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What Are They Smoking?


For an irreverent take on the U.S. Supreme Court argument on a case involving student freedom of speech, read Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank’s take on the proceedings. The case centers around a student’s banner which read “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” and from Mr. Milbank’s perspective the justices seemed to be having too good of a time. Read Education Week here for an overview of the case.


There are other issues here that I find interesting. How about offensive speech. How many minority groups would sit quietly by when THEY were added to the Bongs 4 ..... statement. Fill in the blank with the minority of your choice, and there would be HOWLS of protest. Put in the name of Jesus, and not a peep from the press or anyone else.

I actually favor free speech --- and for speech to be free, it will often be offensive --- to someone. In fact, I would propose a suspension of the use of the word "offensive" --- except perhaps for odors.

But this speech clearly offends millions of people who do not see it as I do.

Let the protests HOWL!

As a school administrator I find this reaction by the justices terrifying. While they are making inane comments, I am here trying to maintain order in a high school where students need very little encouragement to make poor decisions. I didn't have to ask someone what "bong" means. I encounter that and more on a regular basis. If I cannot control language that encourages illegal behavior on the part of my students, I have been rendered powerless and will lose control of the school.

When will common sense prevail once again in this country? These are CHILDREN who clearly need adults to set limits! This is not protected political or religious speech, this is unacceptable nonsense.

If the student's attorney and the justices think this banner is appropriate free speech, let's ask them to hang it on the front of the Supreme Court so everyone can see it. After all, it sounds as though they find it amusing.

Oh, yes, and by the way, let's not forget that schools need to make AYP while all this is going on. I am sure that the principal involved had to spend hours of her time on this absolutely ridiculous case. What was she not able to do for the other students in her school because this student and his family don't want to accept common sense rules? My sympathy goes out to her.

To the justices: Do you think that maybe one reason so many high schools are dangerous places could be that the students in them feel empowered to do whatever they want with no consequences? Do you think that maybe students seeing banners like this might be encouraged to try drugs and possibly bring them to school? Do you think that drugs in school could possibly contrubute toward increased violence among students? If you answer "no" to any of these questions you need to come down from the bench and spend some time conducting disciplinary hearings in a modern high school.

Won't someone in America help those of us in the schools out? Please?

The framers of the Constitution must be rolling over in their graves.

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  • Lori Holloway: As a school administrator I find this reaction by the read more
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