and simple. There is no "free speech lens" here, it's discrimination.

Personally I don't feel that that type of clothing should be worn to school in the first place. But once you choose to start sending kids home because of what's on their shirts, you better god damned be doing it equally and across the board. Just because the kid's white or straight or whatever does not mean he's less important than a minority.

Yes, I'm white. And male. And heterosexual. At times I consider myself a minority. Males comprise about 46% of the earth's population. By definition I'm a minority, right?

To top it off I'm MADE to feel like shit because of the colour of my skin and my sexual orientation by the news and most of the special interest groups out there. It makes me ill to think that "National Black Pride Month" can be declared but an equally large group of white people doing the same thing would be charged, criminalized and harassed*

* - I did not say groups like the KKK are right or that they should be silenced. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a large friendly gathering of people of ANY race coming together and celebrating their heritage. If a million black people want to say "Hey it's great we're black" that is fine by me. In fact I think that's a great idea. But to criminalize a million white people when they come together and say "Hey, we're white; that's great" is wrong. Giving that privelage to only one group of people is discriminatory. Why isn't there a National White Pride Month or a White Heritage TV station? Nobody pushes for it because they are afeared of being labelled a Klan member or of being anti-minority.



[ Parent ]
Before passing judgement... (4.16 / 6) (#3)
by Pseudonym on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 12:26:51 PM EST

I'd really like to know what the student thought he was saying by wearing the shirt. All we've heard from his side is his mother. If it were me, I'd have worn the shirt partly as a joke, but also as a statement of being pro-sexuality. What about the student? What does he think? Was he trying to make a joke, make a point, bait someone or what?

Having said that, the AFA being involved is kinda fishy. It suggests that the student, or at least his mother, has some support for the AFA. I would have gone for a civil liberties group, because the AFA is not exactly known for their all-encompassing defence of the first amendment.



sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
I think that most people who would wear such a (3.00 / 1) (#103)
by ZanThrax on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 08:16:27 PM EST

slogan would be intending it to be an essentially anti-gay statement. Now, its possible that this particular student actually is proud to be straight, but that would, at the least, make him a very odd person. Assuming that he's either literally proud - which would make being straight an accomplishment (maybe plausible if he was a graduate from one of those christian brainwashing services that "fix" homosexuality), or he means proud the same way that the gay-pride folks mean it - sort of "I'm not the same as the accepted standard, and I'm not afraid to admit it" attitude, which only makes sense if being straight in that school was something that would cause a person to be ridiculed...

Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
[ Parent ]

Not the same as the accepted standard (5.00 / 1) (#191)
by SnowDogAPB on Mon Apr 09, 2001 at 03:47:15 PM EST

The kid isn't the same as the accepted standard.

Let's assume that everything bad being said about the kid is true -- he's a dickhead rightwing asshole looking to intimidate some gay kids at his school.

That's surely not the accepted standard....

I'm pretty far out in terms of my support of equality for everyone. I grew up in one of the most liberal communities in the US (Northampton, MA -- nationally known as being right up there with San Francisco). It wasn't until I got to college that I heard the word "liberal" used in a negative way!

But I've seen things that might cause the sort of backlash this shirt represents.

In a previous comment, someone who lived in San Francisco described having a pair of gay men call him and his female companion "breeders," under their breath, in an insulting tone. I've been there -- not with sexual orientation, but with race. I remember in college going to a discussion group about the LA Riots (Rodney King timeframe). As a white person, I was in the minority. I expressed an opinion, and I was interrupted rudely by one of the people, and the "group think" took over and my voice was silenced.

In both the cases above someone who happens to be a member of the majority is the object of anger, malice, whatever ... on the part of the minority -- for no reason other than being in the majority. The result is a sort of feeling that you have to walk on eggshells just because you're part of the majority (exactly the feeling the members of the minority have had to deal with for umpteen hundred years).

So I can see where the psychology comes from where someone says "Straight Pride" or whatever. Especially if that person has been convinced by those around him that the "liberal gay agenda" or whatever is running the country -- of course he feels like the minority. Hence the need on his part to wear the shirt.

(Personally, I'm sick of this obsession we have with not offending anyone, but that's a different story, isn't it?)





[ Parent ]
Oh goody! (3.66 / 3) (#4)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 12:28:15 PM EST

Now we get to have this conversation all over again, except in reverse.

The only real difference is that in the case of Elliot Chambers, according to what I read over at Ars Techinica yesterday, other students actually compained about being offended by the shirt in question. Is that enough of a difference to make the result of the impending lawsuit different? I dunno.

Censorship by the Liberal Establishment! Horrors! (2.00 / 2) (#5)
by 0xdeadbeef on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 12:29:13 PM EST

This is really no different than another event in which someone wore clothing with the sole intention of offending people. If a school can ban me from wearing a shirt depicting a demon squicking the skull of Jesus, I don't see why it can't ban this. That "community standards" crap cuts both ways.

huh. (3.54 / 11) (#6)
by harb on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 12:30:11 PM EST

Pro-straight is automatically anti-homosexual?

Does that mean all those Gay Pride people despise us heterosexuals?

I dislike double standards.

harb.

bda.

No... (4.66 / 3) (#8)
by Wicket on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 12:32:40 PM EST

What leads us to believe that this is an anti-homosexual statement is that the boy is being represented by the "American Family Association Center for Law and Policy, a group that says on its Web site that it is opposed to 'the radical homosexual agenda.'"


intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
[ Parent ]
You're reading too much in. (3.40 / 5) (#20)
by qpt on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 01:02:15 PM EST

The web site says it opposes "the radical homosexual agenda". This does not mean that they are anti-homosexual.

I am strongly opposed to Swedes taking over the world and killing everyone else, but I have no particular opinion about Swedes. Do you see the difference? Perhaps the American Family Association Center for Law and Policy is guilty of paranoia, but not hate.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

You're not reading enough. (3.50 / 2) (#77)
by inpHilltr8r on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 03:53:02 PM EST

Considering that the 'radical homosexual agenda' is to be treated equally and fairly under the law, I'd consider opposition to this agenda to be implicitly, 'anti-homosexual'.


I'm strongly opposed to christians taking over the world and killing everyone else...

...which is why I supported the turks during the crusades.



[ Parent ]
on the crusades: I supported the Christians... (4.00 / 2) (#81)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 04:05:01 PM EST

Well, I would have liked to see one group of Christians be successful in defending themselves against the Crusaders.

Funny things, those Crusaders. Not only did those Western Europeans rape and pillage the Holy Land, but they also raped and pillaged Constantinople, a city full of and governed by Christians. They did so for no apparent reason.

Whatever one considers the Crusaders, I think it clear from their actions that they were motivated by politics and greed moreso than religious fervor. I can't picture a group of religiously motivated Christians dressing a prosititue in fine garb and sitting her on the Bishop's throne in the largest Cathedral in the world (now a mosque) while stripping all the precious metals and stones from the altar ornaments.

[ Parent ]

Istanbul, not Constantinople (none / 0) (#134)
by aphrael on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 04:22:07 AM EST

Funny things, those Crusaders. Not only did those Western Europeans rape and pillage the Holy Land, but they also raped and pillaged Constantinople, a city full of and governed by Christians. They did so for no apparent reason.

Political and economic greed on the part of the Doge of Venice. Ironic, too, in that it weakened Constantinople in a way that made the Fall inevitable, and opened the way to Turkish domination of southeastern Europe for centuries. Damn foolish shortsightedness, it was.

[ Parent ]

Wow. (4.50 / 2) (#133)
by aphrael on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 04:20:06 AM EST

The web site says it opposes "the radical homosexual agenda". This does not mean that they are anti-homosexual.

What do you think that means, exactly? "Radical homosexual agenda" is a code word; it means *any* political change that benefits homosexuals. It means domestic partner laws, support for gay marriage, anti-discrimination rules --- anything which changes the status quo in a way that benefits gays. In my experience, it's a term used only by people who want gays to stay in the closet -- or, better yet, be castrated.

[ Parent ]

Slow down.. (none / 0) (#166)
by qpt on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 01:40:37 PM EST

In my experience, it's a term used only by people who want gays to stay in the closet -- or, better yet, be castrated.
Since when has your experience been an arbiter of fact? All you can provide is anecdotal evidence, which isn't evidence at all. Did it even occur to you to try to find out what the American Family Association Center for Law and Policy means by the term "radical homosexual agenda"?

Of course you didn't. As a Kuro5hin poster, your opinions are your final measure of reality.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

Are you blind? (none / 0) (#167)
by Electric Angst on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 02:05:35 PM EST

Look, if you haven't been following any political or social news in the last five years, then perhaps I can forgive you for trying to claim that the phrase 'Radical Homosexual Agenda' isn't used by anti-gay groups against homosexuals.

Just in case, I'll let you know that the AFA and its ilk has used the term to describe such "radical" actions as:

  • Domestic Partner Benifits
  • Tolerence Education in Schools
  • Hate Crime Bills
    and even
  • Increased funding for AIDS research

I tell you what, do a google search for the term, right now, see he evidence for these claims, and it becomes pretty clear where the AFA stands.

Don't try and pull this, well, you're not citing everything and giving 100% proof, so it's simply not true.


--
"Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
[ Parent ]
No, I'm not (5.00 / 1) (#168)
by qpt on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 02:59:22 PM EST

Don't try and pull this, well, you're not citing everything and giving 100% proof, so it's simply not true.
You aren't citing anything or giving any proof at all, though. Am I supposed to believe you because you sound so convinced that you're right?

As for the points you brought up, I think those do constitute an agenda. Why should homosexuals be granted domestic partner benefits when heterosexuals are not? The idea of homosexual marriage is an absurdity, as well. There is a reason why governments legally recognize marriage and grant certain privileges and benefits to married couples. It is generally accepted that a society benefits from having its children raised in a stable environment. Thus, legal rights and responsibilities are attached to marriage, to encourage couples to form such a stable environment. Homosexuals cannot breed with each other, so homosexual marriage serves no purpose from the state's perspective.

Schools are the incorrect place for tolerance indoctrination. The purpose of schooling is to impart academic knowledge to children, not to fill them with social propaganda. School should teach children basic facts and laws as well as how to think. Tolerance education attempts to force children to think the correct things.

Hate crime bills are ridiculous and dangerous. It is not illegal to hate, nor should it ever be. Everyone has the right to hold whatever opinion they please. However, it is already illegal to kill people. There is no need to establish hate crime legislation except for the purpose of destroying unpopular ideas.

AIDS research is already disproportionally over-funded in the United States when compared to other health issues that claim many more lives. Why should more funding be given to a disease that appears to mostly be the problem of homosexuals and their promiscuous lifestyle? Before you close your mind totally, go look at the statistics. Homosexuals represent an enormous portion of the AIDS cases in this country.

All the points that you mentioned seem to represent a radical agenda. They are attempts to use the government to force people into what is deemed a 'correct' state of mind.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

IHBT. IHL. FM. (3.00 / 2) (#169)
by Electric Angst on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 03:24:33 PM EST

I have been trolled. I have lost. Fuck me.

I compliment you for this fine effort, and extend a hearty "w00t!"


--
"Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
[ Parent ]
Radical agendas (none / 0) (#170)
by aphrael on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 03:27:31 PM EST

I think those do constitute an agenda

Granted. they constitute an agenda. An agenda which isn't particularly radical at all.

Why should homosexuals be granted domestic partner benefits when heterosexuals are not?

Let's quantify the type of thing we're talking about here. If i'm in love with someone, and have been in a stable relationship with them for years, and we live together, and I get sick and die, in most states my will can be challenged by my brother if I leave everything to my partner. If I am terminally ill and incapacitated, my brother is legally enabled to make decisions regarding my life, not the person i'm in love with. If I die prematurely, the person i'm in love with gets *nothing* from social security. Straight people can get out of these and countless other situations by getting married; I can't.

It is generally accepted that a society benefits from having its children raised in a stable environment.

Which is of course why people who have had vasectomies are allowed to marry, or women who are past childbearing years, or people who have no desire to have children --- while lesbian couples who are getting pregnant via artificial insemination are *not* allowed to marry.

This argument is a red herring. Marriage is a contract between two individuals, right? It's a contract entered into for countless reasons --- some because of deep and abiding love between the individuals involved; some to raise children; some to secure financial alliances between families. Yet as a society we aren't willing to recognize marriages between two people who love each other and are of the same sex --- not because they can't have children, but because a sizeable percentage of the population thinks that this isn't a lifestyle that should be approved by the state.

The purpose of schooling is to impart academic knowledge to children, not to fill them with social propaganda.

Which is why most schools require children to pledge allegiance to the flag or sing the national anthem or both --- that's academic learning and not social propoganda, right?

More to the point --- imagine you're a first grade teacher. One of your kids is the child of a lesbian couple. The kids know that that kid has two moms, and at some point one of them asks you about it. You have three choices: (a) to condemn the parents of one of your students and make that kid miserable for a choice that he didn't make; (b) to treat it in an offhand matter-of-fact manner, like it's no big deal and nothing that anyone should be concerned about; (c) to praise it and say something like "don't you wish you had two mommies?". *Nobody* is going to do the third; the 'radical homosexual agenda' is to convince people that the second is better for everyone concerned than the first. Do you disagree? If so, why?

[ Parent ]

B, but... (5.00 / 1) (#193)
by tzanger on Mon Apr 09, 2001 at 04:39:34 PM EST

More to the point --- imagine you're a first grade teacher. One of your kids is the child of a lesbian couple. The kids know that that kid has two moms, and at some point one of them asks you about it. You have three choices: (a) to condemn the parents of one of your students and make that kid miserable for a choice that he didn't make; (b) to treat it in an offhand matter-of-fact manner, like it's no big deal and nothing that anyone should be concerned about; (c) to praise it and say something like "don't you wish you had two mommies?". *Nobody* is going to do the third; the 'radical homosexual agenda' is to convince people that the second is better for everyone concerned than the first. Do you disagree? If so, why?

Personally I believe that b) is the correct answer, but not because of the "radical homosexual agenda". I don't think that any child should be scorned because of actions outside his or her control, regardless of whether I feel they're right or wrong.

However I don't think that many teachers would answer b); they'd probably hit c) because they'd be afraid that the child of the lesbian couple would go home, tell them and end up in a law suit because their child wasn't treated specially.

Sound stupid? Yup. But I fear that it is the likely outcome. In the day and age where you can sue for not being special or for not getting preferential treatment or even suing because you've got no sense of common sense, the teacher would be far more apt to treat the kid as a special person instead of as a special person in a class of special people.



[ Parent ]
Flame war (none / 0) (#171)
by aphrael on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 03:30:36 PM EST

I think i'm going to withdraw from this debate at this time; all i'm going to do is get pissed off, and my debating skill deteriorates noticeably when I do that.

I will point out before I go, however, that *everyone* I have ever met who used the term 'radical homosexual agenda' were opposed to toleration of homosexuality in *any* form. Nothing I have seen in any political movememnt which uses the term has led me to believe that the adherents of such movements are any different.

[ Parent ]

Re: No.... (4.33 / 3) (#22)
by psctsh on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 01:08:18 PM EST

The only problem with this is that the school didn't know who the boy would be represented by when they banned him. What's more, the article never mentions if the student vocalized his beliefs about homosexuality before hand. So, assuming he didn't have much contact with the school administration, they'd have no ability to judge his intention.

On the other hand, it's my understanding that constitutional rights don't apply to minors, specifically since they aren't *really* citizens yet. They're denied the right to vote, and the right to bear arms (in more cases than not--handguns I'm sure), why not deny them the right to free speech?

[ Parent ]
So What? (none / 0) (#141)
by espo812 on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 09:31:46 AM EST

He's represented by a group the claims to be anti-homosexual, so what? Does that mean he dosn't have a right to representation?

A while back a Jewish ACLU lawyer represented the Ku Klux Klan in a case in which the Klan was denied their right to march. The ACLU is a group that supports gun control. Does that mean the KKK supports gun control because they were represented by the ACLU? I think not.

The issue here is that a student's constitutional rights were violated, and he is taking the case to court.

espo
--
Censorship is un-American.
[ Parent ]
erm. (none / 0) (#197)
by Requiem on Tue Apr 10, 2001 at 12:47:18 AM EST

Let's follow your logic.

The Klan was represented by the ACLU. This was because they were denied the right to march, which could be taken as a denial of civil liberties. The ACLU's purpose is to defend civil liberties.

This boy was represented by the American Family Association. This was because he wore a parody of "gay pride" on a t-shirt. The American Family Association has stated that they are opposed to the "agenda" set out by homosexuals.

Now, I agree with you, he has the right to representation. But if he agrees to be represented by a group that is none too fond of homosexuality, then, well, there's going to be some questions raised about the interpretation of the shirt.

Oh, and by the way, the boy doesn't really have constitutional rights, as he's a minor.

[ Parent ]
Not a double standard... (3.25 / 4) (#15)
by starbreeze on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 12:48:44 PM EST

Well... I see this as a very complicated issue. I, myself am slightly confused. I was very active in our campuses "Allies" group (gay-straight alliance). While pro-straight/anti-homosexuality can be viewed as not hateful, usually it ends up only promoting the hate.

A good example of this would be... we invited Leslea Newman, author of "Heather Has Two Mommies" to speak on our campus. Because it is a Presbyterian affiliated school, the population tends to be heavily right-winged, conservative etc. Now I can completely respect other people's religions, and Christianity says homosexuality is wrong. But thats just it. *it* is wrong, not the person. Love the person, hate the sin.

So... when a speaker comes in to educate us about what can be done to stop the hate crimes, and it was a very educational talk... does this mean that it is promoting homosexuality?

Well, some people thought so because one professor wrote in to say we should invite a Christian anti-homosexuality speaker in. In my mind, all that would do is promote the hatred. Maybe he had good intentions, but there is still too much discrimination in general, and too much hatred to think that this wouldnt have that kind of effect.

So, my point is that it is *not* a double standard because homosexuality is the minority. But one needs to be careful... it is such a sensitive issue. As much as i like to stand on my soapbox for gay rights, I am still fairly confused about it.

~~~~~~~~~
"There's something strangely musical about noise." ~Trent Reznor
[ Parent ]

re: Not a double standard (2.66 / 3) (#32)
by /dev/niall on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 01:30:24 PM EST

While pro-straight/anti-homosexuality can be viewed as not hateful, usually it ends up only promoting the hate.

eh? How does pro-<anything> translate to anti-<anything-else>?


--
"compared to the other apes, my genitals are gigantic" -- TheophileEscargot
[ Parent ]

Some people... (3.00 / 1) (#51)
by Wicket on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:18:31 PM EST

...argue that to be pro-life is anti-choice...


intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
[ Parent ]
Both sides of that debate (none / 0) (#105)
by ZanThrax on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 08:24:36 PM EST

have chosen names for the main purpose of implying that the other side is against the good thing that they themselves are for. (e.g. the 'pro-life' side wants the other side to be considered 'anti-life' and the 'pro-choice' side wants the others to be considered 'anti-choice') And of course, neither side actually refers to the issue that they are divided over when refering to themselves.

Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
[ Parent ]

Most (3.00 / 2) (#36)
by Zeram on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 01:31:12 PM EST

people either can't or wouln't make the distinction of love the person hate the sin. And even many who do are still willing to go to extremes to erase the "sin".
<----^---->
Like Anime? In the Philly metro area? Welcome to the machine...
[ Parent ]
Pro-straight is automatically anti-homosexual? (2.55 / 9) (#39)
by eLuddite on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 01:44:22 PM EST

Straight Pride is

  • flamebait
  • derision
  • pettiness
  • insecurity
  • a mean spirited attempt to diminish "Gay Pride" as valid political dissent in a nation of smug heterosexuals
  • less free speech than a tshirt depicting Hillary sucking Bill's dick
  • how sanctimonious twits congratulate each other for being members of a majority which needs no protection at all
  • as far as slogans go, not as stupid as the person wearing it

    Regarding that last point. Since schools have an obligation to make their wards more intelligent than their clothing, I have no problem with the principle's actions.

    Of course Straight Pride is anti homosexual. It's a corruption of Gay Pride, pure and simple. Duh.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

  • Wow (3.00 / 3) (#50)
    by finkployd on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:17:26 PM EST

    Someone is hypocritically bitter :)

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    yes, I'm a hypocrite (3.33 / 6) (#82)
    by eLuddite on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 04:06:55 PM EST

    In the context of a legitimate historical political movement (gay pride), Straight Pride is as obnoxious as White Power. Slogans mean something. What do you suppose Straight Pride means? That you're proud to fuck members of the opposite sex? This is your contribution to free speech - "I fuck women?" Studmuffin, you say that every day in every movie, book, sitcom and song sung over the radio. No, Straight Pride is a slogan which aims to disparage homosexuals and trivialize rightful political gains made by the Gay Pride movement.

    Note that I never said anyone shouldnt have the right to wear such a slogan, only that a school should feel perfectly free to dismiss students who are unwilling to stop advertising their ignorant prejudice long enough to learn some tolerance and informed opinion. Schools aren't daycare centers for the American Family Association.

    I bet most of you dont even know what Gay Pride is. You should be asking your schools to teach you something about the history of the gay movement in your country - you know, the freeest country in the world? Oh wait, how silly of me, that would just mean another lawsuit brought by the American Family Association Center for Law and Policy for teaching Biff and the prom queen improper radical homosexual ideas such as equality and hate.

    Yeah, I'm a hypocrite. So is the principal for attempting to teach young Mr. Elliot Chambers an important lesson.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    I forgot to add, free speech my ass (n/t) (1.80 / 5) (#85)
    by eLuddite on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 04:14:33 PM EST

    I said no text. Fuck off. (I mean that in the nicest monosexual (wanker, if your a brit) way possible.)

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    just my take on the subject... (1.00 / 2) (#128)
    by Greyshade on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 04:01:58 AM EST

    <{my changes}> *snip* ----------------- In the context of a legitimate historical <{evolutionary}> movement (<{straight}> pride), <{Gay}> Pride is as obnoxious as <{Eunich}> Power. Slogans mean something. What do you suppose <{Gay}> Pride means? That you're proud to fuck members of the <{same}> sex? This is your contribution to free speech - "I fuck <{men}>?" Studmuffin, you say that every day in every movie, book, sitcom and song sung over the radio. No, <{Gay}> Pride is a slogan which aims to disparage <{Heterosexuals}>and trivialize rightful <{evolutionary}> gains made by the <{Straight}> Pride movement. Note that I never said anyone shouldnt have the right to wear such a slogan, only that a school should feel perfectly free to dismiss students who are unwilling to stop advertising their ignorant prejudice long enough to learn some tolerance and informed opinion. Schools aren't daycare centers for the American Family Association. I bet most of you dont even know what <{Straight}> Pride is. You should be asking your schools to teach you something about the history of the <{evolutionary}> movement in your country - you know, the freeest country in the world? Oh wait, how silly of me, that would just mean another lawsuit brought by the American Family Association Center for Law and Policy for teaching Biff and the prom queen improper radical <{heterosexual}> ideas such as equality and <{responsability}>.

    [ Parent ]
    Wow. Hipocracy at its best. (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by tzanger on Mon Apr 09, 2001 at 04:51:10 PM EST

    You don't happen to have a shirt that says "Proud to be a Hipocrite", do you?

    Note that I never said anyone shouldnt have the right to wear such a slogan, only that a school should feel perfectly free to dismiss students who are unwilling to stop advertising their ignorant prejudice long enough to learn some tolerance and informed opinion.

    So let me get this straight... You can wear a shirt saying "Gay Pride" but I can't wear one saying "Straight Pride" ?? Maybe I'm sick to the teeth of being treated like an outcast because I'm not gay and happen to be truly proud that I'm straight. And for that I'm blasted because I happen to think that "Straight Pride" is a quicker way to express my opinion than "I'm Proud to be Straight* * -not to be affiliated with the anti-gay 'Straight Pride' group which obviously just makes fun of Gay Pride"? Get real.

    Schools aren't daycare centers for the American Family Association.

    Agreed. Totally. In the same breath, they are not the place to wear clothing of this type anyway (IMO). If you wear a Gay Pride shirt I'd send you home too.



    [ Parent ]
    You can wear whatever tshirt you like. (none / 0) (#201)
    by eLuddite on Wed Apr 11, 2001 at 11:41:46 PM EST

    What you cannot do is wear it with equal abandon wherever you like unless you can demonstrate that wherever is violating your protected speech. I've posted a criticism for the protected speech defense in this case under another thread.

    In the same breath, they are not the place to wear clothing of this type anyway (IMO). If you wear a Gay Pride shirt I'd send you home too.

    That opinion demonstrates an understanding that your right to talk is not the same as my obligation to listen.

    I'm not sure why you think I'm being a hypocrit fro slamming dorkboy. For all you know I might slam a Gay Pride tshirt under similiar circumstances. Nothing I wrote any indication that I wouldn't.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    Hmmm... I think we're agreeing and disagreeing (none / 0) (#202)
    by tzanger on Sat Apr 14, 2001 at 08:22:12 PM EST

      In the same breath, they are not the place to wear clothing of this type anyway (IMO). If you wear a Gay Pride shirt I'd send you home too.

    That opinion demonstrates an understanding that your right to talk is not the same as my obligation to listen.

    Not at all. If I were the principal at the school I would have sent home a kid wearing "Gay Pride" or "Straight Pride" because I do not feel that those kinds of expression are appropriate in the school environment. It would be my guess that either of those shirts would be worn as an antagonistic device rather than a true device to excercise freedom of expression. In my case I am acting the same across the board.

    I'm not sure why you think I'm being a hypocrit fro slamming dorkboy. For all you know I might slam a Gay Pride tshirt under similiar circumstances. Nothing I wrote any indication that I wouldn't.

    I'm calling you a hipocrite for saying that it's alright for a minority to express themselves in this manner but for someone in the majority to do so is wrong. Slamming someone for wearing "Straight Pride" and not slamming someone for wearing "Gay Pride" isn't exactly right in my view.

    You're entirely correct though in your statement that the conditions and histories of the individuals have a big impact on the slamming or not.



    [ Parent ]
    Does that mean all those Gay Pride people (none / 0) (#104)
    by ZanThrax on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 08:20:52 PM EST

    despise us heterosexuals?

    No, it means that they don't like being despised by us heterosexuals, but aren't willing to lie about who they are. There's no majority of people who are at least uncomfortable, if not confrontational towards straight people, so 'straight pride' does not have the same implications as 'gay pride' does.

    Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
    [ Parent ]

    Hate Speech (2.88 / 17) (#7)
    by Electric Angst on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 12:31:57 PM EST

    I see the boy's shirt as a form of muted hate speech, intentionally used to attempt to push forth a hateful message using the tactics of those who are attempting to bring forth equality. (The exact same as most allegations of 'reverse racism'.) The reason I believe this is because of the absurdity of the term 'Straight Pride'.

    When a person of an alternative sexuality puts on a shirt saying something like "Gay Pride", they are making a decleration that their own sexuality is a valid practice, and something of which one should be proud. If one is straight in Western society, than that person's sexuality is considered the norm, and declerations that one should be able to have pride in it are obviously made with an intention other than to gain respect for it. The most obvious reason would then be to declare that hererosexuality is more valid and deserving of pride than other forms of sexuality. That is intolerence, and a form of hate speech, and should be removed from schools.


    --
    "Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
    What about Patriotism? (5.00 / 5) (#9)
    by Anonymous 242 on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 12:41:40 PM EST

    I find your reasoning to be a bit suspect. I don't think being in the majority or the minority has anything to do with whether or not one is proud of who one is.

    Let's look at a similiar issue. I see many, many bumper stickers about being proud to be an American or proud to have been made (born) in the USA. Many US Unions drive "buy made in the US" campaigns.

    Is wearing a tee shirt with the words "American Pride" construed to automatically be hate speech geared toward anyone who is not an American? If not, how is it any different?

    [ Parent ]

    But... (3.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Wicket on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 12:47:55 PM EST

    The term "American" is all encompassing of the residents of the US, "straight-pride" sounds a bit exclusive to me, but I can definitely see your point. Patriotism is about being proud of ones country, including all residents, not just a specific group. But of course, I wouldn't dare wear an "American Pride" shirt to any other country, that's just opening a huge can of worms :)




    intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
    [ Parent ]
    Not all residents are Americans (3.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Anonymous 242 on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 01:19:20 PM EST

    • Undocumented immigrants from non-American continents are not Americans
    • Tourists often are not Americans
    • Diplomats often are not Americans
    • Temporary workers often are not Americans
    • Long term residents that are not citizens (whether through choice or not doesn't matter) of a country in the Americas are not Americans.
    Yet I doubt that patriotic American tee shirts in and of themselves could be considered hate speech against any of these groups.

    [ Parent ]
    What Patriotism ? (4.00 / 1) (#27)
    by mami on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 01:23:07 PM EST

    Is wearing a tee shirt with the words "American Pride" construed to automatically be hate speech geared toward anyone who is not an American? If not, how is it any different?

    Well, if I, blue eyes and blond and German would wear a T-shirt saying "German Pride", into which category would you put me ? Most probably into "wacko descendent of Nazi parents", right ?

    Any person of the so called "Proud to be black/white/yellow/pink/straight/gay/"-crowd is nothing short of of surely slipping into any sort of -ism, racism, sexism etc. The T-shirt (or other personal styles of clothing etc) is simply a small subtle way of letting everybody know, where one stands, without asking, if everybody really wants to know. That wouldn't be a big deal, if people wouldn't start to fight over it. But they do, and very badly so.

    PUBLIC schools are mandatory, they have to prove they can educate kids, the kids have to accept the school's way to implement educating them. Parents through political actions have to influence the educational system. Right now neither the schools are doing their duty to adaequately educate the kids, nor the parents are doing their share to influence the way the educational system must be structured for the schools to be successful in their mission to educate. Meanwhile some kids take over, taking their freedoms and messing themselves up and the rest of the kids goes under or out of "school's way".

    [ Parent ]

    welcome to the real world (4.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Anonymous 242 on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 03:08:29 PM EST

    Well, if I, blue eyes and blond and German would wear a T-shirt saying "German Pride", into which category would you put me ? Most probably into "wacko descendent of Nazi parents", right ?
    I doubt it. My first guess is that you have ancestors of German descent. I don't see any qualitative difference between a German Pride shirt and a Kiss Me, I'm Irish shirt.

    I suppose one could make a case that all wacko descendents of Nazi parents all have pride in their heritage. But it is a very large mistake to assume that all people that have pride in their heritage approach the fanaticism of white supremecy.

    You seem to be making the same mistake that I find utterly abhorent when police officers make it. Police officers in my neck of the wood have a tendency to profile people. Just because someone wheres certain clothes or drives a certain type of car does not mean that that person is going to engage in certain behaviors.

    Any person of the so called "Proud to be black/white/yellow/pink/straight/gay/"-crowd is nothing short of of surely slipping into any sort of -ism, racism, sexism etc.
    This is flat out untrue. My parish Church that has people from 19 different ethnic groups. Virtually all of those people find their ethnic heritage to be a source of pride. That pride, to my knowledge, has never spilled over into any sort of ism that I am aware of within my parish. The people of Russian descent certainly didn't get agitated during the dinner we had to celebrate the members of the parish with Ethiopian descent. Those of Egyptian descent didn't get agitated over the dinner to celebrate the members of Lebanese descent. All of these different groups bring their own heritages and culture into the life of the Church and all benefit from the enriching experience.

    I can imagine some extreme situations where placing a high value on one's ethnic identity lead to bad things, but the same could be said for any type of ideology, philosophy, or other characteristic. The problem isn't with placing a high value on certain attributes, the problem is with individuals that are also hateful and violent. Such individuals will be hateful and violent no matter what isms they do or do not cling to.

    The T-shirt (or other personal styles of clothing etc) is simply a small subtle way of letting everybody know, where one stands, without asking, [as?] if everybody really wants to know.
    You seem to be arguing here for the banishment of all methods of personal messages. No more My child is an honor student at such-and-such-school bumper stickers. No more rock concert tee shirts. No more my other car is. . . bumper stickers. No more I love my <insert pet here> shirts.
    PUBLIC schools are mandatory, they have to prove they can educate kids, the kids have to accept the school's way to implement educating them.
    A very important part of life is learning how to deal with diversity, especially diversity that one is adverse to. This is why schools should be encouraging the students to work out their differences over gay and straight pride on a personal level instead of mandating all methods of communicating pride in either or both.

    [ Parent ]
    welcome to the real U.S. world (none / 0) (#181)
    by mami on Sat Apr 07, 2001 at 04:56:30 PM EST

    I doubt it. My first guess is that you have ancestors of German descent. I don't see any qualitative difference between a German Pride shirt and a Kiss Me, I'm Irish shirt

    I think your view point is based on your own U.S.-based experience within your community you live in. I don't think that you are seeing things realistically here in a more worldwide context. At least my experience is different.

    Also many signs within the U.S. don't support your view. We had a discussion going on about a school girl, which dressed in Wiccan style outfit (if I understood the article correctly). It was cause of constant harrassment towards her. Other examples might be gang-style fighting over clothes, which are worn by its members to express a message of that group.

    This is flat out untrue. My parish Church that has people from 19 different ethnic groups. Virtually all of those people find their ethnic heritage to be a source of pride. That pride, to my knowledge, has never spilled over into any sort of ism that I am aware of within my parish. The people of Russian descent certainly didn't get agitated during the dinner we had to celebrate the members of the parish with Ethiopian descent. Those of Egyptian descent didn't get agitated over the dinner to celebrate the members of Lebanese descent. All of these different groups bring their own heritages and culture into the life of the Church and all benefit from the enriching experience.

    I don't have any doubt that within your parish ( which one ?) you have encountered this harmony. But first of all, this expression of "being proud of your heritage" -feelings is something very unique to the U.S. It reflects the (more or less traumatic) experience of loss of your own cultural identity, each U.S. immigrant goes through, when adapting to this country. One way to counter balance these feelings of loss is to cherish your heritage in a non-offensive environment and in the public media. This environment can only be created within the safeguard of a tolerant political and religious community, which puts "we are all the same in front of God" first. Reality is that very often you don't find a non-harrassing environment to be able to peacefully play out your ethnic differences.

    Why does Afro-American or Asian-American have to identify themselves based on their ethnicity ? To me it is strange, that I have encountered many older black Americans, who clearly identified themselves as Americans in times where the actual equality of black Americans in the U.S. was not yet achieved.

    Nowadays, where much progress has been made, all of the sudden it becomes a big issue to identify yourself on your ethnicity. Why ?

    You seem to be arguing here for the banishment of all methods of personal messages

    No, not at all (why do you need to exaggerate ?), but I would support a little bit more grace, modesty and privacy in broadcasting personal sexual and religious affiliations. Based on the fact that everyone is entitled to his own private sexuality and religious beliefs and that everyone should adhere to that principle without any objections, it does not become necessary to tell the world that you are "this and that". Unless I personally don't fall in love with someone, it is really of no interest whatsoever for me (or anybody else for that matter) to know, if that person is gay, lesbian, straight, jew, wiccan, christian or whatever upfront. I just think that your sexual and religious affiliation are very private issues and should stay that way.

    [ Parent ]

    I'm not gay, not that there is anything wrong with (3.00 / 1) (#31)
    by cable on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 01:29:31 PM EST

    it. Something that Seinfeild said on one of his shows. It seems it is real easy to offend certain groups without even trying.

    If Seinfeild just said "I'm not gay!" would that be seen as Homophobic? Does he have to add in "not that there is anything wrong with it" to his statement? Or would saying "I am proud to be straight" be seen as homophobic? Could people be taking things the wrong way?

    How about "I'm proud to be an asexual green skinned alien from Mars?" that should tick off anyone from this planet, right? :)

    ------------------
    Only you, can help prevent Neb Rage!
    [ Parent ]

    American Pride (3.00 / 1) (#80)
    by inpHilltr8r on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 04:03:22 PM EST

    Well, if you wore that t-shirt in a foreign country, then yeah, local people would probably think you were an in-bred racist twat, and avoid you like the plague. At the very least you'd mark yourself as a target for opportunistic street crime.

    Strangely enough you don't see too many 'Born in the USA' bumper stickers outside of the US.


    [ Parent ]
    I don't quite understand your points (4.00 / 2) (#84)
    by Anonymous 242 on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 04:13:48 PM EST

    Well, if you wore that t-shirt in a foreign country, then yeah, local people would probably think you were an in-bred racist twat, and avoid you like the plague. At the very least you'd mark yourself as a target for opportunistic street crime.
    What does the narrow-mindedness and bigotry of these hypothetical local people of yours have to do with whether being proud of one's heritage is an indicator of being hateful toward people of other heritages?

    Let's take another example, that of the Roma. Traditional Gypsy garb is very easily recognizable and Gypsies typically take great pride in wearing traditional Gypsy garb so that they are easily recognizable for who and what they are. Does this mean that Gypsies are are hateful toward anyone not of their ethnic group?

    Strangely enough you don't see too many 'Born in the USA' bumper stickers outside of the US.
    Funny how that works. I see plenty of Kiss me I'm Irish and other bumper stickers connotating pride in one's ethnicity here in the USA. I wonder why such memes are not more prevalent in other countries.

    [ Parent ]
    Pikey's (none / 0) (#172)
    by inpHilltr8r on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 05:57:54 PM EST

    > Does this mean that Gypsies are are hateful toward anyone not of their ethnic group?

    No, quite the reverse, historically, gypsies experienced high levels of prejudice. Indeed, along with Jews, and homosexuals, they were one the third reich's target groups for the final solution.

    > I see plenty of Kiss me I'm Irish and other bumper stickers connotating pride in one's ethnicity here in the USA. I wonder why such memes are not more prevalent in other countries.

    Certainly in Europe, there's a strong stigma against nationalism / patriotism. Never underestimate the traumatising power of real war, on your doorstep / dropping through your roof.

    Also note that most of those "Kiss me I'm Irish" stckers will almost invariably be on the cars of US citizens claiming Irish heritage, rather than born and bred paddies.

    (Aside: I'm 3rd generation Irish myself)

    [ Parent ]
    To wit.... (4.50 / 4) (#10)
    by Rasvar on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 12:43:52 PM EST

    why should either shirt be allowed? Why should it matter if you are gay or straight?

    You can't have it both ways. You have to be fair. Even if you don't like what someone is saying. My opinion is that high school is not the place for any of this. High school, being mandatory as it is, is a place for education and not political statement making. Save that for outside of school or college.

    [ Parent ]
    Um... (4.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Zeram on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 01:27:35 PM EST

    Kids have to goto school. Telling them to not be who they are in a public place that they are forced to be in is ridiculous. You can't completly sanitize society or there is no society left.
    <----^---->
    Like Anime? In the Philly metro area? Welcome to the machine...
    [ Parent ]
    Let's take that further... (4.66 / 3) (#38)
    by theboz on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 01:42:28 PM EST

    What if the kid was a nudist? Are you saying that people should be walking around the school naked?

    Or what about bullies? Should they be allowed to go around beating up the other kids just because "it's part of their personality" so they shouldn't be punished?

    There has to be some discipline in schools. It's a shame that teachers have no real power in their own classrooms anymore. It's perfectly fine for a student to mock a teacher, put tacks in their chair, sabotage their desks, and sometimes even hit the teachers, and the students get maybe a week out of school at the most. However, when a teacher simply grabs the arm of a disruptive student to pull them out of class that is considered assault and the parents try to sue the school system and get the teacher fired.

    People need to learn some discipline, which includes respecting others. Part of respecting others is to not flaunt something as stupid as your sexual preference in front of everyone else. There's no point to it on either side, except to start fights.

    Stuff.
    [ Parent ]

    I see now.. (3.00 / 3) (#44)
    by Electric Angst on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:02:05 PM EST

    ...it seems that you're of the notion that sexuality is no more important a part of a person's being than their recreational activities. Apparently, that entire thing in biology class about the vital systems in the body flew right by you.

    Sexuality is one of the core components of a person. Right now, we exist in a society where someone can be harrassed, assaulted, or even killed because of their sexuality. Messages like "Gay Pride" exist to try and remove those aspects from our society, while a message like "Straight Pride" do nothing but give those that would be prejudiced against people of alternative sexualities some justification for their own hate.


    --
    "Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
    [ Parent ]
    Bullshit (3.60 / 5) (#63)
    by provolt on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:52:24 PM EST

    Messages like "Gay Pride" exist to try and remove those aspects from our society, while a message like "Straight Pride" do nothing but give those that would be prejudiced against people of alternative sexualities some justification for their own hate.
    It's the same phrase! *sexuality* Pride. So are you're claiming that delaring your sexuality is wrong for some people and right for others? That's crap.

    As I've been told numerous times, we should accept each other for who we are. However, in my experience, groups in the minority tend to want and claim that they deserve a double standard. In this case, homosexuals can proudly declare what they believe, but heterosexuals cannot. That's the message I'm recieving. Double standards are absolute bullshit.

    I don't talk about my sexuality, I ask that you don't either. But if you do express your preference, then don't get your panties in a ruffle when I express mine too.

    [ Parent ]

    Yay! (1.66 / 3) (#69)
    by Electric Angst on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 03:07:27 PM EST

    I think that it's always good when you've gotten the competition to get so upset that they finally reply to your post with the subject 'Bullshit'. Now onto my point...

    Calling it a double standard assumes that all other things are equal. It takes about five seconds out amoung people of alternative sexualities to realize that this isn't the case. If you are not straight, you will be subject to prejudice in our society. That's a cruel fact. Thusly, declaring pride in an alternative sexuality is a porotest of this discrimination, and an attempt to change society for the better.

    Declaring pride in being straight is nothing of the sort, because there are no walls of discrimination that need to be torn down for straights. What it very well can be (but holds a chance of not being) is a slight against those who would declare 'Gay Pride', mocking the attempts they make at removing prejudice.


    --
    "Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
    [ Parent ]
    But we are equal. (2.00 / 2) (#74)
    by provolt on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 03:42:06 PM EST

    Calling it a double standard assumes that all other things are equal. It takes about five seconds out amoung people of alternative sexualities to realize that this isn't the case
    If homosexuals expect anyone to listen to their calls for equality, then they will have promote equality themselves. I fully support ending hate speech and I will be there right away to denouce discrimination against homosexuals (and pretty much anyone else). But this isn't hate speech. Being Proud of who you are doesn't hurt other groups. "Gay Pride", "American Pride", "North Dakotan Pride", "Texan Pride", "Irish Pride", etc are all acceptable slogans, why is "Strait Pride" hateful? You yourself even admit that this is not necessarily a slight against homosexuals.

    I do think that public high school should be an open place, but when you start banning clothes you open a big can of worms that isn't very pleasant. If we ban "Strait Pride" because it offends some, then we should also ban "Gay Pride". But just about everything is offensive to someone, so we would have to ban most clothing that had slogans on it, and that seems pretty silly to me.

    [ Parent ]

    It depends on the case. (4.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Electric Angst on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 03:48:07 PM EST

    Well, legally, as well as morally, this matter depends on facts of which we are currently unaware. Without knowing the intent of the boy who brought in the shirt, or the reaction it caused amoung students at the school, we can't really tell if this was just a joke the principal took too seriously or if this was a bigot flexing his rhetoric against non-straights. In the case of the former, the school is acting irrationally, but what everyone here seems to not realize is that in the case of the latter, the student was practicing a form of hate speech, and should be disiplined accordingly.


    --
    "Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
    [ Parent ]
    So (2.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Zeram on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 04:00:21 PM EST

    you don't believe in equality after all? Look I am one of the most excepting persons you will ever want to meet, I have gay and lesbian friends, I have tons of "minority" friends and I believe fully in equality. But equality by it's very nature is all inclusive. As long as this kid didn't actively incite people to harrass or harm gays who cares? As soon as you say that A is free speech and B is not, you make one group more equal than another. Telling someone they can't say something is cureing the syptom.
    <----^---->
    Like Anime? In the Philly metro area? Welcome to the machine...
    [ Parent ]
    Exactly! (2.00 / 2) (#89)
    by provolt on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 05:33:06 PM EST

    I totally agree that it depends on the case, but I can't imagine very many cases where "Strait Pride" is hateful. If the kid is just going to class and not reffering to it, I don't think that it's hateful. It doesn't make an attack on anyone, it doesn't make a physical threat toward anyone, and it doesn't suggest anyone else should harrass or hurt gay people.

    If the kid had been passing out hate literature, and encouraging people to beat up the neighboorhood gay guy, then yes, stop the kid. Taking pride in who you are, is not hateful.

    [ Parent ]

    Hate speech? (4.30 / 10) (#11)
    by scorbett on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 12:46:15 PM EST

    Oh, please. Let's lose the double standard here. "Gay pride" is a perfectly acceptable slogan, therefore the phrase "straight pride" should share the same validity. Saying that one is acceptable while the other is hate speech is rather narrow minded. You say that it's "absurd" to use the phrase "straight pride" because heterosexuality is considered the norm. Ridiculous. Whether or not something is considered "normal" is a poor basis indeed for deciding whether or not you can take pride in something.


    [ Parent ]
    OTOH (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by DesiredUsername on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 01:01:06 PM EST

    Consider the case of "stay at home moms". Here we had a norm that was overturned by feminism during the 70's. Or was it? I have no idea which is actually in the majority, working mothers or stay-at-homes. All I know is that I have to adopt an apologetic attitude when asked "What does your wife do?" "She works at home" or "takes care of our children" or "she's a full-time mother" all sound confrontational.*

    I'm not saying feminism is bad--far from it. What I'm saying is that "pride" on one side of an issue can lead to shame on the other: "I'm not exercising my right to work outside the home--I'm letting down the movement." "I'm not black, I'm being racist." "I'm not gay, I'm being discriminatory." I realize these statements are illogical, but we're talking about emotion here.

    On less illogical front, "Straight Pride" could also be an attempt to counteract (what is seen as, anyway) the tendency to provide special rights to minorities. Cast your majority self in the light of a minority and see what happens.

    *The radical, "fish without a bicycle"-style feminists gave impetus to a counter-revolution which trie(d/s) to show that stay at home mothers are happier or raise better children or what have you. It's this revolution, counter-revolution that makes my statements seem so angry when they in fact are not.

    Play 囲碁
    [ Parent ]
    How hypocritical can you get? (4.33 / 6) (#37)
    by theboz on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 01:31:37 PM EST

    So basically what you are saying is that homosexuals should be able to go around shoving their sex lives in the faces of everyone else, but straight people should be ashamed of themselves?

    I don't get it. I personally think that both groups shouldn't go around proclaiming that they are gay or straight in public, because it's just rude. However, when you are allowing one group to do it, you have to let everyone do it.

    I don't know what you have against straight people, but we're not all evil with the intent to oppress homosexuals. Some straight people like me find the whole "gay pride" thing to be really stupid, and would make a parody of it myself if I didn't have to worry about the PC police coming after me. I discussed this some in a person's diary entry a while back, but why is it ok to wear a "gay pride" shirt when it's not ok for me to wear a shirt that says, "I like to eat pussy"?

    These double standards are all too common in our society, and it just shows a deeper problem, where the majority of humanity is too lazy to bother to use common sense and be fair. Equality should be the goal, not giving any small group more rights than the rest of us.

    Stuff.
    [ Parent ]

    Not hypocritical, simply true... (3.50 / 2) (#42)
    by Electric Angst on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 01:54:19 PM EST

    I'm saying that because of factors in society, there is a reason for someone of an alternative sexuality to put forth a message of pride. It will act as a message of acceptance. A straight person putting forth a message of pride is not going to add to the acceptance of straightness in our society, so their reasoning must have some other intent. Many people here even admit that they've had ideas like this to lampoon or mock the gay pride movement, and I don't see how that could possibly do any good or promote anything other than a renewed disrespect for people of alternative sexualities.


    --
    "Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
    [ Parent ]
    Well, how about... (3.66 / 3) (#49)
    by finkployd on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:15:11 PM EST

    In CA, where white people are now a minority (according to the census) do they now have a reason to wear a white pride shirt? How does the entitlement to self expression work?

    The fact of the matter is, if you are going to allow gay pride shirts (which I don't even know if this school does) than you have to allow straight pride. Discrimination is still illegal and that fits the defination to a T. If you don't allow gay pride shirts then you can't allow straight pride shirts. Remember fairness? While not strictly a law, we still should try to be a little fair.

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    More to it than that. (3.00 / 3) (#54)
    by Electric Angst on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:23:25 PM EST

    It's not even about being a minority. It's about persecution in society. While whites are no longer the majority in CA, they still have a larger amount of wealth, political power, and societal respect.

    Like I've been saying, the "Gay Pride" shirts are about helping to make alternative forms of sexuality acceptable to society. A 'Straight Pride' shirt, at best, is just an annoying gimic, and at worst, a hateful slight against non-straights. The school administration has the right to remove such material, and I believe it's correct for them to do it.

    Once a person can get beaten to death for being straight, then 'Straight Pride' shirts might be needed.


    --
    "Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
    [ Parent ]
    Like I said in other places (4.75 / 4) (#56)
    by finkployd on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:29:24 PM EST

    I strongly disagree that free expression requires approved justification. I believe that "straight pride" is no more hateful than "gay pride". Perhaps it is intended to be a satire of the gay pride movement, so what? Most likely it's just a juvinile attempt to make a point about double standards in self expression. If so, it worked.

    Am I not allowed to be proud that I'm of german decent because that can be considered hate speech toward jews? Where does one draw the line?

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    So... (3.50 / 4) (#83)
    by inpHilltr8r on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 04:10:59 PM EST

    ...when precisely was the last time a homosexual shoved anything in your face?

    And when was the last time you were bombarded with heterosexual imagery?

    Turned the tv on lately?

    ...

    Equality is an admirable goal, but we're not there yet, so the system needs a push, and it's not in the 'straight pride' direction.


    [ Parent ]
    No, "pushing" will not work (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by afeldspar on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 09:07:58 PM EST

    Equality is an admirable goal, but we're not there yet, so the system needs a push, and it's not in the 'straight pride' direction.

    Oh really?

    See, I had this weird notion that equality involved people being equally free. Not being "pushed" into or out of particular activities (such as free speech) in a way which satisfies some central authority's perception that some weird form of balance has now been achieved...

    You simply cannot tell people "OK, Todd, you're gay, so you get to express yourself. Jim, on the other hand, you're one of those filthy white straights, so you sit down and shut up because everything you could possibly have to say is already being said by other people in the group to which you belong. Now, we'll continue like this until it all teaches you to have a system in which everyone is treated equal."


    -- For those concerned about the "virality" of the GPL, a suggestion: Write Your Own Damn Code.
    [ Parent ]
    So... (none / 0) (#173)
    by inpHilltr8r on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 06:30:42 PM EST

    ...you'd let the kid wear a 'God hates fags' t-shirt?

    [ Parent ]
    So... (1.00 / 1) (#123)
    by LordEq on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 02:24:18 AM EST

    ...when precisely was the last time a homosexual shoved anything in your face? </p?

    The night before New Years' Eve. It was a joint. (that, incidentally, I wanted nothing to do with. But that's another debate altogether.)

    And when was the last time you were bombarded with heterosexual imagery?

    When a friend of mine, in the course of being a dumbass, proceeded to fill my inbox with links to porn sites.

    Turned the tv on lately?

    Yup. The Bird Cage was on.



    --LordEq

    "That's what K5's about. Hippies and narcs cavorting together." --panck
    [ Parent ]
    ummmm, that's not fair (4.33 / 3) (#48)
    by jayfoo2 on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:12:16 PM EST

    I'm a liberal, I am committed to equal rights and representation. I am strongly committed to gay rights.

    That being said he had every right to wear that shirt.

    You make an assumption that is probably true, but but unfair nonetheless. You assume that he was wearing that shirt with hateful intent. You don't know that, maybe it was a (bad) joke. Maybe it was a troll for discussion. Maybe he wasn't getting any attention from the girls and was doing some advertising. Yes the AFA being involved is a red flag, but that still doesn't change the fact that he has a right to wear or say anything that he wants.

    I don't like the idea of the government regulating what people say. What would be more appropriate would be for the rest of the students to express their dismay and disgust.


    [ Parent ]
    Your opinion does not count (5.00 / 6) (#52)
    by Woundweavr on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:19:16 PM EST

    Nor does mine. The shirt was a form of expression, which is protected my governmental intervention by the 1st Amendment. School officials censoring clothing is also upheld with this under Tinker v Des Moines (1969).

    I see the boy's shirt as a form of muted hate speech, intentionally used to attempt to push forth a hateful message using the tactics of those who are attempting to bring forth equality. (The exact same as most allegations of 'reverse racism'.) The reason I believe this is because of the absurdity of the term 'Straight Pride'.
    That is your opinion. The fact that you can have an opinion and state it about a message put forth by the shirt shows it is protected. It is not your nor anyone else's place to decide whether a message is absurd or not.

    When a person of an alternative sexuality puts on a shirt saying something like "Gay Pride", they are making a decleration that their own sexuality is a valid practice, and something of which one should be proud. If one is straight in Western society, than that person's sexuality is considered the norm, and declerations that one should be able to have pride in it are obviously made with an intention other than to gain respect for it. The most obvious reason would then be to declare that hererosexuality is more valid and deserving of pride than other forms of sexuality. That is intolerence, and a form of hate speech, and should be removed from schools.
    Not being a minority does not suspend your freedoms. Perhaps he did mean to lampoon the radical nature of many gay politicians (and that is not a critism of homosexuality, merely the overealous nature of many of their leaders, as happened among race and gender based equality movements). Hell, perhaps he does think homosexuality isnt as valid as heterosexuality. It doesn't matter. There is no such thing as hate speach, at least not as a seperate and unprotected method of expression. There is speach people find hateful. There is speach filled with hate. In the end, its all speach and you must not and can not stop it, if our society is to remain free.

    [ Parent ]
    Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by Electric Angst on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:53:27 PM EST

    It's interesting that you bring up the Tinker v. Des Moines case, because while that does state that a student's freedom of expression should remain intact, you fail to mention the expections to it that were made in 1988's Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier ruling. According to that ruling, the school does have the right to censor hate speech (as it both imfringes on the rights of others, and goes against the fundamental purpose of the school.)

    So, now that I've looked it up, it's pretty clear that the shirt should have only been removed in the event that it was being used as some form of hateful expression against people of alternative sexuality, which none of us here know for certain, but given the group that is defending this boy, it's highly likely.


    --
    "Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
    [ Parent ]
    Interesting (2.00 / 2) (#93)
    by Woundweavr on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 05:59:44 PM EST

    I forgot about the Hazelwood case. As I remembered it, it was based primarily on the school being able to refuse the paper is funded. The Case ruled that the paper wasnt a real forum. However, that first point in the decision is interesting, and seems to in some ways contradict the Tinker case.

    Now how to decide what the basic education goals are and what directly contradicts them.

    [ Parent ]

    M$ (2.50 / 2) (#86)
    by inpHilltr8r on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 04:15:42 PM EST

    > Not being a minority does not suspend your freedoms.

    Hmm, well, abstracting out to the corporate spheres, being a monopoly adds restrictions to your behaviour. So there is a precedent.

    [ Parent ]
    not add... (none / 0) (#101)
    by physicsgod on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 07:58:24 PM EST

    Becoming a monopoly removes retrictions from the market, the monopoly laws merely replace market restrictions with government ones.

    --- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
    [ Parent ]
    The pattern holds (none / 0) (#182)
    by inpHilltr8r on Sat Apr 07, 2001 at 06:06:35 PM EST

    Whereas being in the majority removes restrictions from behaviour, which have to be re=balanced somehow, or you end with some sick positive feedback loop, and the third reich.



    [ Parent ]
    Live by the sword, die by the sword (3.50 / 2) (#97)
    by afeldspar on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 07:31:00 PM EST

    Even supposing that you're right; that somehow, without even knowing the kid, you've hit upon the ONE and ONLY reason that he could possibly be wearing a "Straight Pride" shirt (an assumption, by the way, that paints you as egotistical, and very ironically ignorant of the diversity of human opinion)...

    What sort of response is it to say, "It implies things I don't like. That makes it hate speech. Thus, I get to ban it"?

    A stupid one, that's what.

    Go down this road and it won't be long until whatever truly homophobic groups are out there are using your own precedent to claim, "Well, the school *already* has designated 'safe zones' where everyone is allowed to be proud of their own orientation; therefore, wearing a 'Gay Pride' shirt anywhere else in the school can only be an assertion of a belief in gay superiority, and that's hate speech that we're allowed to surpress."


    -- For those concerned about the "virality" of the GPL, a suggestion: Write Your Own Damn Code.
    [ Parent ]
    Nope... (4.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Electric Angst on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 07:38:19 PM EST

    As I've said in other posts here, none of us know exactly what was the motivation, and we probably never will. I was mearly pointing out that this very legitimatly could be hate speech, and that if it was, the administration had every right to the course of action they took. If they screwed up, well then that's just another drop in the bucket of school administrations not getting it. If they were right, then attempting to frame their hateful rhetoric as free expression and then complaining about "reverse discrimination" is a powerful rhetorical weapon that people like me want to see shut down as quickly as possible.


    --
    "Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
    [ Parent ]
    Hate speech? What if I'm just proud? (4.00 / 1) (#195)
    by tzanger on Mon Apr 09, 2001 at 04:58:03 PM EST

    When a person of an alternative sexuality puts on a shirt saying something like "Gay Pride", they are making a decleration that their own sexuality is a valid practice, and something of which one should be proud.

    Okay, fine. I'm sick and tired of being treated like a minority because I'm white. Does that mean my "White Pride" shirt is muted hate speech? Or does it simply mean that I'm making a declaration that the colour of my skin or (more realistically) my heritage is something I am proud of? I am proud of my heritage but if I ever wore a shirt to express that I'd be condemned and labelled anti-black or anti-oriental or anti-something when, in reality, I'm just proud of my heritage.

    If one is straight in Western society, than that person's sexuality is considered the norm, and declerations that one should be able to have pride in it are obviously made with an intention other than to gain respect for it.

    What about racial differences? What if I were in Chinatown or in a predominantly black neighbourhood? Whoa, a white guy in an area where he's obviously a minority. That "White Pride" shirt must mean something totally different now!

    It's this kind of thinking which makes overly-special treatment for minorities a problem. You're now punishing me for the mistakes of my ancestors.

    (Please note, I keep bringing up racial differences because I find them far easier to use than sexual differences. And far more obvious, IMO.)



    [ Parent ]
    Free Speech and Schools (4.33 / 9) (#12)
    by slick willie on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 12:46:42 PM EST

    Like it or not, free speech is not a protected right in school. Students can't print whatever they want to write about in the school paper, they can't tell the principal to fuck off, or anything along those lines.

    As soon as the kid gets off campus, he can put on his Nazi Flag, Straight Pride, Gay Pride, Green Pride, whatever he wants. Free speech is now in full effect.

    This, to me, is a good argument for school uniforms. School is not the place to make political statements -- it is a place to earn an education. With everyone wearing the uniforms, the opportunity to make these statements is removed, along with all the distractions and anxiety that comes with it. Helping teens to discover their true selves, or their sexual orientation is not the schools raison d'etre.

    Look -- it's an all or nothing proposition. If you allow Straight Pride, you have to allow Gay Pride, Nazi Pride, Communist Pride, Aryan Pride, Left-Handed Pride, Right-Handed Pride, White Pride, ad inifinitum. All of this political hand-wringing detracts from the main function of the schools, which is to provide an education.

    Now, I lean pretty hard to the right, but even I find the idea of a "radical homosexual agenda" rather specious. The AFACLP and ACLU should both just go home and stay the hell out of the schools, so we can get back to the business of educating.

    "...there is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit."
    --Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural Address

    Wrong! (4.00 / 3) (#18)
    by www.sorehands.com on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 12:57:03 PM EST

    There is a difference here. A school may not be required to publish something in it's paper, but that is a paper that it has paid for.

    A while back, the ACLU sued a school that suspended a student for having a webpage (not on the school's computer system) that the school did not like.

    If it is a public school, it's not just free speech, but it's also an issue of due process.

    As with any right, there is no absolute. It's all a balancing act. Look at "fighting words" or the screaming fire in a crowded theater.

    Remember the ending press confernce in the movie, "The American President?"


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    http://www.barbieslapp.com
    Mattel, SLAPP terrorists intent on destroying free speech.
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    [ Parent ]

    Nope (3.66 / 3) (#21)
    by slick willie on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 01:07:25 PM EST

    The school suspending the kid with the web page was stupid and wrong.

    Let's compare apples to apples, though. Schools are there to serve one purpose, and that is to educate. Morality, politics and the like have no business in the schools. That is the responsibility of the parents (or caregivers) to instill in their children.

    How does due process come into this? If the kid had been walking down the street and arrested for wearing the shirt, then we can talk about due process. THEN we have a violation of free speech.

    You're right on this point: freedom of speech is not an absolute. Your freedom of speech ends where my right to an education begins. The schools are already embattled, empoverished and generally under fire. Making them a battlefield to prove a point does no one any good.

    "...there is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit."
    --Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural Address

    [ Parent ]

    Education (4.33 / 3) (#26)
    by JohnIII on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 01:22:04 PM EST

    Morality, politics and the like have no business in the schools
    Damn! There goes my Government & Politics course for next year... John III

    [ Parent ]
    Due process. (3.50 / 2) (#88)
    by www.sorehands.com on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 05:24:13 PM EST

    I am presuming that this is a public school. A public school is government entity (or quasi government entity) that requires due process in all cases.

    Who says that politics and morality do not fit in schools? That is half of what goes on in running the school!



    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    http://www.barbieslapp.com
    Mattel, SLAPP terrorists intent on destroying free speech.
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    [ Parent ]

    So, then (none / 0) (#113)
    by slick willie on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 09:45:50 PM EST

    A public school is government entity (or quasi government entity) that requires due process in all cases.
    So, the same should then hold true for police stations, courthouses, federal buildings, city hall, the post office, your local forest service ranger station, the Small Business Administration, and so on.

    By that logic, wouldn't there would be a denial of due process if your cheerful clerk isn't allowed to wear his T-shirt that says, "Aryan Pride?"

    Due process deals with law. Had he been arrested, incarcerated, or otherwise detained, then due process must be followed. Being asked to change your shirt? Hey, sometimes ya gotta sacrifice a little bit for the good of everyone else.

    "...there is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit."
    --Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural Address

    [ Parent ]

    Due process (none / 0) (#120)
    by www.sorehands.com on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 12:43:40 AM EST

    By that logic, wouldn't there would be a denial of due process if your cheerful clerk isn't allowed to wear his T-shirt that says, "Aryan Pride?"
    Due process deals with law. Had he been arrested, incarcerated, or otherwise detained, then due process must be followed. Being asked to change your shirt?By that logic, wouldn't there would be a denial of due process if your cheerful clerk isn't allowed to wear his T-shirt that says, "Aryan Pride?"
    If you look at employment cases dealing with public employment, you will see many claims of due process. In most government agencies, there are detailed processes to insure due process and process greviences. Parking tickets are also subject to due process.

    Being asked to change your shirt? Hey, sometimes ya gotta sacrifice a little bit for the good of everyone else.
    The constistitution is not a technicality. Why not just tattoo a number on your arm for the good of your country? Why not move to these camps for the good of your country? Why not allow the police to search you all the time for no reason, for our protection.



    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    http://www.barbieslapp.com
    Mattel, SLAPP terrorists intent on destroying free speech.
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    [ Parent ]

    Come on (none / 0) (#144)
    by slick willie on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 10:10:33 AM EST

    Why not just tattoo a number on your arm for the good of your country?
    Skated right up to the edge of Godwin's Law, didn't ya? I didn't say anything about "for the good of the country." What we're talking about here is respect and courtesy toward your fellow man -- which, if you look around you is sadly lacking.

    Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins. Freedom without responsibility is nothing more than anarchy (although I know that appeals to some people). What in $DEITY's name does due process have to do with being asked to remove a disruptive piece of clothing?

    "...there is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit."
    --Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural Address

    [ Parent ]

    Can you keep morality out entirely? (5.00 / 2) (#100)
    by khym on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 07:55:48 PM EST

    Let's compare apples to apples, though. Schools are there to serve one purpose, and that is to educate. Morality, politics and the like have no business in the schools. That is the responsibility of the parents (or caregivers) to instill in their children.
    I can't remember how history was taught to me in school, but it seems like it would be pretty hard to remain morally neutral on things like the American Revolution, slavery, Jim Crow laws, the Holocaust, and so on; in fact, a school that remained completely morally neutral to all these things would seem rather creepy to me. But if the school does teach that democracy is good, while slavery, racism, and the holocaust are bad, you've already begun to teach something about morallity.

    Also, the school rules against things like stealing and fighting are presumable there because those things are wrong to do, in the sense of being immoral. If all such rules had to be justified by saying that they disrupt learning, then a bully who can manage to be a bully and steal without causing disruptions wouldn't be breaking any rules.



    --
    Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
    [ Parent ]
    Morality (none / 0) (#108)
    by slick willie on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 09:06:22 PM EST

    Well, I was thinking (and wasn't very clear) more in terms of morality as sex education and the options available to adolescents.

    There was an instance of Planned Parenthood being authorized to teach a sex-ed type course in some school (I forget where). This tickles some parents, while others complained vehemently that there should be a different view, as presented by psychologists, doctors, etc.

    Now, without getting into the politics of Planned Parenthood, or the moral concerns of those who are more conservative, this particular item is the responsibility of the parents. Period.

    The "general" morality, in terms of hitting is bad, stealing is bad -- I have no qualms about that. The more that is reinforced, the better, as far as I am concerned.

    "...there is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit."
    --Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural Address

    [ Parent ]

    Free Speech Does Exist on Campus (4.00 / 3) (#98)
    by rossz on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 07:35:33 PM EST

    I'm writting this from memory, so I must leave out the finite details.

    During the Viet Nam war, a group of high school students decided to protest the war by wearing black armbands, nothing more - no student marches, no speeches. They just wore black armbands.. They were all suspended. The Supreme Court eventually ruled on this case. Essential they said, the Constitution does not stop at the school gates. The students were protesting something, as is their right, in a peaceful, non-disruptive manner.

    The Court recognized the special circumstances of a school and would allow some limitations. My personal view on this, as long as the school allows "gay pride" t-shirts, they must allow "straight pride" as well, UNLESS they can prove it causes a hostile learning environment - and the same could be said about the gay pride shirts.

    BTW, IANAL.

    [ Parent ]

    Yes, but... (4.00 / 1) (#114)
    by slick willie on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 09:59:22 PM EST

    The students were protesting something, as is their right, in a peaceful, non-disruptive manner.
    Therein lies the crux. Something this highly charged is bound to be disruptive.

    "...there is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit."
    --Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural Address

    [ Parent ]
    noise isnt free speech (5.00 / 2) (#117)
    by eLuddite on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 11:47:27 PM EST

    That's Tinker vs. Des Moines. It was speech against government policy in Vietnam and therefore free speech because Govt has censorial power whenever it appears in a judge's toga - free speech is merely speech until someone attempts to stifle it.

    Speech professing heterosexuality is not free speech because it is in no danger being stifled. I can smell heterosexuality in your Hai Karate, see you pitch it on every square inch of visual clutter and hear you wax its virtues poetic up and down the musical scale.

    Gay Pride is not a slogan, it is a political movement and a chapter in American history. Straight Pride is merely sloganeering, an attempt to trivialize civil rights victories won by Gay Pride. Trivializing Gay Pride trivializes the reasons for being gay and coming out as a gay person. It requires a diminishment of gay people in a way that Gay Pride does not require of heterosexuals; when you wear a Straight Pride slogan you are saying "I am proud not to be gay," not "I am proud to be your equal."

    So, is wearing Straight Pride on a tshirt free speech? Is it censorship? Indimidation? Prosecutable according to the Hate Crimes Prevention Act passed by your congress in 1999?

    It is noise.

    On school property it is no different than a ghetto blaster wailing Eminem's love of hos and bitches. You can turn that off, can't you?

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    Not being stifled? (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by Carik on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 10:50:43 AM EST

    Speech professing heterosexuality is not free speech because it is in no danger being stifled.

    Wasn't that what the whole article was about? Someone's statement of their heterosexuality (pride in being straight) being suppressed? I guess I misread the entire article, and all the comments up till now, then.

    -Carik

    [ Parent ]
    Gay Pride vs. Free Speech (4.50 / 2) (#151)
    by rossz on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 11:14:32 AM EST

    Thanks for citation. I didn't have the information handy and hate when I must say "trust me on this".

    You are wrong. All speech is free speech. Even hate speech. To quote a movie (American President), you must be willing to defend speech that makes you sick to the stomache." Free speech is not meant for the popular view, it is meant for the unpopular view. The popular view doesn't need protection. It's for such radical ideas as: slavery is wrong, discrimination is wrong, and gays have rights. All these, at one time, were the unpopular view but are now accepted as mainstream. Well, the last one is still finding resistence in many parts of the country but people are becoming more open to the idea.

    I live in the San Francisco Bay Area - the bastion of gay pride. While in the Castro one evening, my date and myself were insulted by a gay couple when they walked by and said "breeders". If I had said "homos" there would have been an outcry. Was the young mans insult free speech? Would my retort have been free speech?

    Have you ever seen the gay pride parade here? A film of that event is all the proof needed by the reactionary right that gays are deviants that need to be locked up. If straights acted that way in public there would be mass arrests. To be honest, I haven't watched it in a few years and I've heard that the organizers have clamped down on the more outrageous behavior. That's a good thing as was probably doing more harm than good.

    All of your arguments indicate you feel gays require more rights than straights. That's not how it should be. I offer you equal rights, but no special privileges.

    A final note, outside of a school an inbred redneck has the right to wear a shirt with "kill all faggots", but that would not be acceptable in a school as it does cross the line that causes a hostile learning environment.

    Ok, one more final note. The advantage to the rednecks wearing the above mentioned shirt is we know exactly who to shoot when the revolution comes. :)

    [ Parent ]

    only political speech is protected (none / 0) (#154)
    by eLuddite on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 11:49:27 AM EST

    All speech is free speech.

    No, only speech which is under a threat of censorship is free speech. That is why the classic example of free speech is speech against your government. All such speech is protected because your government has power of censorship. Here is an example of speech which is not free: "I like girls." It is merely speech. No one contests your right to like girls.

    If you were to argue this particular case in court, you would quickly be forced into a position whereby you would have to demonstrate that Elliot Chambers profession of heterosexuality is being censored. I would be interested in learning how you would argue that Woodbury High School is censoring heterosexuality. Like I said, that tshirt is merely noise, a drop in an ocean of heterosexuality.

    Even hate speech.

    Hate speech is also prosecuteable. Free speech is not the freedom to say anything under any circumstance.

    All of your arguments indicate you feel gays require more rights than straights.

    Not at all.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    Your argument is a bit off (none / 0) (#175)
    by zavyman on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 06:54:57 PM EST

    No, only speech which is under a threat of censorship is free speech. That is why the classic example of free speech is speech against your government. All such speech is protected because your government has power of censorship. Here is an example of speech which is not free: "I like girls." It is merely speech. No one contests your right to like girls.

    I don't often get into discussions at Kuro5hin, but this argument made my mind jump. What you are saying is that if speech does not need to be protected ("is [not] under a threat of censorship") then well, it shouldn't be protected. But when you say it shouldn't be protected, you directly imply that it can be censored. You give a striking example of this.

    "I like girls." It is merely speech.

    According to you it is "merely" speech. What is this merely that you talk about? Just because that every one knows that you like girls does not mean that it is not speech that ought to be protected. Protecting speech only of a political[ly correct] manner is dangerous. What if the person wearing the "I like girls." t-shirt wanted to make a statement of the homosexual civil rights movement. Is it not political? Ought that not be protected as well?

    Moreover, it is dangerous to specify what types of speech are to be protected and which are not. What if someone found that a "Gay Pride" t-shirt is offensive to him/her. Would that be grouds for making it not protected by free speech? What if a thousand thought it offensive? 10 million?

    Or to take it from another angle, why does speech have to be political to be protected. How do you know if speech is not political? What if the speech is a little political, how political does it have to be to be protected? Who determines if it is political?

    And finally, speech that doesn't need protection but is threatened for that reason alone must also be protected. The questions above are needed to analyze what can be protected or not, but none can be answered without getting subjective responses.



    [ Parent ]
    Re: Your argument is a bit off (none / 0) (#176)
    by eLuddite on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 09:03:48 PM EST

    What you are saying is that if speech does not need to be protected ("is [not] under a threat of censorship") then well, it shouldn't be protected.

    Protected speech is speech protected from censorship. That's it.

    What is this merely that you talk about? Just because that every one knows that you like girls does not mean that it is not speech that ought to be protected.

    It's merely speech because no one wants to censor it.

    Or to take it from another angle, why does speech have to be political to be protected.

    This is probably an error of diction on my part. By political speech I mean to convey speech about rights.

    Moreover, it is dangerous to specify what types of speech are to be protected and which are not. [...] how political does it have to be to be protected? Who determines if it is political?

    A court of law.

    Which is where you will have to demonstate that the school wants to censor Elliot Chambers' heterosexuality. Good luck. In my opinion you will be met with an enormous amount of resistence in the form of common sense and countervailing rights and obligations.

    The prima facie evidence suggests that heterosexuality is not under siege, that Elliot Chambers is very free to affirm his heterosexuality to anyone who cares long enough to listen, and that the school is correct in pursuing its more mundane obligation to provide an environment conducive to each and every one of its student's education, gay, straight or in between. That environment does not include inflamatory statements of the obvious or the obviously wrong. On balance (and law is a balancing act), the principal's actions were correct.

    No one said free speech cases are easy but this one isnt particularly hard. IMO.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    slight clarification (none / 0) (#178)
    by eLuddite on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 11:17:43 PM EST

    Protected speech is speech protected from censorship. That's it.

    Except to point out by way of further explanation that censored speech exists as an example of the contrary. When I say exist I dont mean exist in the theoretical sense, I mean exist as in actual, legally sanctioned examples. Again, protected speech is not a freedom to say anything under any circumstance.

    It's merely speech because no one _wants_ to censor it.

    This is the stage between censorship and protection, before someone challenges the "no one wants" part and before a court recognizes merit in the challenge. I contend (and have tried to show elsewhere in this and another thread) that the American Family Association Center for Law and Policy will be unable to mount a meritable challenge.

    This is an uncontroversial understanding of protected speech - unless by controversial you mean naive.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    Let's break this down (4.37 / 8) (#13)
    by DesiredUsername on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 12:47:02 PM EST

    First, do you (the reader of this comment) think this shirt should be protected by "free speech"? That is, if you were wearing the shirt while walking down a public street, would you think it wrong if a police officer stopped/ticketed/arrested you for the content of the shirt's message?

    I think everyone here would agree with me that, given that hypothetical example, the shirt is clearly protected.

    Second, do free speech issues carry the same weight in a school environment? I remember high-school banned shirts that advertised alchohol- or sex-related products (like condoms; this was back when "rubber ducky" was funny). This is a debatable question, but I think the answer is "no, free speech is necessarily slightly restricted inside school". Government employees (i.e. school officials and faculty) need, in this case, the power to tell people (i.e. students) to shut up.

    However, I think that that power should only be granted when it is clearly necessary for the function of school. In other words, teachers can tell students to shut up only if that is necessary to allow other students to learn.

    Does a "straight pride" shirt fall into this category? Maybe. If fights are breaking out over it, students and teachers are doing nothing but gawking at it in class and the glare from television camera lights is making impossible to read the blackboard, then I have no problem with a ban. But I would view that as a necessary removal of a "public nuisance" not a ban on free speech--it's not the content being objected to but the reaction to the content.

    But if the super's argument is "it seemed like 'hate-speech' and we didn't want to offend anyone" then I say fry 'im. That would be an illegal (not to mention knee-jerk liberal) action.

    Play 囲碁
    It's a T-Shirt (3.00 / 1) (#106)
    by espo812 on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 08:36:10 PM EST

    teachers can tell students to shut up only if that is necessary to allow other students to learn.
    But the student isn't verbally saying anything. He isn't disrupting the learning environment. He is just wearing a t-shirt.

    espo
    --
    Censorship is un-American.
    [ Parent ]
    You know... (4.46 / 15) (#16)
    by trhurler on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 12:51:11 PM EST

    Real minds that really grow take offense sometimes - and give it sometimes. The desire never to offend or be offended is the desire not to think. Students need to be taught how to resolve conflicts and how to deal with opinions they find repugnant without causing unnecessary problems for themselves or others. Instead, we're teaching them that they have a right to a watered down, kid gloves version of reality that just doesn't exist in which they never have to be offended and never have to offend anyone. This is obscene.

    If school is mandatory, and school censors students, then school is wrong. There's no other reasonable approach to this issue. If the parents put the child there, that might be a different matter, but they don't. The government does. A government that regulates the expression of its citizens, no matter what their age, is precisely what we do not need; that is the method of China or Cuba, and totally unbefitting any nation that makes the claim of being the land of the free.

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    On the other hand (2.50 / 10) (#17)
    by streetlawyer on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 12:54:07 PM EST

    Another useful lesson that schools can teach children is that it's not nice to be a complete twat and go around pissing everybody off all the time .... though I must confess I can't quite understand why I'm addressing this point to you of all people, trhurler.

    --
    Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
    [ Parent ]
    Only one thing to do (4.55 / 9) (#23)
    by Wah on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 01:08:33 PM EST

    Respond in kind.

    I don't think many here would condemn someone for wearing a "gay pride" shirt to school. Why is this different? Becuase of who is representing the kid?

    The school, which is located in this suburb of 20,000 near Minneapolis, has established "safe zones" for students to discuss gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues.

    Perhaps the kid felt left out that no special resources were being used to help him. Reverse discrimination is a tough thing to pin down and a stupid term anyway. So yes, very yes, free speech such as this should be protected, even in public schools. The whole idea of zero tolerance and trying to create utterly violence free zones leads to some unfortunate consequences. Facing issues like this are a good learning experience, IMHO.
    --
    Fail to Obey?

    Strict Dress Code Good - Free Speech is For Adults (4.12 / 8) (#24)
    by Komodo321 on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 01:19:15 PM EST

    There is no dress code at the university that I teach at, nor should there be. But high school is a different kettle of fish - for most people, k-12 is a jail-like pressure cooker of hormone saturated immaturity. One high school I am (loosely) affiliated with has a strict dress code: no logos larger than 1 inch high, no cartoon characters, no expressive text on the clothing. This helps keep a lid on provocative/disruptive expression. Course, this doesn't eliminate problems - it pushes them to bumper stickers on notebooks or inside lockers, etc.

    I am indifferent as far as content goes - gay pride, straight pride, virgin pride, foot fetish pride, bonobo pride, who cares? If a school allows one group to advertise their sexual politics or proclivities, they should not show bias against other groups without good reason (like illegality). But its easier and better for the classroom to just prohibit such noise altogether. Can't we all just get along??

    Good idea! (4.40 / 5) (#28)
    by Luke Francl on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 01:25:04 PM EST

    for most people, k-12 is a jail-like pressure cooker of hormone saturated immaturity.

    Hey, I've got a great idea! Let's make it even more "jail-like" by repressing all the students' individuality EVEN MORE!

    High school (and worse, junior high school) in America is a nightmare. The 1000+ person schools, teachers who barely know you, taunting make it a basically horrible experience. I think it should be radically reformed -- along the lines of the "shop front schools" (small schools in every neighborhood) and master-apprientence relationship suggested in A Pattern Language.

    [ Parent ]

    School Reform Models - Good Idea for K5 story (2.50 / 2) (#34)
    by Komodo321 on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 01:30:49 PM EST

    Lots of good ideas for reforming schools are floating around - A good K5 story or two could be written on some of these ideas.

    ((The master/apprentice relationship schools I am familiar with all require uniforms or a strict dress code. ))

    [ Parent ]
    that's a good idea... (none / 0) (#127)
    by Luke Francl on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 03:58:41 AM EST

    ...hmm...good idea. Maybe I will start writing one. I really like evangilizing the issue, because school sucks. :)

    [ Parent ]
    True, but... (3.00 / 1) (#41)
    by RareHeintz on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 01:47:19 PM EST

    You make a smart and worthwhile argument about different rules applying at the high school and college levels, but suppressing expression in pursuit of all of us just getting along is a tough path to tread, and I'm not sure that the method you suggest actually leads to the desired result - it will only be sublimated and brought out elsewhere.

    Better still might be (might, I say) to let the little punks wear what they like (so long as it isn't flagrantly pornographic, etc.), but somehow get across to the student body that (a) the world is full of people who say dumb and inflammatory things, and you'll have to learn to live with that, and (b) violence is not an appropriate response to people who say dumb and inflammatory things, and you'll have to learn to live with that, and (c) expressing dumb and inflammatory things will make you friends neither among your peers nor with the authority figures in your life, and you'll have to learn to live with that.

    Rebuttal?

    OK,
    - B
    --
    http://www.bradheintz.com/ - updated kind of daily
    [ Parent ]

    A tough case... (4.60 / 15) (#29)
    by RareHeintz on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 01:25:29 PM EST

    In general, I'd have to say that this sort of speech should be protected. Free speech nuts (such as myself) on K5 and elsewhere would be calling one another to arms if the school had put the kibosh on a "Gay Pride" shirt. Part of the point of free speech, after all, is that opposing viewpoints (even bigoted or stupid ones) are all allowed to be out in the open for discussion and/or ridicule.

    That said, just what right to free speech does a minor have? A good case could be made either way, i.e. that the student needs to learn about the rights and responsibilities of American citizenship and should be accorded those rights in order to learn the responsibilities, or (on the other side) that minors are not, in fact, full citizens and do not possess the rights the rest of us have.

    As to the claim of keeping the peace on school grounds, that cuts both ways too. Does the school reserve the right to ban "gay pride" shirts on similar grounds? Does this really send an anti-gay message? Admittedly, I could see where many would think that it does, but I haven't heard that the kid had a chance to explain his reason for wearing the shirt, either.

    I wouldn't mind a policy either way, so long as it were applied consistently - that is, if they ban this shirt, they have to ban all other "FOO Pride" shirts as well. Conversely, if they allow other similar shirts, this one should be allowed as well.

    Random, half-related anecdote: On my old campus (UMass Amherst, if you care), there was a "Straight Pride" "movement" fomented by some of the conservative cranks on campus. They used a blue square as their symbol (to contrast the pink triangle commonly used by LBG groups), and their rhetoric was stridently anti-queer - it was no secret that "pro-straight" meant "anti-gay" to them.

    In response, some people (including myself) took to appropriating their symbology by wearing "ALLY" (That's as in "committed friend", not "McBeal") buttons that showed both a blue square and a pink triangle - just our way of saying, "Yes, we're straight, but we don't see a need to be assholes about it." Those buttons went over pretty big - I think I still have mine, somewhere.

    OK,
    - B
    --
    http://www.bradheintz.com/ - updated kind of daily

    An opinion from Minnesota (3.66 / 3) (#33)
    by Luke Francl on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 01:30:33 PM EST

    The Minnesota Daily, the University of Minnesota's pillar of independent journalistic integrity, has an editorial about this incident today.

    I think this incident might have to be evaluated in context. Has the student in question harassed gay students in the past? Then I think there is a stronger case for forcing him to take off his shirt. But if he has a clean record, and there's kids wearing "Gay Pride" shirts, I don't think there's any way you can justify this behavior.

    Something similar at our highschool (4.31 / 16) (#35)
    by delmoi on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 01:30:51 PM EST

    There was a girl at our high school, who would ware t-shirts that said things like 'Lucky Dyke' and 'Snatch the power', etc. The gay and lesbian groups would go around with rainbows clipped on, etc.

    Now, this didn't really bother me very much, but one day a group of students decided to ware tee-shirts that said "I'm Straight" And they were all forced to turn them inside out. I don't know about you, but I find that amazingly hypocritical. Especially considering the fact that the school had just adopted a 'no discrimination based on sexual preference' clause to the harassment policy.

    I can see how that could offend a Homosexual, but only because they (at least the vocal ones) seem to be so touchy about all of these things, I mean really, grow a skin. It almost seems like the gay rights movement is trying to annoy everyone into doing what they want.
    --
    "'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
    It's about trying to change society. (3.00 / 4) (#45)
    by Electric Angst on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:07:10 PM EST

    As I stated in an earlier comment. We currently live in a society where a person of an alternative sexuality can be harrased, assaulted, or even killed because of what they are. Messages like "Gay Pride", rainbow logos, and other such paraphenallia exist to attempt to put the message out there that not being straight is fine, and thusly try and remove the hate and prejudice from out society.

    Someone wearing an 'I'm Straight' t-shirt is mearly bringing their sexuality up in public without any cause. They aren't attempting to ease prejudice against straight people, because that is the accepted norm for our society.


    --
    "Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
    [ Parent ]
    Do you know for certain? (3.00 / 4) (#53)
    by h3lldr0p on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:19:47 PM EST

    Someone wearing an 'I'm Straight' t-shirt is mearly bringing their sexuality up in public without any cause. They aren't attempting to ease prejudice against straight people, because that is the accepted norm for our society.

    How do you know that for certain? Do know what that particular person here was feeling? It could very well be a case where he was feeling like he was not being accepted becasuse he lived in the "socitial norm". In any case is it not strange that not all viewpoints no matter their "normalcy" are not being openly expressed? In a society that uses its sexuality while at the same time trying to hide it, how can any group claim that they are more repressed than another?


    Even in victory, there is no beauty
    And who calls it beautiful
    Is one who delights in slaughter
    [ Parent ]

    It certainly wasn't anti-prejudice. (3.50 / 2) (#57)
    by Electric Angst on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:30:11 PM EST

    In a society that uses its sexuality while at the same time trying to hide it, how can any group claim that they are more repressed than another?

    Repression has nothing to do with it. It's about persecution. People of alternative sexualities stand at risk of being persecuted because of their sexuality. Straight people don't. Therefor, no matter what point the kid was trying to make with his shirt, it was not an attempt to remove hate or stigma from his sexuality.


    --
    "Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
    [ Parent ]
    irrelevant (4.50 / 2) (#61)
    by SEAL on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:36:41 PM EST

    The point here is that displaying a pro-minority message, whether that be Gay Pride, [Racial] Pride, or whatever is usually ignored by school administrators. Why? They are afraid of getting slapped by a lawsuit for discrimination.

    When a person from a NON-minority group displays a message of support for that group, the school will clamp down, saying that the message has no place in school and creates a stir that doesn't belong in a learning environment.

    This is a double standard, folks. You either allow these things (from ANY side) or you don't.

    - SEAL

    It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.
    [ Parent ]
    Wrong. (3.25 / 4) (#66)
    by Electric Angst on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:59:34 PM EST

    I did some looking online, and found this Supreme Court ruling.

    A school has the right to censor speech that violates the right of others, or goes agaist the primary purpose of the school. If this shirt was hate speech, than it is certainly within the school's right to remove it. As I've already pointed out here, there is almost no way that a "Gay Pride" shirt could be construed as hate speech, while a "Straight Pride" one might certainly fit into that catagory. None of us were there, and thusly will not know for certain, but given the background of the group defending the kid, the motives of the shirt are highly suspect.


    --
    "Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
    [ Parent ]
    if I was in charge of the school (4.50 / 2) (#87)
    by SEAL on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 04:31:54 PM EST

    I'd disallow all of it. I believe both go against the primary purpose of the school. Whether the statement is Gay Pride or Straight Pride, it has no place in that setting. It stirs people up - witness this story thread, and it's disruptive to the primary purpose of school. There's no reason to flaunt your sexual preference there.

    With that said, I totally disagree with you about the "hate speech" idea. Hate speech is hardly contained within a two word phrase. Such a shirt does not have motives of its own. What you think of the person wearing the shirt and his behavior is a separate issue.

    If you ban one of these phrases you better well ban the other one. Otherwise you are advocating special rights (which, btw - is exactly what many people want - I just don't agree with it).

    I'm really going to get a laugh out of this if the kid argues that his shirt was a parody of "Gay Pride", and therefore protected speech.

    - SEAL

    It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.
    [ Parent ]
    Shirts Don't Have Motives (5.00 / 2) (#107)
    by espo812 on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 09:03:24 PM EST

    None of us were there, and thusly will not know for certain, but given the background of the group defending the kid, the motives of the shirt are highly suspect.
    It's a shirt. Actually it's a hooded sweatshirt, but that is kind of irrelevant. Shirts don't have feelings emotions or opinions. People have these things. A person wearing a "gay pride" t-shirt is just as capable of wearing it "intentionally used to attempt to push forth a hateful message" as a person wearing a "straight pride" t-shirt.

    I saw an interview with this student on Hannity & Colmes last night. The student is a Christian who believes that homosexuality is immoral. Gay pride t-shirts are offensive to him. Is it ok to offend herterosexuals, but wrong to offend homosexuals?

    espo
    --
    Censorship is un-American.
    [ Parent ]
    What is really at issue here (none / 0) (#132)
    by aphrael on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 04:14:32 AM EST

    is this: is it ok for the minority to offend the majority but not ok for the majority to offend the minority? In other words, what rights do the minority have to express their difference, and what atmosphere should they expect to be doing so in?

    [ Parent ]
    Of course it's a double standard (none / 0) (#131)
    by aphrael on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 04:13:09 AM EST

    and while i don't agree with it --- speech should be free --- i understand it.

    Loud vocal support of the majority position is rubbing the strength of the majority in the face of the minority; and it's hard to tell where the line between being proud of being in the majority and oppressing the minority *is*.

    [ Parent ]

    Not necessarily (3.25 / 4) (#73)
    by Anonymous 242 on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 03:30:04 PM EST

    Repression has nothing to do with it. It's about persecution. People of alternative sexualities stand at risk of being persecuted because of their sexuality. Straight people don't. Therefor, no matter what point the kid was trying to make with his shirt, it was not an attempt to remove hate or stigma from his sexuality.
    Imagine a child raised by a homosexual mother or father. Imagine that parent is immersed entirely in the gay culture. Imagine that there is always pressure, however subtle, from being around the gay culture for the child to turn out gay.

    I can imagine such a child wanting to wear a Straight Pride shirt simply to assert his or her own sexual identity or to counter the constant suggestions that there are no good and moral straight people.

    Now imagine that child is me. My mother came out of the closet when I was fourteen. The two and a half years I remained living with her were very much like I just described. I never picked up anything like a Straight Pride shirt, but that is likely mostly due to my ignorance of such items and a lack of creativity on my part.

    With the growing number of parents who are gay, I can see more and more children being brought up in the type of atmostphere I described. I will fully admit that this atmosphere certainly isn't any worse than a gay child being brought up under constant pressure to turn out straight.

    I think deciding on somebody's motives entirely based on that person's attire and choice of witty slogans is incredibly closed-minded.

    [ Parent ]

    That obviously wasn't the situation. (3.00 / 3) (#75)
    by Electric Angst on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 03:43:18 PM EST

    Well, in the case you described, the point of a 'Straight Pride' shirt would be clear. Still, it is obvious from the facts in this case that this is no such situation.


    --
    "Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
    [ Parent ]
    motives do not have to be clear (3.00 / 5) (#78)
    by Anonymous 242 on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 03:54:06 PM EST

    The message carried by the shirt, in and of itself, can not be construed as hate speech by any but the most rabid fanatics. Even if the shirt is worn by a bigot, the shirt in and of itself conveys no more message than that of pride in one's own orientation.

    Now if this hypothetical bigot engages in other actions while wearing said shirt that can be construed as hateful, crack down on those to the extent that they are illegal, immoral, or both. The only thing accomplished by cracking down on the shirt is to cost the school a bundle in court. And while I may not be a lawyer, I think it quite likely that the school will lose this lawsuit.

    I'd even wager that the ACLU would take an interest in this case and support the Elliot's side if asked to do so.

    [ Parent ]

    That's sad. (2.00 / 1) (#130)
    by aphrael on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 04:11:37 AM EST

    You would think that anyone who had been through a wrenching emotional moment centered around their sexuality would have learned that sexuality is an *individual* thing and that it is *not right* to try and coerce their children's sexuality.

    Everyone needs to find their own path, and do what it takes to make them happy. It brings a smile to my face, albeit sometimes a jealous one, when my straight friends are flirting with each other; it makes them happy. It would be the same way with my kids, if i had any; and I really don't understand why it isn't like that for everyone ...

    [ Parent ]

    Uh oh (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by theboz on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 09:43:41 PM EST

    Therefor, no matter what point the kid was trying to make with his shirt, it was not an attempt to remove hate or stigma from his sexuality.

    I'm wearing my 106.5 WEND (a radio station in Charlotte, N.C.) tshirt right now. I must be wearing it because I am trying to remove hate or stigma people have against alternative rock music.

    The purpose of the message on the shirt is irrelevant. As long as it isn't saying anything against gays I don't see what the problem is. It's not even insinuating that straight people are superior. I remember when I was in high school there were people wearing shirts that say, "It's a black thing, you wouldn't understand." I found those offensive, but the school administration allowed those shirts to be worn. Some rednecks, in their infinite "wisdom" got some shirts with a rebel flag that said, "It's a white thing, you wouldn't understand." and the school administration suspended them. In this case, both tshirts were offensive, so neither should have been allowed. However, the supposedly oppressed minority group (I went to a high school that was 80% black, in a poor neighborhood) was allowed to trample on the rights of those that were not part of their group. I see that happening here.

    Equality isn't about giving special rights to anyone, just letting us all have equal rights. In some situations we should recognize differences in people, but not treat them better or worse because of something unrelated like skin color or sexual preference (unless you are looking for a date.) In other situations, we should ignore the differences and realize that we are the same. I think to give an example is that people should respect different cultures such as the latin culture that is growing in the U.S., but should not treat someone badly because they come from that culture. In school, your sexual preference really has no business being advertised to everyone that walks past you. I think that both gay and straight pride shirts shouldn't be allowed in schools, but if you are going to allow one you have to allow both.

    Stuff.
    [ Parent ]

    Hmmmm (4.37 / 8) (#55)
    by finkployd on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:23:27 PM EST

    I wasn't aware that self expression required approved justification.

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    In school... (4.00 / 2) (#59)
    by Electric Angst on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:34:47 PM EST

    Self expression isn't an absolute right, even less so in school. If the administration felt that this shirt was disruptive, than they had every right to ask that the student turn it inside out. If they were attempting to stifle a message of tolerence, then I would have a problem with this type of action.


    --
    "Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
    [ Parent ]
    Well (4.00 / 1) (#62)
    by finkployd on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:46:59 PM EST

    I have no problem with this action if they are consistant (which we don't even know). I would like to know if they were just responding to complaints, enforcing a selective policy, or if they would do the same to a gay pride shirt.

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    tolerance (3.00 / 2) (#68)
    by Biff Cool on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 03:03:05 PM EST

    Nothing is an absolute right.  However that's not a good enough reason for censorship.  I also fail to see why a public school has some special right to be less tolerant of free speech than other institutions.  Life isn't some cute episode of friends where everybody says the right, sterile, non-confrontational and Neilson-friendly thing that everybody wants to hear.


    My ass. It's code, with pictures of fish attached. Get over it. --trhurler


    [ Parent ]
    not hypocrytical (none / 0) (#140)
    by Rainy on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 09:26:27 AM EST

    It'd be hypocrytical if for instance, lucky dyke was allowed but gay pride was not - similar things, double standard. Here what we have is two very distinct things - one is a self-affirmation by a minority, another is obviously not a self-affirmation statement - so what was it? It was a vague hate crime message.. the kid may not have meant it that way, but he knew it would be interpreted that way, so he *did* mean it that way in part. Now, if your point is that we should be able to say these things - hey, who knows, you may be right. At one point I even thought that all the hate and so on should never be repressed like it is and people should cheer eminem for saying what's on many people's minds anyway, but now I don't think so. However, if that's what your point is, say so, instead of saying that this t-shirt was similar to 'gay pride' one.. because it ain't.
    I'm not gay, not that there's anything wrong with it'ly yours,
    Rainy

    --
    Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
    [ Parent ]
    Heheheh... (none / 0) (#185)
    by darthaggie on Sun Apr 08, 2001 at 04:17:00 PM EST

    It'd be hypocrytical if for instance, lucky dyke was allowed but gay pride was not - similar things, double standard. Here what we have is two very distinct things - one is a self-affirmation by a minority, another is obviously not a self-affirmation statement - so what was it? It was a vague hate crime message.

    Ah, it's a "when I do it, it's ok, but when you do it it's wrong" thing, eh?

    Oh, and who appointed you (or anyone else, for that matter) to be the determinator of what is self-affirming and what is "a vague hate crime message"?

    I am BOFH. Resistance is futile. Your network will be assimilated.
    [ Parent ]

    Who appointed me? (none / 0) (#203)
    by Rainy on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 05:04:29 AM EST

    I'm giving my opinion here. Who appointed you to say what you said?
    --
    Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
    [ Parent ]
    vast right wing conspiracy? (2.25 / 4) (#40)
    by Seumas on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 01:46:14 PM EST

    Okay. I'm a bit confused here. What do you mean by your poll option "Vast right wing conspiracy"? Do you really think the "right-wing" has a problem with straight people? I find it more likely that the persons up in arms over this kid wearing a simple tee-shirt are more left-wing than not (as are the majority of educators). Neither spectrum is a bastion of free-speech as witnessed clearly by the infringements on liberties imposed by both and it's rather narrow to lob an attack at an entire group of people who, for all you know, probably actually support the student in this situation.
    --
    I just read K5 for the articles.
    It's a joke... (3.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Wicket on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 01:59:57 PM EST

    Remember Hillary Clinton with the Lewinsky scandal?
    intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
    [ Parent ]
    actually... (3.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Seumas on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:58:56 PM EST

    Actually, no -- I don't remember much about the entire ordeal. My brain pretty much fried after watching our president qualify his behavior over "what the definition of is is". I'm seeing a therapist and trying to put the entire previous eight years out of my mind. ;)
    --
    I just read K5 for the articles.
    [ Parent ]
    Hehehehe :) (3.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Wicket on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 03:10:07 PM EST

    Basically what was said was Hillary went on the Today show right after the Lewinsky story broke and said it was because of a "vast right wing conspiracy" to bring her and Bill down. There were a few books written about it, notably "A Vast Conspiracy" and "The Hunting of the President".

    I don't think the right wing is actually behind all of this, just to clarify :) My attempts at humour usually fall flat ;)


    intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
    [ Parent ]
    These days.. (2.50 / 4) (#46)
    by DeadBaby on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:11:14 PM EST

    I'm afraid that all the hyped up school violence has pretty much ruined free speech for kids. There's a darker side to it than just some people getting shot. (As if that weren't enough) It's forcing schools to be overly restrictive and scared of free speech that might upset someone.




    "Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
    Let's Get This Straight (no pun intended) (4.28 / 7) (#47)
    by makaera on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:11:38 PM EST

    Please, stop referring to it at 'reverse-discrimination.' Reverse-discrimination is acceptance. That is the opposite (or reverse) of discrimination. People who refer to reverse discrimination only show there ignorance. While they mean reverse direction discrimination, I see no need to differentiate between different types of discrimination. Discrimination is discrimination pure and simple.

    If people can wear gay pride symbols others should be allowed to wear straight pride symbols. Gay people have taken the rainbow as an emblem. Maybe straight people should take the sunshine (just as an example).

    However, this is avoiding the real issue that is raised by this post, not whether or not 'straight pride' or 'gay pride' symbols should be allowed but whether or not this should be protected free speech in a school. I think that the answer is: yes, this student should have been allowed to wear the shirt. Since the school has established "safe zones" for discussing non-straight sexual orientations, IMHO it has opened itself to discussion of sexual issues, which includes t-shirts.

    Furthermore, the student who wore this shirt is now subject to "discrimination, harassment and disruptions," which the superintendent claimed to be trying to aviod. However, this harassment came from the school administration itself which banned his shirt. They banned it not because it caused fighting, but because it might cause fighting. IANAL, but this does not seem like a strong enough argument to me. Free speech rights cannot be trampled because of something that might or might not happen. If this school had a history of conflict between students of different sexual orientations (something that is unknown to me) then there might be ample reason to ban the shirt, but the article on CNN does not imply that this was the case.

    Finally, the 'radical homosexual agenda' is right up there with the 'vast right-wing conspiracy' and the 'liberal media bias' in things that haven't been proven, may have some truth, but are actually kind of unlikely. These words do nothing except stir up partisan anger and create malice, which achieves nothing.

    makaera


    "Ninety rounds in there," Joel Andrews said. "If you can't take it down with 90 rounds, you better turn in your badge!" -- from Washington Post

    "Reverse discrimination" (3.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Wicket on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:36:26 PM EST

    I put this in quotation marks because that is how the right wing refers to stuff of this nature, such as affirmative action. I personally do not use the term, and only show their ignorance by not knowing how to use their/there/they're correctly ;)
    intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
    [ Parent ]
    My bad (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by makaera on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 10:28:35 PM EST

    They're: they are (contraction)

    There: denotes location (pronoun)

    Their: belongs to them (posessive)

    makaera: stupid idiot who can't proofread correctly.

    When attempting to show their ignorance, I only succeeded in showing mine. I should've proofread more correctly and then that mistake wouldn't be there.

    makaera


    "Ninety rounds in there," Joel Andrews said. "If you can't take it down with 90 rounds, you better turn in your badge!" -- from Washington Post
    [ Parent ]

    The term is incomplete, what is implied? (3.00 / 1) (#92)
    by jester69 on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 05:54:16 PM EST

    Well, The term reverse discrimination in and of itself does not seem to be logically complete.

    You compare "reverse of discrimination" to "reverse direction discrimination." Standing on its own "Reverse discrimination" Looks to me to be incomplete. This term would have to have either direction or of implied to be a complete thought. Or would have to be "reversed discrimination" in order to fit your definition.

    Wouldn't which implied meaning is used be dependent on context rather than fixed in stone? Your interpretation would seem to take the term out of context and then use a different implied modifier to prove the incorrect linguistics of the far right.

    Obvously the term is poorly constructed in a way that leaves its meaning open to interpretation, But I would posit that your interpretatiion is no more correct than theirs. I am not a grammar expert, so flame away!

    the jester, 69


    Its a lemming thing, Jeep owners would understand.
    [ Parent ]
    Ignorance (3.50 / 4) (#111)
    by lovelace on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 09:41:44 PM EST

    You write: People who refer to reverse discrimination only show there ignorance.

    I hate to be picky, but while you're pointing out what you think is ignorant, you really should proofread before. Your sentence should read: "People who refer to reverse discrimination only show their ignorance."

    "Reverse discrimination" however is not the same thing as un-discrimination or de-descrimination, etc... which would be correct terms for what you think "reverse discrimination" should mean. While I was studying language (B.S. in Spanish) we learned that all languages move their meanings to what the people use them for. Since "reverse discrimination" is commonly used to mean discrimiation of the majority, you should accept it and move on.

    Just so you don't think I disagree completely with your post, I do mostly agree with your middle three paragraphs... I think, however, that part of your last paragraph shows a distinct naivete.

    [ Parent ]

    Boy do I look stupid (4.66 / 3) (#115)
    by makaera on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 10:22:01 PM EST

    You're right, I used the wrong "their." I missed it when I proofread. I agree with your rewrite of my sentence. I feel really stupid.

    makaera


    "Ninety rounds in there," Joel Andrews said. "If you can't take it down with 90 rounds, you better turn in your badge!" -- from Washington Post
    [ Parent ]

    Protected Speach (4.30 / 10) (#58)
    by Woundweavr on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:31:34 PM EST

    Until this year, I was a high school student at a public high school myself. Schools censoring clothing do to message is not unusual, but its also not right or (IANAL) legal.

    Most of those clothes students are forced to change say sexual slogans on them or are too revealing. Ive seen students forced to wear everything from "Do Me" to "Wanna suck my balls?" inside out. Schools don't really have the right to do that but noone cares too much, least of all the parents.

    However, after Columbine my school decided to censor more and more. Members of the school board came in one day earliy in the next school year and pointed at various kids and those kids were taken aside and forced to wear shirts inside out. Some were for video games (quake III arena especially but also starcraft and halflife), some for music groups (everything from limp bizkit to big d and the kids table to the who) and some were "political". A group of friends and I were walking down the hall and before a guidance councilor (sic?) could wave them off they singled out two of us for video game shirts and me for a "political" shirt. What was on my shirt? A Geek Pride Festival shirt for the year before.

    The guidance counselor knew that my group wouldn't back down and that we had enough clout (state champion math and Academic Decathlon teams) with the facility and other members of the school board to pull it off. When confronted more aggressively I cited "Tinker vs Des Moines (1969)". That case stated that the school board couldn't prevent free expression in the form of arm bands (protesting the Vietnam War).

    The next day the board tried the same thing but this time all the brains wore 'offensive' shirts. The board threatened but when we didn't back down they relented and they stopped trying this extreme cleansing of controversial clothing.

    The point I'm trying to make is that school boards are generally weak willed. They made this kid change because he might cause them trouble. Standing up to them makes it not worth their while.

    Legality... (4.00 / 3) (#72)
    by Electric Angst on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 03:28:57 PM EST

    Okay, once and for all, I'd like to point out the Supreme Court case that schools use to legally do things like censor student speech. It's called Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, and if you click on that link, it'll provide all kinds of information about how it changed things from the previous ruling of Tinker v. Des Moines.

    Now, ultimantly, we must accept that there is no objective standard for choosing censorship. I believe, however, that the shirt mentioned in this article, particularly given the surrounding facts, was harrasment against students of alternative sexual practices, and that the administration was well within its rights to have it removed.

    I'm not sure about your situation, but to say that the very power itself is wrong because some administrations use it incorrectly is foolhearty, and will do neither students nor schools well.


    --
    "Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
    [ Parent ]
    That citation does not seem to apply here (5.00 / 3) (#90)
    by jester69 on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 05:37:59 PM EST

    Okay, once and for all, I'd like to point out the Supreme Court case that schools use to legally do things like censor student speech. It's called Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, and if you click on that link, it'll provide all kinds of information about how it changed things from the previous ruling of Tinker v. Des Moines.
    Okay, Unless I read that citation incorrectly, it applied only to restricting speech in school sponsored activities. More specifically, the school pulled what it thought was a controversial article from the school paper.

    How exactly is that related to a students choice of a t-shirt with a political message as attire for class?

    the jester, 69
    Its a lemming thing, Jeep owners would understand.
    [ Parent ]

    How it's been used... (3.00 / 2) (#91)
    by Electric Angst on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 05:43:43 PM EST

    The ruling can be used to extend so far as to the administration restricting the free expression of students when that expression causes a potential saftey threat, intrudes on other student's rights, or goes in opposition to the purpose of the school. It's that last one that most dress codes and such are based on, since they "create a disruptive enviornment" and a disruptive enviornment goes "against the purpose of the school".


    --
    "Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
    [ Parent ]
    Uniforms are the answer (2.81 / 11) (#67)
    by peeping_Thomist on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 03:00:13 PM EST

    Schools should have uniforms, not dress codes.

    Uniforms Ick. (3.50 / 2) (#94)
    by ZahrGnosis on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 06:10:14 PM EST

    I disagree. I think, perhaps, you may have been using sarcasm in your post, in which case I agree with the sentiment, but still.

    The high-school I went to some years ago is embroiled in a uniform/strict dress code battle at the moment. It's a public school; when I attended, there were limited dress codes; good taste and all that, and there were probably rules about what your clothes could say but I don't know what they were.

    Today, the dress code is a bit draconian. Certain colors are against the rules. Some claim they're this way because they may be associated with certain local gangs. "Blue" and "Red", for example, are right out. Now that's just silly. "Navy", is okay, of course, and how one determines the line between Navy and Blue is beyond me. There are a million other issues on the topic as well, of course, that's just an example.

    The Free Speech issue is a separate one. When a student's overall right to free speech infringes on the purpose of education, by causing a distraction to the learning process, then that right is probably forfeit while the student is on school grounds. Public schools exist to ensure another right; the right to an education, which is outlined in much the same way as the right to free speech. When two equal rights collide, and one must give over, there's a problem. In this example, free speech in its pure form gives way if it interferes with others' rights to education.

    [ Parent ]

    I wasn't kidding (none / 0) (#190)
    by peeping_Thomist on Mon Apr 09, 2001 at 01:55:19 PM EST

    My kids are in public schools that have uniforms, and in the handful of years since they were introduced, the tone on campuses has been much improved. I'm a big fan of student uniforms--they're a great equalizer.

    [ Parent ]
    I quite agree. (none / 0) (#177)
    by static on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 10:47:45 PM EST

    I was ready to post this myself, until I saw this.

    I attended my entire schooling in Australia. This is, of couse, because that's where I live. School uniforms in Australia have been a fact of life for decades and it is a source of some envy when Aussie high school kids look at US high schools and see no uniforms.

    Clearly, if US schools want to enforce some kind of dress code, then why shouldn't they instate uniforms? Many other places have uniforms: many kinds of retail outlets (particularly food), certain types of jobs (e.g. nursing, policing) and the military orders. Even many blue-collar and white-collar jobs have a uniform of a sorts. School kids are not in school on their time - just like a fitter-and-turner is not on the factory floor on his time - so why the hell can't they put a uniform on!

    Or has the so-called U.S. "freedom of speech" gotten so perverted?

    Wade.

    [ Parent ]

    Wouldn't happen in a private school (2.33 / 6) (#95)
    by Robert Hutchinson on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 06:44:27 PM EST

    The more government involves itself in people's lives, the more governmental restrictions turn into personal restrictions. Yes, yes, I'm a heartless bastard who doesn't care about kids, save yourself the trouble.

    Robert Hutchinson
    No bomb-throwing required.

    Since many private schools (3.00 / 1) (#129)
    by aphrael on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 04:06:37 AM EST

    have restrictive dress codes, and others have *required* courses in religion, I have to disagree with you here --- private schools are just as restrictive, if not more so, of student behavior, *especially* of minority student behavior, than public schools.

    Note that BYU regularly expels people for being gay, as an example.

    [ Parent ]

    Too many assumptions in my word use (2.50 / 2) (#157)
    by Robert Hutchinson on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 12:22:02 PM EST

    Yes, many private schools are restrictive. Many are not. There is a difference between "many" and "all." Public schooling puts a child in an environment where speech is alternately banned and forced based on the whim of anyone in power, and a student has no choice in the matter. (Well, the rich have a choice, and I suppose that's enough.)

    Robert Hutchinson
    No bomb-throwing required.

    [ Parent ]

    and private schools are different how? (none / 0) (#160)
    by aphrael on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 12:52:40 PM EST

    I'm sorry, I fail to see the distinction here; private schools are just as good at restricting and/or forcing speech as public schools are. Remember, in the US, most private schools are religious.

    [ Parent ]
    Still not clear enough (none / 0) (#179)
    by Robert Hutchinson on Sat Apr 07, 2001 at 12:47:59 PM EST

    First, the fact that most schools are public schools undoubtedly has an effect on most private schools being religious. Suppose that, on a clean slate, 8% of all schools would be religious schools. Then suppose that 90% of schools are public, and 10% private. If the people get what they want, 80% of the private schools are going to become religious schools.

    Second, private schools have a clear right to restrict and/or force speech, while public schools have to tread a line that was never meant to exist. I seriously doubt that the religious non-establishment clause was envisioned to one day apply to public schools, instead of just public office.

    Third, there's that matter of choice ... private schools spend less than half the amount of money per student that public schools do, making private schools more accessible if it weren't for public school taxation.

    Robert Hutchinson
    No bomb-throwing required.

    [ Parent ]

    Non sequiter. :) (none / 0) (#180)
    by aphrael on Sat Apr 07, 2001 at 02:14:31 PM EST

    The guy I was responding to appeared to be condemning public schools for the lack of freedom accorded to the students therein, and praising private schools for the greater freedom afforded students. I don't see it; private schools, in the US at least, are generally *more* restrictive of student speech and conduct than public schools are.

    You are arguing that private schools are *good*, which is an entirely different subject. But I must disagree with this:

    Second, private schools have a clear right to restrict and/or force speech

    .

    Parents do not sell their children's soul at the door of the private school; the private school has no more right to force speech than a corporation does.

    [ Parent ]

    Chosen agreements are tricky little devils (none / 0) (#184)
    by Robert Hutchinson on Sun Apr 08, 2001 at 03:18:38 PM EST

    Parents do not sell their children's soul at the door of the private school; the private school has no more right to force speech than a corporation does.
    Pardon? Private schools/corporations have a right to determine what their students/employees may say on school/company time. Those students/employees have the right to find a school/job that doesn't restrict their speech unfavorably. Schools and companies (should) make these policies clear prior to enrollment or hiring. It goes "Congress shall make no law," not "people shall make no agreement."

    Perhaps we should test this theory by seeing if kuro5hin.org will tolerate spam, seeing as it is speech. :)

    Robert Hutchinson
    No bomb-throwing required.

    [ Parent ]

    An opinion from a fag =) (4.60 / 10) (#96)
    by DranoK on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 07:11:06 PM EST

    I think the best option to do in this situation is to simply request that the student change his clothing. If he does not, then I do not believe further action is appropriate. Freedom of speech protects the assholes as well as those honestly trying to express their beliefs.

    I graduated from HS in '98 rather open about my sexuality. I wore 'freedom rings' every day, and talked about my boyfriend in Spanish class. Well, I don't think anyone else even realized i was saying novio instead of novia but oh well =)

    It is clear that this student is doing this for the sole sake of antagonizing people. If I were to wear a 'I can't even think straight' tee-shirt (which I couldn't, thank you very much therapy-forcing right-wing parents) it would be to demonstrate that I'm gay, and to show my support for queer issues. To me, at least, it's obvious that this 'straight-pride' tee-shirt was not a pride tee-shirt, but was carrying an anti-gay message. The majority, IMHO, claims 'pride' when they are really bashing a minority. Look how the KKK compares themselves to the NAACP. *shrug*

    But like I said, the school authorities should have never forced him to remove the shirt, wear it inside-out, etc, although if I were a student at that school there would be one more person I would despise *grin*. But really, censorship is not an answer. Both liberals and conservatives, fags and anti-fags, God and Satan if you're a Christian type try to use censorship to get their goals across. We seem to believe that hiding an opinion will make it go away. IMHO, censorship of ANY kind is a BAD thing.

    So what should the school district done in my humble opinion? Imeediately (within the next week) hold a short assembly about tolerance. Possibly have a workshop or two (optional) at lunch for diversity awareness. Bottom line: get the other viewpoint out.

    If someone does something you believe to be biggoted, evil, wrong, whatever, and it looks like that wierd free speech thing will come into play, do NOT hide it and censor it. This will not cause any good, and in some cases bad.

    Instead, get the opposing viewpoint out! If someone wears a teeshirt explaining that black people should be slaves again, get a Black Panther in the school to be a guest speaker. If someone starts explaining why Jews are such awful people, hold a Jewish event.

    You cannot counter biggotry with censorship.


    DranoK.


    Poetry is simply a convenient excuse for incoherence
    --DranoK



    two points (none / 0) (#142)
    by Anonymous 242 on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 09:32:21 AM EST

    (1) I think that perhaps you misunderstand the basis of pride. Please see this previous comment of mine for why.

    (2) I think that perhaps you don't understand why anyone would wear a Straight Pride shirt for any other reason than to be intimidating to those that aren't straight. Such reasons exist and one example can be found in another previous comment of mine.

    [ Parent ]

    Oh, Please! (4.00 / 2) (#143)
    by Electric Angst on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 10:01:19 AM EST

    You keep saying that there are other reasons that someone would wear a straight pride shirt. What you don't seem to get is that the reasons you give for wearing certainly don't apply to this kid (as we find out he was from a straight Christian family who firmly believes that homosexuality is immoral.) In fact, the situation you bring up could only apply to a very small amount of people.

    Why in the world would you need to talk about straight pride, when almost every song on the radio is about some form of heterosexual desire? When everything from magazines to television to film, every single aspect of our culture, is so strongly slanted towards heterosexuality that the fact that it is only one possible sexual orientation is almost forgotten? Why say that you have pride in something when that pride is being displayed indirectly by the entire culture every second of every day?


    --
    "Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
    [ Parent ]
    I understand that (5.00 / 3) (#150)
    by Anonymous 242 on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 11:11:09 AM EST

    You keep saying that there are other reasons that someone would wear a straight pride shirt. What you don't seem to get is that the reasons you give for wearing certainly don't apply to this kid (as we find out he was from a straight Christian family who firmly believes that homosexuality is immoral.) In fact, the situation you bring up could only apply to a very small amount of people.
    I full well understand that. What you don't seem to get is the large number of people stating that a Straight Pride shirt can only be worn as an intended insult to people who are not straight. This view is both repugnant and flat-out wrong.

    Further, I hold it Elliot's motives to be irrelevant to whether or not his wearing a tee shirt is acceptable or not. Either the message on the shirt is appropriate or it is not. Either expressing pride in one's sexual orientation is acceptable or it is not. If schools start playing God and determining that certain shirts are acceptable only contingent on the motives of the wearer, we will be a long way down the slippery slope to 1984.

    Should we ban all crosses because the KKK uses them? Or how about just the flaming ones? All those bikers with a flaming cross of a different sort can't possibly have non-racist reasons for their tatoos.

    And lastly on this point, the number of children raised by gay parents may be small, but it is growing. Between a bit of sanity added to adoption laws in many states, the advances in artificial conception, and the growing number of gay people that feel comfortable expressing their sexual orientation, the number of children raised by gay people is growing at a very rapid rate.

    But, since the numbers are small, perhaps we should just marginalize them. Cutting off an evenue of freedom of speech for them won't have that much impact. After all, they only a minority group within a minority group.

    Why in the world would you need to talk about straight pride, when almost every song on the radio is about some form of heterosexual desire?
    Perhaps you did not carefully read my comments very closely. I spoke somewhat to the issue of why people have pride in anything. Indeed, why express pride in anything at all? That is the whole question. Some people can't seem to understand that it is socially acceptable for anyone to express pride in who or what he or she is. Such pride only becomes a problem when combined with hatred and violence and the problem then is no longer the the pride, it is the hatred and violence. And like one of my previous comments pointed out, minority groups are often just as guilty of hatred and violence as majority groups.
    When everything from magazines to television to film, every single aspect of our culture, is so strongly slanted towards heterosexuality that the fact that it is only one possible sexual orientation is almost forgotten? Why say that you have pride in something when that pride is being displayed indirectly by the entire culture every second of every day?
    It seems to me that your argument here boils down to that all of these forms of expression ought to be banished. If they all display straight pride, then they are no different from wearing a straight pride tee shirt?

    I would say that OriginalGTT's diary entries concerning his beloved physicist are a direct expression of his pride in his sexuality. Should we eliminate his account simply because we hear similiar expressions every day on the radio and see similiar expressions everyday on the television?

    The way to bring about a rich and fruitful culture isn't to censor the expression of the majority, but to encourage expression of all ideas whether from minorities, pluralities, or majorities. If we increase the expression by smaller groups entirely at the expense of larger groups, we are not building a rich culture, but are rather inviting cultural backlash and war between different groups.

    [ Parent ]

    Bah (3.00 / 2) (#162)
    by DranoK on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 01:02:48 PM EST

    Did I ever say *once* in my thread that this kid shouldn't be allowed to wear the damn teeshirt? It certainly sounds like you think I did. I'd appreciate it if you re-read it.

    All I said is that the school should get the oposing viewpoint out. They should bring in gay speakers etc. If you read my article closely you will see that I in no way suggested the shirt be banned.

    Your arguments are almost irrelevant to my thread. You seem to be clinging to my personal loathing of someone who would do this, something which is my own frikin' opinion. ;) Yeah, I'm entitled to one too. However, and I thought I clearly stated this, anyone's opinion does not in itself constitute what is right nor wrong. Which is why I adamantly believe this kid has every right in the world to wear the shirt. The school should *ASK*, but not *FORCE*.

    DranoK
    Poetry is simply a convenient excuse for incoherence
    --DranoK



    [ Parent ]
    Oops... (4.00 / 1) (#156)
    by theboz on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 12:13:33 PM EST

    In fact, the situation you bring up could only apply to a very small amount of people.

    We usually refer to those as a minority group. Just like the homosexuals, or white-supremists.

    Stuff.
    [ Parent ]

    Bah you misunderstand (3.00 / 2) (#161)
    by DranoK on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 12:57:00 PM EST

    When you're in the majority you can have all the pride you want and it doesn't matter. See, that's the thing. Gay Pride is something that is different than merely pride; it's saying that you are willing to take the risk of being out, to take the risk of letting everyone around you know you're gay. To take this risk in an environment that could be dangerous, as Mathew Sheppherd, Teena Brandon, and many others have discovered.

    There is no risk in stating clearly you are straight. AFAIK, nobody has ever been killed simply because they were heterosexual. When you meet someone, it is generally assumed this person is straight. Why then would a straight person wear a shirt like this? Think about it. When you are the norm, the average, the typical, you do not need to express to the world what you are, as it is already assumed.

    *shrug*

    DranoK
    Poetry is simply a convenient excuse for incoherence
    --DranoK



    [ Parent ]
    free speech (3.00 / 3) (#149)
    by alprazolam on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 11:06:13 AM EST

    free speech should not and does not exist for 'people' under the age of 18. who actually aren't even people, iirc, according to the government.

    [ Parent ]
    I hear this a lot (5.00 / 2) (#174)
    by Wah on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 06:44:49 PM EST

    and it bother's me. How is one supposed to know what rights they have and excercise them if they don't even have them until a certain age? Personally I think the best way to take rights away from a group of people would be to raise a generation that thinks they have no rights. Then, they won't try and excercise them. If you can be tried and killed for a crime, you are a freakin' adult. The hypocrisy of this particular example annoys me greatly.
    --
    Fail to Obey?
    [ Parent ]
    My comments (2.33 / 3) (#102)
    by dave114 on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 08:04:56 PM EST

    Are not the public schools in the US a place for learning, discovering one's self (the ones that aren't failing anyway), and a place where students should not feel excluded in such a way, ones that are only coming to gripes with their sexuality?

    And should not then, according to your logic, those who may be discovering that they are not homosexual be afforded the same privilege?

    Is this any different from someone wearing a "white-pride" shirt to public school?

    I find it depends a lot on the attitude of whoever would be wearing the shirt. There is a difference between a feeling of pride and one of superiority. I don't think I'd be very pleased with a shirt like that but the same applies to similar shirts worn by people of other backgrounds.



    Ok, I'll bite :) (3.50 / 2) (#119)
    by Wicket on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 12:00:19 AM EST

    And should not then, according to your logic, those who may be discovering that they are not homosexual be afforded the same privilege?

    What? Discovering they are not homosexual? Are you telling me that they are being raised as gay? I'm sorry, but any of my gay friends *wish* sometimes that they are straight, simply because being gay makes life so much harder. It's not an oppressive environment for straights!

    Gay pride, to me anyway, has always meant being proud for being different and trying to get others to realize that they are just normal people that happen to love members of their sex in the romantic sex. Straight pride is a pride of not being a part of a minority, is it not?

    Either way, it is free speech, but neither have a place in a public school. A mandatory public education is not for making political statements, but for learning.
    intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
    [ Parent ]

    What you are missing (5.00 / 2) (#139)
    by Anonymous 242 on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 09:26:16 AM EST

    First, in this day and age, there are children being raised by gay parents. To ignore this fact is to ignore a quickly growing segment of the demographics in the US. For my reasoning on this position of mine, refer to a previous comment of mine.

    Second, pride is not typically about being proud of something one is not. Pride is typically about being proud of something one is. (There are exceptions to this, note Jesus' parable of the publican and the pharisee where the pharisee prays about how thankful he is that he is not a sinner like the publican.) If someone is wearing a Kiss Me I'm Irish shirt, they aren't expressing pride in not being an aboriginal Australian, they are expressing pride in the rich traditions of his or her Irish ancestors and being proud of being able to identify with those traditions. The same goes for just about any culture, whether minority, majority, or plurality.

    The position that pride is only acceptable for members of a minority or repressed movement is not only repugnant, but absurd. Consider those that are proud to be members of homo sapient sapiens. Are these people automatically hateful of other species? Consider Christians that draw their self worth from the belief that they are made in the image and likeness of God. Does that make these people automatically hateful of other forms of life?

    Only if pride based on one's heritage gets twisted into something other than pride does it become hate. And for the record, minority groups are no more immune to this than majority groups. Consider the original Black Muslim doctrine that all white people are descended from the devil. Consider some of the ethnic minority groups that teach that other ethnicities are inferior. Consider those geeks that believe that they are somehow better than ordinary mortals because they have powerful techno kung-fu.

    Finding value in one's heritage or one's chose lot in life does not mean that other heritages or other chosen lots are inferior.

    [ Parent ]

    Either way... (4.00 / 1) (#147)
    by Wicket on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 10:17:50 AM EST

    ...the shirt didn't belong in a public school. The right-wing banned our Marilyn Manson shirts, our NIN shirts, our White Zombie shirts, our KMFDM shirts, so they can deal with this. If the kid wants to wear the shirt, put it on when he does his homework, on the weekends hanging the mall or when he goes to church.
    intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
    [ Parent ]
    Wrong on two counts (5.00 / 2) (#152)
    by Anonymous 242 on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 11:22:07 AM EST

    The right-wing banned our Marilyn Manson shirts, our NIN shirts, our White Zombie shirts, our KMFDM shirts, so they can deal with this.
    (1) The ACLU has taken cases over tee shirts like these to court and won.( See this press release by the ACLU.) Schools can only get away with banning specific tee shirts if they can prove that the wearing of specific tee shirts is disruptive.

    (2) Just because liberals let their rights erode is no reason to chear the loss of rights for conservatives. Loss of rights affects everyone. The only winner involved in the loss of right to self expression is a totalitarian state.

    [ Parent ]

    From that ACLU link you posted... (3.00 / 1) (#163)
    by Wicket on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 01:04:24 PM EST

    "The decision shows that ``schools can't simply say there is a disruption without backing it up with concrete evidence,'' said Steven Brown, executive director of the ACLU of Rhode Island."

    In the school's case that banned the "Straight Pride" shirt, they had an incident earlier this year when someone wore a headband with the confederate flag on it, and as a result, a fight broke out.

    Some students complained about the "Straight Pride" shirt, and they thus have "concrete evidence" that the shirt was causing a disruption.


    intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
    [ Parent ]
    I don't follow your logic (3.00 / 2) (#164)
    by Anonymous 242 on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 01:21:31 PM EST

    1. Fight breaks out over Confederate flag on headband.
    2. Student wears Straight Pride shirt.
    3. Kids complain about shirt. .:
    4. Straight Pride shirt has caused disturbance.
    I'm sorry if you can't see the large leap in logic it takes to get to this conclusion, but there is no concrete evidence that the Straight Pride shirt has caused any sort of disturbance. Try again.

    [ Parent ]
    You try again (2.00 / 1) (#165)
    by Wicket on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 01:28:21 PM EST

    The school has already had an issue with clothing causing a disturbance, with a fight breaking out earlier in the year over it. Then a kid wears a shirt to school that causes yet another disturbance. The case you cited from the ACLU said ``schools can't simply say there is a disruption without backing it up with concrete evidence,'' said Steven Brown, executive director of the ACLU of Rhode Island. Other students complained about the shirt, which is a disturbance since it is distracting them from what they are there to do- learn. That is concrete evidence. Is that really a huge leap in logic? I don't think so.
    intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
    [ Parent ]
    Actually... (4.00 / 1) (#155)
    by theboz on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 12:07:49 PM EST

    What? Discovering they are not homosexual? Are you telling me that they are being raised as gay?

    I don't think most parents raise their children to be gay or straight. I've never heard of parents telling their 3 year old the proper technique for the missionary position. Sexuality is something people come into, and become gay or straight. Most kids don't have real sexual feelings unless they were abused. Sure they have little crushes and stuff, but that isn't in a more serious way that teenagers and adults have, since little kids could even have a crush on a cartoon monster if they wanted.

    Gay pride, to me anyway, has always meant being proud for being different and trying to get others to realize that they are just normal people that happen to love members of their sex in the romantic sex. Straight pride is a pride of not being a part of a minority, is it not?

    Not necessarily. I love my girlfriend, and I'm proud that we have found each other. That is a form of "straight pride" I would think. I really like females in general. I've always been better friends with women than men, and just like many things about women. I am glad that I am male, so I can experience what I do in life that is related to my sexuality.

    Also, I agree with some of the posts I've read that say how silly "gay pride" is. I don't see what there is to be proud about. I don't go around wearing shirts that say, "Proud to be 6'4" or "Green-eyed Pride" in public. It is stupid to make something like that the most defining part of who I am. I shouldn't have to go around announcing to everyone that I have green eyes and that I am part of a minority. I just live my life who I am and that's it. The problem is not the majority of gay people that just accept life and live it, the problem are the ones that try to shove their sexuality in your face and if you get tired of talking about that subject with them, they yell that you are discriminating against them and are a bigot. It's the same problem with some of the racist black people I had to deal with in high school. It was ok for them to get special priveledges and treat me bad because I was white, but if you stood up to them you would get your ass kicked by 10 people waiting for you outside while the teachers ignore it. I wouldn't say that it reflected upon the entire so-called black race, but this group of psychos tried to make it seem like it did. Another example would be if you invite some friends over to supper at your house, and when they arrive they inform you they are vegetarians, and that you are a cruel and evil person for attempting to serve them a steak.

    Some people just want to be assholes, and try to drag the rest of the group they associate with along with them. The same thing happens frequently in homosexual groups. We get these militant people that have huge marches in Washington DC parading down the street trying to scare straight people. Well, it works. If noone felt the need to wear a "gay pride" shirt, then "straight pride" shirts wouldn't exist either. You can't force people to befriend and accept you by being a loud jerk, but by being a friend and acting nice. I think the majority of homosexuals do this and are met with success and acceptance. In fact, I don't think that it is a subject that should be discussed as much as learned. If I had a friend and got to know them as a friend, then discovered they were gay, that is fine. If someone came up to me with a high-pitched voice and a lisp while putting a rainbow sticker on my truck and being annoying, I'd get pissed off.

    Anyways, I have gone far off the subject, but just to end this post:

    Either way, it is free speech, but neither have a place in a public school. A mandatory public education is not for making political statements, but for learning.

    I agree, but unfortunately the school doesn't. They wanted to make "safe zones" to discuss homosexuality, but apparantly heterosexuality is not welcome in that school system. I think that it is the school's fault this problem happened, and should be for learning rather than politics.

    Stuff.
    [ Parent ]

    consider the intent (2.40 / 5) (#110)
    by zzzeek on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 09:22:11 PM EST

    Any idiot who looks beyond the literalism of "gay pride ok? == straight pride ok! its logical!" and considers the obvious spirit and intent of the shirt (yes, despite the 0.0000001% chance it meant something different), can see that it essentially means to say "fuck you homo!". Its designed to intimidate and alienate a group of people who are already in the minority and usually are already having extraordinary adjustment issues. If we were arguing about a kid wearing a "fuck you homo!" T-shirt, maybe we wouldnt all be seeing this so simplistically. The crucial point is, "should we consider the obvious intent", even though we can never *really* know someones intent, that would require mindreading. But, social and behavioral issues in a classroom are not C++ programs, they are inexact by nature, and some degree of subjective judgments must be made with regards to determining intent.

    If you determine that the shirt most likely, within a reasonable margin of error, essentially is the same as a "fuck you homo!" T-shirt, its clear that such a shirt would be just as inappropriate in public school as cursing out your teacher. Both scenarios would be legally protected speech in the outside world, yet are not tolerated in the special (and decidely less free, for a reason) environment of a public school.



    intent (4.00 / 6) (#118)
    by gunner800 on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 11:53:38 PM EST

    From what I've read, the shirt was intended to express disapproval of homosexuality and the school's attitude towards it.

    disapproval != "fuck you"

    While a student cannot curse out a teacher, he certainly can say "I don't like your teaching style". The teacher may not like to hear it, and the student may be absolutely wrong, but the student can say it.

    A smart-assed logo on a T-shirt may be expressing an unpopular view, but it's unfair to equate it to "fuck you homo!".

    ---Ignore poorly-chosen handle for purpose of gun-control discussions.
    [ Parent ]

    I think you are being overly judgemental (3.66 / 3) (#138)
    by Anonymous 242 on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 09:08:12 AM EST

    It appears to me that you can not imagine any reason to wear a Straight Pride shirt other than as an attempt to intimidate those who are not straight. I emphatically disagree with this sentiment. For one reason why, read this comment of mine.

    [ Parent ]
    bill of rights (2.00 / 3) (#121)
    by slothman on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 01:31:32 AM EST

    Ok the first ammendmend specifies freedom of speech/press/religion. Wearing clothes must count as one of those. The school is in the USA jurisdiction so it applies. The only other amendment that might counter it would be 9-removing rights of others. Telling someone what you think does not do that so amendment 1 says they can wear whatever shirt they want. Uniforms might prevent that but I am not even sure of that. Of course in a private school they could throw you out but in a public school that is not an option so whoever does not like that shirt must deal with it.

    Wrong (4.00 / 1) (#135)
    by Wicket on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 07:57:14 AM EST

    Public schools have every right to restrict what the minors at the school wear. In my high school, we were not allowed to wear t-shirts depicting alcohol, cigarettes, or ones that have "questionable" language on them. It's the administrations job to make sure that it is a safe environment, and any clothing that could be considered "disruptive" falls under this realm.

    We were also not allowed to wear shorts, and the girls could not wear skirts that were more than 2 inches above our knees.

    Public education is just that- a mandatory learning enviornment, it's not for political statements. Not to mention that the children are minors and they don't have as many rights.

    Of course, for the last few months of high school, many of us were 18, but in all honesty, we were more worried about getting out of that place and into a college where we could all express our individuality than fighting what we can and cannot wear to school.


    intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
    [ Parent ]

    Has anyone considered... (3.28 / 7) (#124)
    by RadiantMatrix on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 02:35:28 AM EST

    Has anyone considered the possibility that this kid might actually be proud of being straight?

    Let's be clear, I'm not anti-gay or anything remotely close. However, we are guaranteed the right to Freedom of Expression (not just "free speech", as most are wont to say) by the 1st Amendment, and we have the freedom to hold beliefs that may not be true or "acceptable". Perhaps this kid really believes that homosexuality is either wrong or less-preferable than being heterosexual.

    Whether we agree with him on that or not, it is his right to hold that belief, and to express it to others. Also, just because he may believe that homosexuality is wrong doesn't necessarily mean that he hates homosexuals or is "anti-gay", just that he disagrees with thier actions.

    The appropriate response, IMO, would be for an administrator to speak to the student about his intentions in wearing the shirt. If he makes clear that he is not hateful toward or likely to commit violence against a homosexual student (or teacher), then he should be allowed to continue to wear the shirt. If the administrator felt that the student was likely to commit a violent act after speaking with him, then other measures may need to be taken according to school policies.

    Again, let me say that I do not agree with the message the shirt bore - however, it is the student's right both to hold the belief and to express it, no matter how wrong it might be in anyone else's opinion.
    --
    I'm not going out with a "meh". I plan to live, dammit. [ZorbaTHut]

    If I recall correctly, (3.33 / 3) (#125)
    by Mr. Excitement on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 02:40:54 AM EST

    From the dim memory of my four-years-I'll-never-get-back, you could get in trouble for displaying any sort of pride in high school. (Except of course, pride for success in school-sponsored activities.)

    Frankly, the t-shirt thing isn't an issue that should come up at all, but sadly compulsory public education *does* exist, along with all the nastiness it entails.

    1 141900 Mr. Excitement-Bar-Hum-Mal-Cha died in The Gnomish Mines on level 10 [max 12]. Killed by a bolt of lightning - [129]

    I just love the double standard here. (2.60 / 5) (#126)
    by Greyshade on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 03:32:38 AM EST

    I have to agree with RadiantMatrix. I don't see any problem with this student's shirt. By the logic that I see a lot of ppl here following, gay pride shirts, flyers, demonstrations, etc are demeaning, intrusive, abusive, and harmful to heterosexuals and should be stopped/silenced/removed/banned at all costs. Let's try to remember that just because he expressed a majority viewpoint, it doesn't mean that it should have any more or less legal/political protection than a minority view.

    Yes but... (2.00 / 1) (#136)
    by Wicket on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 07:59:01 AM EST

    ....is a public high school the place for political statements?


    intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
    [ Parent ]
    Why wouldn't a public school be such? (3.00 / 1) (#137)
    by Anonymous 242 on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 09:05:02 AM EST

    My high school had the state flag of Ohio and the national flag of the USA hanging outside from a tremendously large flag pole. Is that not a political statement?

    One of my classrooms had portraits of some of the "greater" presidents of the USA hanging up. Was that not a political statement?

    A gay student wants to challenge the straight majority and wears a Gay Pride tee shirt. Is that not a political statement?

    As long as one lives in a society of some sort, there will always be politics. Learning to make effective political statements and learning how to tolerate and even accept the political statements of others is a vital component of life.

    [ Parent ]

    Well... (4.00 / 1) (#145)
    by Wicket on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 10:10:36 AM EST

    The flag is a symbol of our country, and is all encompassing. Pictures of political leaders are just that- pictures of our historical leaders. It's important to have a well rounded education and to thus learn about our leaders of the past. Political statements are different, and note that I never said it would be ok for a gay pride shirt to be worn in a public school, just as a straight pride shirt is just as inappropriate. The school is there to for the kids to get an education, so of course it would be important to learn about what the stars and stripes are for, or to learn about what our former leaders accomplished for our country. I mean jeez, the kids are there for 8 hours a day to get an education, not to make political statements.

    Assuming you work in a office enviornment, even if it is business casual, would you be allowed to wear a white pride, a gay pride or a straight pride shirt. In most business environments I highly doubt it, I for one would be sent home to change and no doubt it would show up on my next review.


    intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
    [ Parent ]

    Some questions? (4.00 / 1) (#153)
    by Anonymous 242 on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 11:29:11 AM EST

    Which if any of these do you disagree with?
    1. Students should not be able to meet in Young Republican or Young Democrat groups on school property.
    2. Students should not be allowed to wear lapel pins supporting their political party of choice during campaigns.
    3. Students should not be allowed to wear black arms bands to protest a war they believe is immoral.
    4. Students should not be allowed to wear any jewelry that indicates their religious belief during school hours.

    How are any of the above qualitatively different than wearing a gay or straight pride shirt?

    [ Parent ]

    For one... (3.00 / 1) (#158)
    by Wicket on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 12:29:07 PM EST

    ...several students complained about the shirt to the administration. It's a big deal if it is offensive to other students.

    If kids want to form young republican or democrat groups, that's fine, it's a political group, not a statement and would be a great chance for kids to learn about government, if tax dollars subsidize it, then there needs to be an equal representation for the otherside, otherwise, they can fundraise.

    It's a fact that a majority (but not all) of the younger generation have an active disinterest in politics (I think the median age for voting in the US is close to 60), so it would be great if high school students take interest and show their support. Again, it's a political group, not a message.

    Black arm bands can mean many things, it will mainly just get people to ask what it means. I've worn black arm bands before, for other causes, it never means a singular thing. It doesn't have a clear message that words have.

    Again, religion is not a political message. Wearing a cross, pentagram, or star of david simply does not have the same context that a hotly contested issue such as gay rights has.

    The whole issue is whether he wore it to offend homosexuals, whether it was mocking their source of pride. Judging from what I've read over on some conservative weblogs, that is general consensus; he was just trying to start trouble.

    intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
    [ Parent ]
    Unfortunately .. (4.50 / 2) (#159)
    by dvNull on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 12:48:35 PM EST

    I agree with you a 'Straight Pride' T shirt and 'Gay Pride' T-shirt both dont belong in a school. The school is not a place where such things should be discussed. Children go to school to learn.

    This is the reason why I believe in school uniforms. All children are equal no matter what. There is no need to get expensive clothes of the latest fashion to impress you peers, the chances of someone being ridiculed cause he or she cannot afford to get the latest styles every season are next to nothing.

    While I do agree that having Uniforms in school partly takes away your creative individuality, it also makes all the students think of each other more as equals than if there werent any uniforms in school.

    Now that I have stopped blabbering, let me get back to the post.. If Gay Pride T shirts are allowed then why not Straight Pride ? If Black Power T shirts are allowed then why not White Pride? or Asian Pride? or any thing else?




    If you can see this, then the .sig fell off.
    [ Parent ]
    Don't Ban it based on it's meaning... (4.71 / 7) (#146)
    by gauntlet on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 10:14:25 AM EST

    Now... are we arguing that the meaning of the "Straight Pride" slogan was different from the meaning of the "Gay Pride" slogan? I think there's excellent evidence for this in the fact that "Gay Pride" and "White Pride" do not have the same meaning. The "Gay Pride" slogan speaks to equality of value, as I understand it. The "White Pride" speaks to superiority. So yes, "pride" slogans can have totally different meanings.

    But that leaves the question of the meaning of "Straight Pride". I may be alone in this, but when I first read that a kid wore a "Straight Pride" shirt, my impression was totally different. I thought it was supportive of gay pride. My impression of a person that wears a "Gay Pride" shirt is that they know who they are, and they're proud of it, and they think other people should be proud of themselves too. Wearing a "Straight Pride" shirt to me would say (partially because "Gay Pride" existed first), "I acknowledge a person's right to be proud of who and what they are."

    I would, at this point, like to indicate that I understand it's totally possible the kid is a homophobe, but I tend to follow the principle of "Never attribute to malevolence what can be attributed to ignorance." Not that homophobia doesn't have a lot to do with ignorance. Anyway, bear with me.

    People are saying that it is a double standard that "Gay Pride" is allowed, but "Straight Pride" is not. Others are arguing that it's not a double standard, because homosexuals are a minority. I ask if a double standard is limited to something the majority can do and the minority can't. I don't think it should be. That would be a kind of double standard for double standards. (Semantic recursion baby, OH YEAH!) Some people are saying it's not a double standard because the meaning is different. Well let me tell you what. I am heterosexual. I have homosexual friends. I would wear a "Straight Pride" shirt, if a gay friend gave it to me. I don't believe that the my "intent" in displaying that message would be the same as this kid. So that's valid. The same message can have different intent, depending on the messenger. But this leads to another double-standard: Does anyone ever question the intent of a person wearing a "Gay Pride" shirt? Have you ever even considered the possibility of a homosexual person being a heterophobe, or homosexual supremacist? No, of course not. So there's your double standard. Granted, I have never met a heterophobe, but I don't think the likelihood is important. The point is that if you are going to be measuring these things on intent, you should be doing it in both directions.

    Now, here's where I think it gets practical. You can't measure intent. And when it gets right down to it, it doesn't matter. The meaning that a message conveys is not the least bit dependant on the meaning that was intended. The meaning is created by the recipients of the message.

    Anecdote: There is a Canadian clothing company called "ROOTS" that sponsored the Canadian olympic team in Sydney. All of the clothing had the words "Canada" and "ROOTS" next to each other. "Roots" in canada means "encourages," or "cheers for," so the double-entendre was nice. Apparently no one informed them that the word "Roots" in australia is slang for "screws," or "has sex with." Imagine for a moment a foreign contingent walking into your country wearing hats that read "Namibia Fucks." How entertaining would that be? :)

    So what I'm arguing is that the intent of the messenger, and the meaning of the phrase, and the size of the majority or minority is all totally irrelevant. You can not reliably judge things on intent, so you must judge them on effect, while accepting that their effect may not have been intended. What it comes down to is "Were people offended by the shirt?" If they answer is yes, then the kid should be asked to not wear it. Take for instance the possibility that the kid's name is Jack Smith, and someone comes to school wearing a "Jack Smith is a homophobic asshole" sweater. If Jack found that offensive, would we allow it anyway? I wouldn't. When people are forced to be in a particular place, there is a responsibility to make everyone comfortable. Having everyone walking around wearing slogans that insult other people is not the way to do that. Regardless of what it was they were trying to say.

    Into Canadian Politics?

    Ambiguous message (none / 0) (#183)
    by Tatarigami on Sat Apr 07, 2001 at 10:27:26 PM EST

    It seems to me that "straight pride" is a fairly ambiguous message, open to interpretation. The words are pretty harmless in and of themselves, people are getting offended by their own interpretion of the message rather than anything intrinsic.

    I may be missing some of the context here, but I don't see a good reason to stop him wearing the shirt -- we shouldn't be responsible for how other people interpret our message if it's not clear. I wouldn't be happy to be in a position where I have to defend my right to say the words that someone else has put in my mouth...


    why can't i be proud? (3.00 / 1) (#186)
    by enterfornone on Mon Apr 09, 2001 at 12:41:22 AM EST

    I completely missed this story, in case anyone is reading here's what i wrote elsewhere...

    Obviously the shirt is a parody of the gay pride movement, however since no one has accused the gay pride movement of being anti-hetrosexual, why should straight pride be considered anti-homosexual.

    Blacks are allowed to be proud of their race. Women are allowed to be proud of their gender. Why is it not appropriate for men or whites or straights to be proud of who they are?


    --
    efn 26/m/syd
    Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
    Being proud != flaunting in their face (3.50 / 2) (#187)
    by AmberEyes on Mon Apr 09, 2001 at 01:39:30 AM EST

    I suspect this is a troll, but oh well. :) I originally stuck this on your story, but you asked to continue discussion here. So I'm going to only discuss your issues. :)

    Blacks are allowed to be proud of their race. Women are allowed to be proud of their gender. Why is it not appropriate for men or whites or straights to be proud of who they are?
    I don't think anyone is saying that whites, straights, and men cannot be proud of who they are. The line is crossed though, when they throw this in the face of people who were previously supressed - to play your example, the blacks, homosexuals, and women.

    From what I read of the article, the student was not punished for simply being straight. No one was telling him he shouldn't be proud of it. The second he made it an "issue" - wearing the shirt - all hell broke loose. And it probably should have.

    Women, gays, and blacks have all been oppressed. Women were denied voting rights, paid less than men (and to this day, this often happens), and were treated as subserviant to men (again, this occurs even in modern day). Gays were beaten, killed, ridiculed, and actively discriminated against, and still are to this day. Only since emancipation have blacks even had a chance to repair their culture and lives, and still struggle to this day to try to fit in.

    On the other hand, we "white, straight, men" seem to have had it pretty easy. We got to beat slaves, hassle women, and spit on gays. And maybe that's why it's such a problem for someone to wear a shirt that says "Straight Pride". Gay people are still being oppressed. They're still discriminated against, they're still spit on by some. To them, their message means that they will overcome, they are proud of who they are, and they demand to be treated as equals.

    Considering that the white, straight male pretty much sits at the top of the cultural food chain, why do they need to wear stuff like "Straight Pride" or "White Pride" or "Male Pride" anyway?

    Simple. To piss off people. I don't think I'm alone when I say that I cannot honestly see that kid thinking "damn, I think I'm being oppressed by the urprising surges of homosexuality in my school. I better do something. Where's that straight pride shirt? By God as my witness, I'm never going to be opressed again!" I'm willing to be he thought it would be funny, might make him look 'bad-ass' and get some comments. Maybe he hates gays. Maybe it's his way of trying to piss them off. I dunno about you, but my money is on the side of 'asshole-kid' on this one. I'm 18. I know all about asshole kids.

    White, straight males don't need to prove to the world that they are superior. They've done that ever since the world began - slavery, women's suffering, rampant homophobia...the list goes on and on. This is just a typical example.

    It always amazes me when, for some reason or another, people rock the boat, then act surprised when common sense rocks the boat back and knocks them on their ass.

    Oh yeah. And I'm white, male, and straight. But you'll never see me wearing something like that kid did. I guess I'm content enough with being who I am, and don't feel the need to act like a badass to get a rise out of someone who's been beaten down enough as is.

    We should respect those who aren't white, straight, and male. They've been tested a lot more than we ever were.

    -AmberEyes


    "But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
    [ Parent ]
    Because (5.00 / 2) (#188)
    by enterfornone on Mon Apr 09, 2001 at 01:51:47 AM EST

    Considering that the white, straight male pretty much sits at the top of the cultural food chain, why do they need to wear stuff like "Straight Pride" or "White Pride" or "Male Pride" anyway?
    Because despite being "the top of the cultural food chain", they are the only ones who can't wear that stuff. "They discriminate against us, so we should be able to discriminate against them" isn't really a good reason IMO. Equality means that everyone should be treated equally, however for many it seems the fight for equality is more a fight for revenge.

    --
    efn 26/m/syd
    Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
    [ Parent ]
    Boat Rocking (none / 0) (#189)
    by AmberEyes on Mon Apr 09, 2001 at 02:06:55 AM EST

    Earlier I said:

    It always amazes me when, for some reason or another, people rock the boat, then act surprised when common sense rocks the boat back and knocks them on their ass.
    My point though, is that if you look at it strictly from a viewpoint of law, of course the kid has a right to wear a "Straight Pride" shirt - no where did I ever say that he should be locked up or shot, and I hope I wasn't implying that. If he wants to abuse free speech laws to spread insulting messages around, then by all means, let him do it. I just hope he's ready for a hard rock back.

    This is one of those cases where common sense should click in. I base this mainly because of two things:

    1.) School is a place for learning. It is not a sociological forum or debate meeting. When someone can explain how a message that offends someone is actually supplimenting the learning environment of the person that is showing that message, I will retract my statement. Until then, however, he has no business wearing this shirt (and neither would the gay kid who might wear a "Gay Pride" shirt). Nothing is stopping the kid from wearing the shirt at home, unless of course, his entire intent was to 'piss off the gay kids'.

    2.) If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it. This is one of the common sense parts. Free speech can be horribly abused in America, especially by people who use it to spew out stuff to get a rise out of people. While there is nothing the law says is bad about saying something to piss someone off, it's still just a smart idea to shut up if you have half a brain and know it's going to annoy someone. What if I said "I think enterfornone doesn't know shit about what he's talking about, and exists only to piss people off." Well, maybe you do, maybe you don't. The point though is that this doesn't add anything relevant to any situation. It's obviously said and intended to piss someone off. As I said before, you can't tell me that a 16 year old isn't going to know that wearing a shirt that says "Straight Pride" won't ruffle a few feathers.

    Anyway though. My troll sensors are going off the wall. Thanks for the discussion. :) I see your points well enough, but I would hope you could agree that some degree of common sense and holding of one's tongue is necessary to get along with everyone in this world.

    -AmberEyes


    "But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
    [ Parent ]
    Where do you draw the line ? (5.00 / 1) (#200)
    by root2 on Tue Apr 10, 2001 at 11:45:04 PM EST

    First point : I guess we don't agree about what school is for. You feel it's a place to learn, I feel that school should encompass personal development aside from the gaining pure intellectual knowledge.

    Second point : If everything which (a) offends people, and (b) has no educational value (by your definitions) must be excluded at school, at what point do we draw the line ? If gays are offended by "straight pride", you say we should ban it. Fine. If straights are offended by "gay pride", you also say we should ban it. Kudos for consistency.

    What about a wrestling T-shirt ? That promotes a testosterone-laden lifestyle. Physically challenged persons (read: non-jocks, not disabled) could be offended. Ban it ?

    What then ? Listening to hard rock music on your walkman ? Offends certain persons, arguably has no educational value .. ban it. Country music .. certain books .. the list goes on.

    If your linchpin is "what offends people", then you're going to have to ban everything, since you can always find someone who doesn't like anything.

    I propose that the linchpin be "what is considered legally acceptable in society". Note - legally acceptable. Thus, if it's legal to be gay, then it's fine to advocate being gay. If it's legal to be straight, so too should it be legal. Advocating killing is NOT ok, since it's illegal to kill.

    In any environment where people are forced into close proximity, two rights are going to collide : my right to say what I want and your right to hear/see only what you want. Where's the proper balance ? Certainly not skewed all the way to one end ... either end.
    If I had a .sig, it would go here.
    [ Parent ]
    Remenescing (5.00 / 2) (#199)
    by JonesBoy on Tue Apr 10, 2001 at 10:24:38 AM EST

    >On the other hand, we "white, straight, men" seem to have had it pretty easy. We got to beat slaves, hassle women, and spit on gays.

    Ahh, yes, I remember the good 'ol days in 1980. I would go to school, whip some slaves, say slanderous things to a lady, and remove my excess digestive fluids on some homosexual... and now, I just have to go find something else to do. Does this sound right to you? Are you telling me all whites had slaves? And no other race? Who built the pyramids? Slaves. Who owned them? I guess it was a band of evil white people that ran down to the heart of Africa to rule a nation and build really big things. I guess theres evil white people running the slave labor jails in china, and more evil white controlling the slaves down in the islands of Central America. Stop blaming the white male for all evil in the world. People do evil stuff to people with disimilar beliefs, aditudes, or appearance. Try being white in harlem at 3am. Evil goes both ways.

    Anyway, by what you are saying, aren't the homosexual/female/non-white people opressing the straight white male today? Whats wrong with me being happy about WHAT I am as well as who I am? I guess I should hang my head in shame for not being a minority. I will turn in my Straight Pride shirt for one that says "Down with Whitey" or "Straight and Ashamed"

    <flamebait> After all, no straight white male ever did anything good in this world, espically compared the the droves of lesbian black women who band together curing the sick, helping the poor, and freeing the enslaved. </flamebait>
    Speeding never killed anyone. Stopping did.
    [ Parent ]
    Are we all that brainwashed? (5.00 / 2) (#196)
    by jester69 on Mon Apr 09, 2001 at 06:40:26 PM EST

    I really was expecting more from K5, but I guess if you get together a large enough group of people, you are bound to find the lowest common denominator.

    "straight pride" Vs. "Gay pride"

    The legalities of this are so obvious it is mind boggling. In this case the statement on the shirt stands on its own. In this light, It is the same statement. If one is protected the other is. If one isnt the other isnt. I dont care if the guy is a mouthpiece for the "lets kill all gays" foundation, that doesnt matter. What is at issue here is the shirt, and only the shirt. Not who has more people, and the group with less people gets more rights. That is so absurd from a legal standpoint as to be laughable. Think about having two books, but based on who wrote it one is banned an the other isn't, even though the content is, in the eyes of the law, identical.

    Pretty much anyone that argued that the shirt should have been banned went down a notch in my eyes. Law is logical, banning that shirt is illogical. (I am sure most of you could care less what this J. Random Individual thinks of you, but I say it anyway.)

    Lest you start calling me names, some of my best friends throughout the years have been gay. I dont care what your sexual proclivities are, i love you as a person.

    But people, you need to learn some logic or you are part of the problem, not the solution. Getting all illogical over something and supporting a bad interpretation of law will just bite you in the ass when the other side comes back at you with a unfavorable use of the illogical crap you just convinced everyone to swallow.

    Take care,

    The Jester, 69

    Its a lemming thing, Jeep owners would understand.
    Differences (5.00 / 2) (#198)
    by brainwane on Tue Apr 10, 2001 at 08:34:17 AM EST

    Some important differences to keep in mind.

    Note that:

    • Gay != homosexual activities. Just because I know a person is straight, that doesn't mean that whenever I see that person, images of her sex acts flow through my mind. Same for non-heterosexuals. When a man tells me "I'm gay," he is not telling me, "I have sex with men," just as a woman who says "I'm straight" isn't necessarily saying "I have sex with men." What the gay man has told me is, "I'm attracted to men," just as the straight woman has told me "I'm attracted to men."

      Of course, I've been lucky in that I get to interact with a diverse group of people here at Cal. That sort of experience makes these differences more clear.

    • Motives != effects. If I were really dumb, and I bought a garment at a thrift store and wore it to school (a public school, that is), and didn't realize that the slogan on the shirt was patently offensive to most modern American sensibilities (e.g., "Hitler was right," "Eric and Dylan had the right idea," etc.) -- humor me, please -- then did I do anything *wrong*? And even if some rather extremist group decides to defend me, does that make *me* necessarily agree with *them*?

      And what standard should apply? If I cause a commotion, and disrupt work, then yeah, make me turn my shirt inside out or wear my gym shirt or send me home. But "commotion" shouldn't mean "people are talking about it." "Commotion" should mean "people are getting into fights over it." Aside from the class-disruption standard, I'm not sure how far community standards should be allowed to take hold. In the Castro district of San Francisco, maybe "Straight Pride" is as offensive as "Gay Pride" would be in Lodi, Calif. But that doesn't make either slogan unspeakable. Or unwearable.

    • Pride != Exclusivity. I, personally, dislike the term "pride," since it has that connotation of exclusivity. There's an unpleasant zero-sum undertone: I raise myself up and thus lower all others. Still, a healthy level of self-esteem and such, it seems to me, poses no danger to The Other.

      Additionally, it might do us well to remember that the Irish survived horrible discrimination less than a hundred years ago in the US, and now St. Patrick's Day and "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" barely raise an eyebrow. A hundred years from now, in Minnesota, perhaps "Gay Pride" and "Straight Pride" will be amusing relics, much as slogans from the Know-Nothing League are today.

      If I, a nonwhite person, pointed out that "Irish Pride" or "Italian Pride" are basically subsets of "White Pride," then would I have a valid complaint? And, since I go to UC Berkeley, where no ethnic group contains the majority of the studentry, would the 'offender's' best defense be, "I'm a minority"?

    • Majority != unprotected. "First they came for the Jews."

      "Any man's death lessens me, because I am a part of mankind."

      Yes, in most schools and in most places across the US, non-heterosexuals face much greater discrimination, in the course of trying to lead everyday lives, than do heterosexuals. But that doesn't mean that non-heterosexuals have, or should have, special rights regarding freedom of speech. We should work towards a non-discriminatory society, yes. But even while discrimination still occurs, it is NOT a valid strategy (although the intention of leveling the playing field might be good) to create a double standard to limit the free speech of a member of the majority.

      In fact, that very sort of special-rights argument -- sort of affirmative action for non-heterosexuals in the arena of free speech -- is the most "radical homosexual agenda" I've ever heard proposed, if implicitly, by a seeming non-lunatic.


    Your chicken, your egg, your problem.
    "Straight Pride" shirt banned from school | 203 comments (202 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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