1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Speech is Free - Unless it's Critical!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by CurtSibling, May 20, 2004.

  1. CurtSibling

    CurtSibling ENEMY ACE™ SLeague Staff

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2001
    Messages:
    28,771
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Innsmouth
    A great little tale of free speech being crushed by humourless bureaucrats!
    A young person being told to shut up, while her 'treasonous' writings are destroyed.

    Such a tale could only come from some autocratic state like North Korea, surely?

    Wrong!
    Welcome to Rio Rancho High, New Mexico, USA!

    A place where even a bored idealist's poem is seen as a threat to the high and great...

    Read on!


    Source:
    NewsJournal Online

    Hard lessons from poetry class: By BILL HILL

    Bill Nevins, a New Mexico high school teacher and personal friend, was fired last year and classes in poetry and the poetry club at Rio Rancho High School were permanently terminated. It had nothing to do with obscenity, but it had everything to do with extremist politics.

    The "Slam Team" was a group of teenage poets who asked Nevins to serve as faculty adviser to their club. The teens, mostly shy youngsters, were taught to read their poetry aloud and before audiences. Rio Rancho High School gave the Slam Team access to the school's closed-circuit television once a week and the poets thrived.

    In March 2003, a teenage girl named Courtney presented one of her poems before an audience at Barnes & Noble bookstore in Albuquerque, then read the poem live on the school's closed-circuit television channel.

    A school military liaison and the high school principal accused the girl of being "un-American" because she criticized the war in Iraq and the Bush administration's failure to give substance to its "No child left behind" education policy.

    The girl's mother, also a teacher, was ordered by the principal to destroy the child's poetry. The mother refused and may lose her job.

    Bill Nevins was suspended for not censoring the poetry of his students. Remember, there is no obscenity to be found in any of the poetry. He was later fired by the principal.

    After firing Nevins and terminating the teaching and reading of poetry in the school, the principal and the military liaison read a poem of their own as they raised the flag outside the school. When the principal had the flag at full staff, he applauded the action he'd taken in concert with the military liaison.

    Then to all students and faculty who did not share his political opinions, the principal shouted: "Shut your faces." What a wonderful lesson he gave those 3,000 students at the largest public high school in New Mexico. In his mind, only certain opinions are to be allowed.

    But more was to come. Posters done by art students were ordered torn down, even though none was termed obscene. Some were satirical, implicating a national policy that had led us into war. Art teachers who refused to rip down the posters on display in their classrooms were not given contracts to return to the school in this current school year.

    The message is plain. Critical thinking, questioning of public policies and freedom of speech are not to be allowed to anyone who does not share the thinking of the school principal.

    The teachers union has been joined in a legal action against the school by the National Writers Union, headquartered in New York City. NWU's at-large representative Samantha Clark lives and works in Albuquerque.

    The American Civil Liberties Union has become the legal arm of the lawsuit pending in federal court.

    Meanwhile, Nevins applied for a teaching post in another school and was offered the job but he can't go to work until Rio Rancho's principal sends the new school Nevins' credentials. The principal has refused to do so, and that adds yet another issue to the lawsuit, which is awaiting a trial date.

    While students are denied poetry readings, poetry clubs and classes in poetry, Nevins works elsewhere and writes his own poetry.

    Writers and editors who have spent years translating essays, films, poems, scientific articles and books by Iranian, North Korean and Sudanese authors have been warned not to do so by the U.S. Treasury Department under penalty of fine and imprisonment. Publishers and film producers are not allowed to edit works authored by writers in those nations. The Bush administration contends doing so has the effect of trading with the enemy, despite a 1988 law that exempts published materials from sanction under trade rules.

    Robert Bovenschulte, president of the American Chemical Society, is challenging the rule interpretation by violating it to edit into English several scientific papers from Iran.



    In the 'land of the free'? is this kind of thing really acceptable?

    Opinions?
    Tell us what you think?
    Feel free to go completely loonie left or rigid right!
    (with civility of course)
     
  2. eyrei

    eyrei Deity Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Messages:
    9,162
    Location:
    Cary, NC USA
    What an idiot. How he came to be a school principal is beyond me. I imagine that by the end of this, he will no longer be a principal though.
     
  3. CurtSibling

    CurtSibling ENEMY ACE™ SLeague Staff

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2001
    Messages:
    28,771
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Innsmouth
    I hope so.

    I also hope Mr Bush is not steering the nation into being similar to the intolerant monster of theocracy we seek to defeat...
     
  4. eyrei

    eyrei Deity Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Messages:
    9,162
    Location:
    Cary, NC USA
    I doubt Bush was directly involved in this. There are always those who jump at any oppurtunity to tell others what to think, and this guy obviously thought this was his chance. I don't think the federal government is going to have any mercy on him...
     
  5. SuperBeaverInc.

    SuperBeaverInc. Groucho

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Messages:
    14,923
    Location:
    British Columbia
    Last time I checked, America was a democracy. I must have been sleeping when it became a dictatorship where school children are censored.
     
  6. CurtSibling

    CurtSibling ENEMY ACE™ SLeague Staff

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2001
    Messages:
    28,771
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Innsmouth
    I guess I was being a trifle unfair in my indicting of old George.
    I reckon it is more the self-appointed apparatchiks in low office who are the worst McCarthyists.
     
  7. Moss

    Moss CFC Scribe Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    May 1, 2002
    Messages:
    6,584
    Location:
    Minnesota
    This is idiocy...I'm glad my teachers/principal weren't that strict or else I'd be in jail by now.

    If you cannot allow a child to express his or her views through writing you are hampering that child's development and hampering that child's concept of free speech.
     
  8. Johann MacLeod

    Johann MacLeod Duc de Lorraine

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2002
    Messages:
    1,520
    Location:
    University of Louisville
    im still trying to find words to express my outrage
     
  9. Chaos_BF1942

    Chaos_BF1942 Prince

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Messages:
    488
    It is an outrage, but there is also some stories, that I heard of, about Pro-Bush, Pro-Iraq War stuff that got censored. (this is just saying it happened on both sides)
     
  10. KaNick

    KaNick Deity

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2002
    Messages:
    2,704
    Location:
    Kapolei, HI
    I think that any High School Administrator should be put in jail by default anyway.
     
  11. Enkidu Warrior

    Enkidu Warrior Ultramagnetic

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2003
    Messages:
    3,415
    Location:
    Takoyaki Province, Sushistan
    The prinicipal and those that have allowed this situation to develop are traitors. Hopefully the legislative branch of the American establishment will show themselves to be above the "patriotism" rubbish that has been poisoning public discourse since 9/11. The government don't appear to be directly responsible for this outrage, but they have made use of this "patriotism" rubbish to stifle public debate in the past - refering to political opponents, teaching unions, and pro-choice protestors as terrorists. This may have encouraged a culture of censoring dissent, not to mention a culture of being big stupid idiots.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Deep_Thought76

    Deep_Thought76 .

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2003
    Messages:
    290
    Location:
    Ohio
    There was an article in the local paper here a few days ago, concerning another case similar to this. It involved a high school student who had his own website, and posted his opinions of some of the teachers and staff. The article indicated that he wasn’t writing a rant, and it wasn’t crude or offensive, not to mention the fact that it was done off school property with private equipment. Still, the administration took issue and had him expelled.

    Now, I’d just like to know what it is that happens to someone’s character when they get in a position of some authority. Everyone from ‘cubicle gestapo’ office managers, to tyrannical school principals, to control-freak politicians seem to have a common thread. They have a vision of how the world ought to be and are intent on using their power to force everyone around them to conform to it. That’s the reason you hear about another one of these cases every month, where some kid has been denied his rights and unfairly punished. Of course, their parents are always outraged, and the ACLU seems to have a booming business defending them. I’m really curious whether these mini-despots are attracted to such positions, or whether ‘normal’ people are overcome with the temptation to act on their pet peeves, trampling over the rights of others in their quest to eliminate something (smoking, ideas they disagree with, un-PC speech that might offend someone, etc.).
    Maybe we should call it Cartman Syndrome.. (“Oh, man. Nothing’s worse than Cartman with authoritah!”)
     
  13. cgannon64

    cgannon64 BOB DYLAN'S ROCKIN OUT!

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2002
    Messages:
    19,213
    Location:
    Hipster-Authorland, Brooklyn (Hell)
    Sickening, etc.

    But someone who writes poetry about a SPECIFIC GOVERNMENT PROGRAM doesn't deserve the gosh-darned stage.
     
  14. WillJ

    WillJ Coolness Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Messages:
    9,471
    Location:
    USA
    Curt, could you provide us with a link to that article?

    Not that I don't trust you, but I couldn't find it when searching for it on Google. In fact, it seems as if your source (NewsJournal Online) doesn't exist.
     
  15. Giotto

    Giotto Eagle

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    586
    Location:
    Medina, WA
    Well, now that the national spotlight has been cast upon this situation you can bet that apologies will be made to the poets/artists and the principle will be the one who is fired.

    Hopefully things like this are relatively isolated incidents.
     
  16. Free Enterprise

    Free Enterprise The return stroke.

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2002
    Messages:
    1,608
    Location:
    S.C., 1 of the 50, U.S.A.
    Free speech must exist even if you don't agree with it.

    Hmm, quite odd that is. There really is not a reason to disallow published material from those states. If it is legal to do so it is doubtful much could really happen to you if you tried it (just need a lawyer) and the threats should not amount to much.
     
  17. Archer 007

    Archer 007 Rebirth

    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Messages:
    10,687
    Location:
    The Empire State of the South
    Enkidu. I seen that poster used with other things.

    Im outraged about this, and think the principal should be put on a boat, and then the post should be sunk.
     
  18. amadeus

    amadeus めっちゃしんどい

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2001
    Messages:
    32,508
    Location:
    Osaka (大阪)
    This scandal obviously goes all the way to the top! BUSHITLER RESIGN NOW!
     
  19. Johann MacLeod

    Johann MacLeod Duc de Lorraine

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2002
    Messages:
    1,520
    Location:
    University of Louisville
    as much as do dislike bush, i must admit tieing him in with this is somewhat outlandish
     
  20. Archer 007

    Archer 007 Rebirth

    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Messages:
    10,687
    Location:
    The Empire State of the South
    Yes, that I agree with.
     

Share This Page