Last week the Supreme Courts handed down a decision that likely will
have an impact on freedom of speech for students (and teachers).
The so-called "Bong hits for Jesus" (Plenty on Google about this)
gives principals the right to restrict and punish students whose
expression might encourage drug use.
Now that sounds pretty specific, but the ruling opens the door to
restrict student expression in other areas.
Pennsylvania ACLU legal director, Vik Walczak, suggests this is the
thin end of the wedge to keeping a lid on student expression that
can be described as disruptive to a school's education mission.
As free expression in art education is the subject and substance of
my doctoral research and writing, I would appreciate hearing from
members of the listserv who have experience with freedom of
expression, censorship, self censorship and other pertinent topics
to this issue. What do you think of the Supreme Court ruling?
A lot of Getty list members participated in my surveys, especially
one if 20 questions length from 2001. Results of that survey showed
that teachers who participated were concerned about free expression,
worried about how far the students and they could go with topics of
a controversial or sensitive nature. That was before 911, the war
on terror, the patriot act, NCLB, all of which limit what it is ok
It would be great to hear from you.
Jane Beckwith in Brooklyn.