Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

23 April 2010

Plano, Texas Suppresses Student Speech

The Plano, Texas school district has banished all religious expression from its schools.  Religious expression is surely a form of freedom of conscience, which is the sovereign right of every individual.  It is hardly surprising that government-run schools, which are mostly controlled by the forces of big government, are now prohibiting virtually all non-verbal student speech in any school-related activities.  This has resulted in a court case, Morgan v. Plano Independent School District, hearing which the Fifth Circuit chose to uphold the school district's speech restrictions based upon the United States v. O'Brien immediate scrutiny test of "time, place, and manner."  Apparently, this test will allow schools to further erode all student speech relating to religious and political content.  The Cato Institute joined three organizations that support religious liberty to file a brief asking the Supreme Court to re-examine the Fifth Circuit's approach in favor of the alternative Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District test that free speech cannot be suppressed unless that speech "materially and substantially disrupts" the educational process.

The statist authorities want to train students from an early age to give up their inconvenient freedom of speech and their freedom of conscience.  It is very important to stop this.  Of course, the best way to stop this is to end the reign of government-run schools and to promote private educations.  As we discussed recently, private schools have the added benefits of generally providing a better education and they are less expensive compared to the real costs of the public schools.

Disclosure:  I hold a grudge against Plano, Texas.  In the late 1960s, I was given a speeding ticket there for going 45 mph in a 35 mph zone.  I had exited US 75 going north, returning to Tulsa from a visit with a Brown University friend who lived in Dallas, and was driving through farmland.  I was concerned about what the speed limit was and could find no speed limit signs.  Soon, a police car pops out and pulls me over for a speeding ticket.  He hauled me into town where I had to wait for a judge to finish his checker game.  I had to pay a fine on the spot.  On returning to US 75, I searched again for a speed sign and found none.  Plano, Texas was then a small town, which it is no more, and was raking in income from unsuspecting interstate drivers.  It was their racket.  So, I have an additional minor reason for wanting to see the Supreme Court clean Plano, Texas's clock.  The need for freedom of conscience and freedom of speech are much more important, of course, but I will still have an added bonus in this if the Supreme Court makes the right decision.

2 comments:

Disinter said...

I-35 does not run through Plano.

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

Thanks, you are certainly right. I had forgotten that it was US 75, which joins up with US 69 that I used to take back to Tulsa.

I will fix that.