Newspaper Archive of
The Borah Senator
Boise, Idaho
February 3, 2003     The Borah Senator
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February 3, 2003

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opinion borah senator / february 3, 2003 Freedom of speech should be restricted in school iJi!::= i; Aubree Golran li a&e editor There is no doubt that Arherican citizens value their rights. High school students are no differ- ent in the sense that they want to be able to ex- press their opinion, which is completely under- standable. However, at some point, the right to voice an opinion can become blatantly offensive and harmful, especially in a setting where easily influenced students are subjected to them Even worse, when distributed in a manner other than verbally, censorship can become nearly impos- sible. It can be difficult to delineate appropriate mate- rial from non-appropriate material. Students, as well as the staff, are left with the responsibility to either grant students the right to express them- selves or deny them their rights. While some of these expressions may be harmless, others can cause disruptions and conflict. As an advocate of a safe school environment, I fully support the idea of teachers and adminis- trators in high schools being able to disallow their students' freedom of speech if it can potentially cause a problem. Until the age of sixteen, youth in our area are required to attend school. Hypo- thetically, if I was fifteen years old and someone in my learning environment was to offend me to the point where I was threatened, I would not be able to leave. Granted, not every student would be fearful of attending school because of some- one else, but I can guarantee that some students would, and it's not fair to punish them. Even stu- dents who are over sixteen and are not required to attend school may be offended by constant ex- pressions of opinions by others. What are we pro- moting if we ask them to leave instead of taking the perpetrator out of the school? That students should be forced to drop out because of someone else's stupidity? Of course not. I'm sure the beautiful absurdity of that is apparent to most of you, yet some students still choose to whir/e about violations of their rights. This is where teachers and administrators should be able to step in and use their best discretion to stop these actions if they find them inappropri- ate. If protecting the rights of the student body means violating those of a single student, so be it. Regardless of what we'd like to believe, they are adults an.d have more life experience than we do and generally know what is best for their stu- dents. It's childish to think otherwise. Do you think that high school kids take relationships too seriously? "Yes, they do. Girls cry too much and create much more drama than is needed." Jon Mundy, N sopho- more Lisa Papile news editor The world today is filled with two distinctly differ- ent types of people. There are those who stand up and fight for their beliefs and make a conscious effort to reform the injustice they see in society. Then there are those who sit back and watch as humanity de- clines, afraid to speak up, for fear they will loose fa- vor or step on someone's toes. The greatest men and women over the course of his- tory belong to the first group. They took a stand against the things they disliked about the world and tried to fix them. Where would we be today had those people never existed? We honor past figures, such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, because they were not willing to settle. Our society today however, seems to be plagued with apathy, which is why individuals that serve as a force for positive change are unique and vital for our nation to grow and prosper. This topic may seem vague and unimportant to some, but it actually surrounds one of the most conterversial issues presently at Borah. During this school year a large part of our student body has become discontent with the way many teachers and administrators handle things. There is a ceriain level of frustration that is whispered about among the classes, but never pub- licly or outwardly voiced to those involved. Over the past few weeks however, one individual finally took a stand. Two different volumes of the "School vs. You" letters were circulated, addressing the flaws the author sees at Borah. These letters were never meant to offend and were by no means a threat of any type. They simply envoked the individual's rights for freedom of speech, with the hopes of im- proving school conditions. Instead of recognizing and channeling this individual's obvious passion and talent, the adminis- tration chose to expell the author. This, ironically, proves the point that the letters were trying to get across in the first place. It truly seems wrong to take away anyone's opportunities to receive an education, especially in a case where wires are crossed and cer- tain statements are mistakenly perceived.. Woodrow Wilson once said, "If you want to make enemies, simply try to change something." There is no doubt that the "School You" letter's poignant message has caused a great deal of unrest. But hope- fully the letters have helped open the door to better faculty- student relationships, which at this time is badly needed. If this positive outcome occurs, I hope the administration remembers who is truly respon- sible for it. "Yes, because it's only high school. I'm disgusted when I see satanic brainless children clogging the halls like mo- ronic sheep." Casi White, senior "Relationships are important no matter how old you are; , they balance everything else out, like school, work, etc." Laurie McCurdy, AP US History teacher "Yes. It's always too emotional. During high school people should date around, have fun." Zach Hessing, junior Editor in Chief Kelli Russell Opinion Editor Carrie Ridenour Arts Editor Aubree Golrangi Sports Editor James Baker Features Editor Elissa Day News Editor Lisa Papile Photo Editor Alex Pritchard Photographers Danielle Hutchinson Natalie Shaw Jackson Smith Ad Anna Wimer Manager/Copy Editor Ewa Szewczyk Reporters Amy Goode Samantha Ridenour Daesha Forrey Joel Hurlburt Breahna Kofoed Candice Cook Daniel Juul Nicole Marshall Paige McClintick Adviser Chuck McHenry E-mail: borah_senator@, Borah Senator is published monthly by Boise, ID 83709.The Senator reserves s or in poor taste. Opinions ex- opinion of the 13 ]