One of the most misunderstood amendments the Constitution has, is under attack. It isn’t from the government passing the PATRIOT Act, it isn’t from a radical militia roaming the streets, the first amendment is under attack by ignorance.
Connie Heermann, a teacher in Indiana , was suspended for 18 months with no pay, for allowing her students to read a book about overcoming adversity. The school board found the book inappropriate because there were swear words in the book. Connie said on an interview with CNN: “This is how they speak, this is what they relate to.” Connie was reprimanded for giving her students a book to read, even after she had given out permission forms the student’s had to have their parents signed.
In 2006, the Supreme Court took up a case involving a high school student who was suspended over a “Bong Hits For Jesus” banner. The Court ruled in favor of the School, citing that “It was reasonable for (the principal) to conclude that the banner promoted illegal drug use– and that failing to act would send a powerful message to the students in her charge,”
In 2005, Protestors demonstrated outside of a soldier’s funeral. The soldier died in Iraq, and the Protestors carried signs saying “God Hates Fags“, “Pope In Hell” and, “God Hates the United States” Extra police were called in to protect the rights of the protestors.
Where have we gone as a nation? The first amendment was to protect people from persectution for speaking their mind. When was it considered acceptable to carry “God Hates Fags” signs at a hero’s funeral, but the moment we curse in the classroom, or talk about Jesus, we must immediately retract our statements. I don’t know about anyone else, but if a man wants to burn an American flag on his front lawn, I let him. Sure, I may flip him off, or curse at him as I walk by, but that is his RIGHT to express himself, and that is my RIGHT to express myself. While disrepectful, his demonstration is not disturbing the peace. It is not blocking traffic. We need to grasp the fact that no one has the same the views on everything. Democrats, Republicans, gay, straight, teachers, students, supreme court, guy burning a flag on his lawn, we all live under one roof; America. It is time that we start respecting the fact that people are allowed to speak their opinion as long as it does not put anyone else in danger. We need to learn to respect that I may say Jesus and you may say Mohammed We need to learn to respect that I may be straight and you may be gay. We need to learn how to respect one another enough to see that although what someone else is saying may be offensive, it is our right to say it, and it is our right to defend it.