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Wed May 19, 2021, 05:25 PM

Student's arrest for racist post sparks free speech debate

Source: ABC News

The arrest of a Connecticut high school student accused of posting racist comments about a Black classmate on social media is being supported by civil rights advocates, but free speech groups are calling it an unusual move by police that raises First Amendment issues.

A 16-year-old student in a classroom at Fairfield Warde High School allegedly took a photo of a Black classmate and posted it on Snapchat on May 7 with a caption that included a racial slur and racist comments. The teen who made the post is white, according to the Black student's mother.

Police in Fairfield, Connecticut, arrested the student on a state hate crime charge of ridicule on account of creed, religion, color, denomination, nationality or race. The misdemeanor dating back to 1917 has been called an unconstitutional infringement on free speech rights by the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut and some law school professors.

(snip)

“Having racist ideas or sharing racist ideas is something that we actually protect,” said Emerson Sykes, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU's national chapter. “Even if that viewpoint is offensive, even if it's deplorable, we don't want the government making the call about what's OK to say and think and what is not. But we have limitations on that right.”

Read more: https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/students-arrest-racist-post-sparks-free-speech-debate-77776153?cid=clicksource_4380645_13_hero_headlines_headlines_hed

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Reply Student's arrest for racist post sparks free speech debate (Original post)
groundloop May 2021 OP
guillaumeb May 2021 #1
reACTIONary May 2021 #15
SCantiGOP May 2021 #23
stopdiggin May 2021 #49
guillaumeb May 2021 #78
cstanleytech May 2021 #28
msongs May 2021 #2
Dan May 2021 #4
OriginalGeek May 2021 #3
OldBaldy1701E May 2021 #68
DBoon May 2021 #5
cstanleytech May 2021 #29
SarcasticSatyr May 2021 #6
reACTIONary May 2021 #16
angrychair May 2021 #35
reACTIONary May 2021 #37
angrychair May 2021 #43
stopdiggin May 2021 #50
angrychair May 2021 #58
stopdiggin May 2021 #60
LiberatedUSA May 2021 #85
angrychair May 2021 #86
LiberatedUSA May 2021 #87
MarineCombatEngineer May 2021 #89
angrychair May 2021 #92
Jedi Guy May 2021 #93
MarineCombatEngineer May 2021 #94
MarineCombatEngineer May 2021 #95
LiberatedUSA May 2021 #96
reACTIONary May 2021 #66
reACTIONary May 2021 #65
reACTIONary May 2021 #39
Calista241 May 2021 #81
angrychair May 2021 #82
Calista241 May 2021 #83
angrychair May 2021 #84
MarineCombatEngineer May 2021 #90
reACTIONary May 2021 #40
LiberatedUSA May 2021 #97
Historic NY May 2021 #7
Jedi Guy May 2021 #9
Historic NY May 2021 #12
cstanleytech May 2021 #30
Jose Garcia May 2021 #31
ZonkerHarris May 2021 #8
Jedi Guy May 2021 #10
Warpy May 2021 #11
roamer65 May 2021 #20
cstanleytech May 2021 #32
rogue emissary May 2021 #13
Ron Obvious May 2021 #17
cstanleytech May 2021 #34
rogue emissary May 2021 #47
NutmegYankee May 2021 #51
cstanleytech May 2021 #63
stopdiggin May 2021 #53
marble falls May 2021 #14
oldsoftie May 2021 #21
marble falls May 2021 #26
oldsoftie May 2021 #27
Jose Garcia May 2021 #33
paleotn May 2021 #18
roamer65 May 2021 #19
oldsoftie May 2021 #22
Renew Deal May 2021 #25
ripcord May 2021 #55
Renew Deal May 2021 #24
NutmegYankee May 2021 #54
angrychair May 2021 #36
twin_ghost May 2021 #38
Ron Obvious May 2021 #41
Dr. Strange May 2021 #42
AZLD4Candidate May 2021 #45
stopdiggin May 2021 #56
AZLD4Candidate May 2021 #62
stopdiggin May 2021 #64
AZLD4Candidate May 2021 #69
stopdiggin May 2021 #72
AZLD4Candidate May 2021 #73
stopdiggin May 2021 #75
AZLD4Candidate May 2021 #76
stopdiggin May 2021 #77
stopdiggin May 2021 #74
AZLD4Candidate May 2021 #79
Dial H For Hero May 2021 #48
stopdiggin May 2021 #57
Renew Deal May 2021 #61
MarineCombatEngineer May 2021 #67
ripcord May 2021 #88
NullTuples May 2021 #44
AZLD4Candidate May 2021 #46
NutmegYankee May 2021 #52
stopdiggin May 2021 #59
Polybius May 2021 #70
Marthe48 May 2021 #71
Dr. Strange May 2021 #80
Blasphemer May 2021 #91

Response to groundloop (Original post)

Wed May 19, 2021, 05:28 PM

1. There are court cases defining free speech protections in a school setting.

And many schools have a code of conduct that might extend to out of school activities.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #1)

Wed May 19, 2021, 08:04 PM

15. The penelty, however, is suspension, not...

... jail time. This law is unconstitutional.

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Response to reACTIONary (Reply #15)

Wed May 19, 2021, 08:34 PM

23. Agree

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Response to reACTIONary (Reply #15)

Wed May 19, 2021, 11:18 PM

49. quite right

Police force (or DA?) guilty of serious over-reach here.
If this happened on school time, the little shit ought to be suspended -- with an apology and a couple of essays tacked on before readmission.

Police come in with threats of harm, etc.

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Response to reACTIONary (Reply #15)

Thu May 20, 2021, 03:02 PM

78. Agreed. eom

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #1)

Wed May 19, 2021, 08:55 PM

28. First, this occurred online.

Even if it had happened though at school itself the most he would have gotten was expelled from school not arrested thus the law is likely to challenged and thrown out.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Wed May 19, 2021, 05:35 PM

2. coming soon, blasphemy laws. seems like there are other ways to handle such rotten behavior nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #2)

Wed May 19, 2021, 05:47 PM

4. In the old days when I was a kid,

We called it an ass whipping. But that is unacceptable now, so the kid resort to shootings which puts a permanent end to such behaviors.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Wed May 19, 2021, 05:47 PM

3. Let the racists show their asses

kick them all out of school. It would make the school a nicer place to be.

But I don't think you can arrest someone for just saying racist shit.

I'd be OK with the community also using their right to free speech to tell the kid and his parents what a fuckwad he is.

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Response to OriginalGeek (Reply #3)

Thu May 20, 2021, 08:13 AM

68. I agree

I love it when idiots and bigots broadcast themselves. Makes avoiding them easier.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Wed May 19, 2021, 06:10 PM

5. arresting a student for speech is wrong

the student should be subject to disciplinary action and should be required to deliver an in-person apology to the target.

High schools should sanction racist behavior like this.

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Response to DBoon (Reply #5)

Wed May 19, 2021, 08:58 PM

29. This case is a bit tricky though as he posted it online so the school has actually no say on what he

said when he said it unless he did it on school grounds and or used school property to say it.
Even then at most expulsion is what he should face and not jail time.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Wed May 19, 2021, 06:17 PM

6. Saying something racist "might" be free speech .... but

when it's directed at a specific person, such as a classmate, wouldn't it become bullying, or a threat?

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Response to SarcasticSatyr (Reply #6)

Wed May 19, 2021, 08:05 PM

16. No. nt

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Response to reACTIONary (Reply #16)

Wed May 19, 2021, 09:14 PM

35. Yes, it is

How is it not? They posted a picture of a person, another dtudent, with racial slurs directed at this other student.
It is straight up bullying and harassment and likely threatening violence.

Its one thing to just say racial slurs and language, as a general statement, but he directed it at a specific individual to illicit a response of fear and intimidation.

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Response to angrychair (Reply #35)

Wed May 19, 2021, 09:47 PM

37. If it could be legally considered a threat, why...

... was he charged under an obscure, archaic law from 1917 that is clearly unconstitutional?

So, if it's a threat, charge him with assult. But I'll bet he would walk.

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Response to reACTIONary (Reply #37)

Wed May 19, 2021, 10:19 PM

43. So to be clear

You thinks it's "ok" or should be legal to post an image of a specific individual you know online with racial slurs directed at that individual?

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Response to angrychair (Reply #43)

Wed May 19, 2021, 11:23 PM

50. not OK -- protected speech

there is such a thing.

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Response to stopdiggin (Reply #50)

Thu May 20, 2021, 12:56 AM

58. I disagree

While I'm with you when its in a generic, non-specific individual context.
When you personally and specifically target a unique individual its a different matter

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Response to angrychair (Reply #58)

Thu May 20, 2021, 01:08 AM

60. disagree if you wish

you're entitled as always to your (individual) opinion. But it doesn't at all effect where the law (and common democratic thought) stand.

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Response to angrychair (Reply #58)

Sat May 22, 2021, 11:31 AM

85. Just to be clear...

...your desire is to give the police, whom we already protest for murdering people, the power to bash down people’s doors and arrest them at home for giving someone a sad online?

There is a legal definition of a threat. Being a racist piece of shit doesn’t qualify.

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Response to LiberatedUSA (Reply #85)

Sat May 22, 2021, 02:17 PM

86. First

The central problem with police is systemic racism in combination with near complete immunity from criminal charges.

I don't think you're accounting for how damaging online bulling is, especially in a high school environment.

By fighting for this kid and kids like him, even saying the school has no right to do anything, empowers racists and gives them carte blanche to say all the nasty, dirty, racist, xenophobic and homophobic crap they can think of to the now completely disenfranchised and powerless kids in these marginalized groups.

You all are telling these racists that they have the right to relentlessly harass a person online and there is nothing the victim can do about it because "freedom".

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Response to angrychair (Reply #86)

Sat May 22, 2021, 03:28 PM

87. I'll tell you want, I am gonna spell it on it for you.

By first giving you an example of the Republicans playing a game of Follow The Leader, when it comes to watching what our side has done and then twisting it for their purposes.

We all hoot and cheer over more states legalizing marijuana even though federally it is illegal. We applaud those states doing it and ignoring federal law by making it legal in their state. (I agree with this, by the way.)

The problem with one side ignoring federal laws they don’t like, even if that law is widely unpopular, is the other side picks up on that. The red states have already started declaring themselves sanctuaries against any federal gun laws we pass and will refuse to enforce them.

Now take that and apply it to giving the law the authority to decide who is being offensive with their words online. Not outright threats, just being assholes, and then going to their home and making an arrest.

You cheer that idea, but then forget the other side exists and might like that unconstitutional idea with a few tweaks in mind.

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Response to LiberatedUSA (Reply #87)

Sat May 22, 2021, 07:23 PM

89. +100.



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Response to LiberatedUSA (Reply #87)

Sat May 22, 2021, 11:42 PM

92. You keep saying all this without

Thinking about the other side of it.

Your arguement has another side.

Again, by telling these kids they have the ability to say whatever they want and there is no legal or school repercussions for being racist, xenophobic or bigoted, then you leave millions of kids at their mercy to be relentlessly harassed and they have no recourse or relief.

I'm trying to make the point that all of you are only talking about the white kid's rights but ignoring that there is another child that is on the receiving end of this hate speech, not an adult. Comments here are telling that child to just shut up and respect the racist's right to hurl racial slurs at him relentlessly and no one is allowed to stop him from doing it.

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Response to angrychair (Reply #92)

Sun May 23, 2021, 10:53 AM

93. It is legal to be a racist, bigoted, xenophobic asshole. It's legal to say racist, bigoted things.

The Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that there is no exception to the First Amendment for "hate speech." So yes, it's entirely legal for these jackwagons to spout their hateful rhetoric unless they cross particular lines. The "won't someone please think of the children" angle doesn't change that.

There won't be legal repercussions for that behavior, but there can absolutely be school and social repercussions. For instance, he may be suspended or expelled, and odds are he'll be persona non grata to a pretty solid chunk of the school population.

If you're advocating for people who hold racist views and/or say racist things to be thrown in jail... yeah, no thanks. I'd just as soon not live in a country where thought police are a thing.

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Response to Jedi Guy (Reply #93)

Sun May 23, 2021, 12:22 PM

94. +100. nt

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Response to Jedi Guy (Reply #93)

Sun May 23, 2021, 12:25 PM

95. I'm with you on this,

I didn't spend 35 years of my life in the service of our country just to see this shit, and we all KNOW just how much the repigs would love to define what hate speech is.

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Response to angrychair (Reply #92)

Sun May 23, 2021, 02:29 PM

96. You should sit back and accept that what you want...

...is something no Supreme Court, regardless of makeup, is going to green light to happen. I think you know this and should also accept that what you really are wanting, based on my own feelings reading your posts, is not so much the laws changed for justice, as changed to get even.

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Response to stopdiggin (Reply #50)

Thu May 20, 2021, 06:49 AM

66. +100 nt

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Response to angrychair (Reply #43)

Thu May 20, 2021, 06:48 AM

65. Not OK, but protected speech, as stopdiggin points out...

... because I don't think people should be tossed in jail for calling someone a name doesn't mean I think it's OK to call names.

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Response to angrychair (Reply #35)

Wed May 19, 2021, 09:59 PM

39. Here is a link to CT's bullying law...

https://portal.ct.gov/SDE/Publications/Parents-Guide-to-Bullying-and-Harassment-in-Connecticut/About-the-Law#toc3

Note that this is NOT a criminal law. It sets up a responsibility for the schools to investigate and discipline incidents. Sort of like the regulations concerning a "hostile work place environment".

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Response to angrychair (Reply #35)

Thu May 20, 2021, 11:02 PM

81. Not everything offensive is threatening.

None of us has seen the post, so we can’t judge. But in other cases, in order for there to be a legal threat, the language must be explicit. There is no “well, maybe”, or “sort of”, or “under the right circumstances” qualifiers to a threat in the court of law.

Basically, if the defense can make a believable case that the language isn’t a threat, then it’s not a threat.

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Response to Calista241 (Reply #81)

Fri May 21, 2021, 05:40 PM

82. The post he made stated

"Why is this (blank) in my class. Why isn't he in chains."
Those statements were underneath a picture of the specific individual he was making a reference to in his class.

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Response to angrychair (Reply #82)

Fri May 21, 2021, 07:07 PM

83. That's not a threat. It's ignorant and offensive,

But not threatening.

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Response to Calista241 (Reply #83)

Fri May 21, 2021, 07:48 PM

84. I disagree

While I admit I'm not black I would respectfully offer that a white person telling a black person that he should be in chains would be taken as a threat in most cases.

Its easy, with the benefit of white privilege, to wave off things like racial slurs and threats of enslavement as just words but I would offer, having not lived their life, that is a hell of an assumption.

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Response to angrychair (Reply #84)

Sat May 22, 2021, 07:52 PM

90. You just don't get it, do you?

Read this:

https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/appeals-court-overturns-conviction-racial-slur-case-77633857

Appeals court overturns conviction in racial slur case.

The conviction of a retired U.S. Air Force officer who used a racial slur while speaking to a Black store clerk and Black customer has been overturned by a federal appeals court

By DENISE LAVOIE AP Legal Affairs Writer
May 12, 2021, 12:21 AM
• 4 min read
RICHMOND, Va. -- The conviction of a retired U.S. Air Force officer who used a racial slur while speaking to a Black store clerk and Black customer was overturned Tuesday by a federal appeals court that found his speech was protected by the First Amendment under the circumstances.

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Jules Bartow, who is white, was arrested after he used the slur while shopping for boots at the Quantico Marine Corps Exchange in November 2018. Prosecutors and witnesses at his trial said he posed several bizarre rhetorical questions, including asking the customer, while referring to the store clerk, “If I called her a (slur), would she still say good morning?”

Bartow was convicted of violating Virginia's abusive language law.

Bartow's conviction was overturned by a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court found that the First Amendment permits criminalization of abusive language, but only if the government proves the language had a direct tendency to cause immediate acts of violence by the person to whom it was addressed.


So where was the immediate act of violence?

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Response to SarcasticSatyr (Reply #6)

Wed May 19, 2021, 10:05 PM

40. There is a CT law regarding bullying in schools...

https://portal.ct.gov/SDE/Publications/Parents-Guide-to-Bullying-and-Harassment-in-Connecticut/About-the-Law#toc3

It is NOT a criminal statute. It makes it the school's responsibility to investigate and discipline incidents. It's like regulations regarding "hostile workplace environments".

I'm not sure why the cops got involved.

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Response to reACTIONary (Reply #40)

Sun May 23, 2021, 04:55 PM

97. Damn straight!

The cops didn’t need to be involved. The cops getting involved in school punishment can be traced back to Columbine. What started as a good idea evolved into call the cops anytime a student raises their voice.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Wed May 19, 2021, 06:23 PM

7. What about defamation ?

A person taking a photo and posting it captioned without permission .

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #7)

Wed May 19, 2021, 07:14 PM

9. Depends on whether a school is considered a public place or not.

If you're out walking around in public, I can take a picture of you or film you to my heart's content, even if you ask or tell me not to. In a public place, one has no reasonable expectation of privacy. I'm honestly not sure whether a school would fall into the category of a public place for these purposes.

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Response to Jedi Guy (Reply #9)

Wed May 19, 2021, 07:36 PM

12. The defendant took the pictures?

be interesting to find our where

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #7)

Wed May 19, 2021, 09:00 PM

30. Defamation cases are difficult to win and even then it would be a civil case not criminal.

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #7)

Wed May 19, 2021, 09:03 PM

31. Defamation is a civil matter, not a criminal one

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Wed May 19, 2021, 06:45 PM

8. could any part of the post be interpreted as a threat? is my question.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Wed May 19, 2021, 07:17 PM

10. "Hate speech" is protected by the First Amendment, so that law is definitely unconstitutional.

I wouldn't be surprised if the kid and his parents sue over the arrest, and I'd be even less surprised if they won.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Wed May 19, 2021, 07:23 PM

11. Call it bullying, which it is

Most people remember being bullied by somebody when they were young, even a majority of the bullies. Framing it as a bully9ng issue is a winner.

It's up to the social media platform whether or not to boot his ass off. Schools need to take action when it comes to bullying.

This bullshit should have real world consequences. If it's not the Feds putting him in jail for what he said, it's not a free speech issue.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #11)

Wed May 19, 2021, 08:19 PM

20. It's also stalking IMO.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #11)

Wed May 19, 2021, 09:04 PM

32. Schools are rather limited though when it comes to disciplining students off school grounds.

About the only one I can see offhand might be for his taking the photo but even then under these circumstances it would not be a criminal case and if they claim he broke a rule by taking the photo they will have to show that they have been enforcing it with other students as well.
Otherwise he could then sue the school and potentially win.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Wed May 19, 2021, 07:37 PM

13. You can see the image at the link below.

I found what was posted is clearly a threat and believe the police acted properly.

https://www.complex.com/life/connecticut-teen-arrested-charged-expelled-racist-snapchat-classmate

I won't post the image here but will quote what the racist wrote.

The student reportedly shared a photo of Fairfield Warde High School sophomore Jamar Medor on May 7, writing “why is there a n****r in my homeroom” and “why is he not in chains,” according to ABC 7.

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Response to rogue emissary (Reply #13)

Wed May 19, 2021, 08:10 PM

17. Where's the threat?

The Supreme Court would clearly find that to be free speech.

The school can of course take any measures they like such as expulsion, but this is not a crime requiring jail time.

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Response to Ron Obvious (Reply #17)

Wed May 19, 2021, 09:09 PM

34. Expulsion might not even work unless he posted it online using school equipment

and or while on school grounds.
Otherwise the school risks a lawsuit like the 18 year old kid that sued a school a few years ago after they expelled him for starring in a gay porn movie.

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Response to Ron Obvious (Reply #17)

Wed May 19, 2021, 10:55 PM

47. Asking why a person hasn't been put in chains is the threat.

The Supreme Court for a long time ruled you could discriminate against just about any minority group at one time or another. The court changes. Unfortunately, we have a racist right-wing court so that racist kid will probably win for another day.

Free speech is posting a blank screen with his racist thoughts. Once he added a picture of a person and targeted him. It became a threat.

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Response to rogue emissary (Reply #47)

Wed May 19, 2021, 11:26 PM

51. Is that really different than asking "Why is Donald Trump not behind bars?"

Or "Why is he not in leg irons?"

A threat requires placing another person in fear of imminent physical injury. "imminent" is lacking even if the person feared physical injury. No court will consider this a threat - and on that point, Connecticut has criminal laws on threatening, none of which were used for the clearly obvious reason.

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Response to NutmegYankee (Reply #51)

Thu May 20, 2021, 02:31 AM

63. No different and neither is an actual crime subject to arrest or atleast

they should not be as they are simply an opinion.
Granted in this case with this kid his opinion is disgusting but its still protected speech imo.

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Response to rogue emissary (Reply #47)

Wed May 19, 2021, 11:32 PM

53. an interesting opinion

but I don't think it holds any weight in a court. In this case the police detoured clear around 'threat' -- to gin up some antiquated charge of "ridicule."
(Should have been handled by the school)

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Wed May 19, 2021, 07:49 PM

14. Where ACLU is missing the boat here: the speech wasn't about all members of a class ...

... it was about a specific person. Are libel and slander protected speech, too?

The student got his free speech rights when he made the personal attack, unfortunately the student chose to use unprotected freely made speech about an individual.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #14)

Wed May 19, 2021, 08:33 PM

21. Where is the libel & slander?

he's clearly insulting him, yes, but libel & slander?

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Response to oldsoftie (Reply #21)

Wed May 19, 2021, 08:46 PM

26. Libel and slander were not specific to this case, it speaks to the concept that not all free ...

... speech is protected. Fighting words aren't protected either.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #26)

Wed May 19, 2021, 08:52 PM

27. Ahhh I understand

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Response to marble falls (Reply #14)

Wed May 19, 2021, 09:04 PM

33. Libel and slander aren't crimes, they are civil offenses

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Wed May 19, 2021, 08:14 PM

18. The state law is patently unconstitutional.

At best this is a civil case, i.e. slander, and perhaps a violation of student code of conduct. Arresting people for what they say or think, no matter how heinous, is a slippery slope we really don't want to go down. If they act out on what they say or think, that's an entirely different matter, but that doesn't appear to be the case here.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Wed May 19, 2021, 08:18 PM

19. Not the right law to be using.

Sounds like it should be prosecuted under anti-stalking laws.

To post a picture of someone on social media and defaming them is stalking IMO.

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Response to roamer65 (Reply #19)

Wed May 19, 2021, 08:34 PM

22. And punished for bullying, by the school

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Response to oldsoftie (Reply #22)

Wed May 19, 2021, 08:42 PM

25. There's no doubt it's against school rules.

The law is questionable at best.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Wed May 19, 2021, 08:41 PM

24. Has that law ever been challenged?

I can't imagine it would hold up.

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Response to Renew Deal (Reply #24)

Wed May 19, 2021, 11:32 PM

54. This might be the end of it.

Previous uses were for verbal comments that probably fell under the fighting words doctrine. But a web comment? DOA to any appeals court.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Wed May 19, 2021, 09:31 PM

36. The ACLU Connecticut is wrong

Its one thing to just say racial slurs and language, as a general statement, but he directed it at a specific individual to illicit a response of fear and intimidation.
He posted a picture of a specific individual and targeted that individual with racist comments and slurs.

Dehumanizing attacks like those suffered by Ronald Greene, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery happen because we allow a culture of racism and hate to fester.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Wed May 19, 2021, 09:48 PM

38. Hate Speech is not Free Speech

Punish people that say hate speech.

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Response to twin_ghost (Reply #38)

Wed May 19, 2021, 10:14 PM

41. Of course it is

The US Supreme Court explicitly says it is and quite right too.

Hate Speech is so ill-defined and vague as to be wide open to partisan abuse. Imagine what conservative Christians would think qualifies as Hate Speech for example.

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Response to twin_ghost (Reply #38)

Wed May 19, 2021, 10:45 PM

45. The swings both ways. They are passing laws to stop "offensive topics" being taught or discussed

in schools.

Sorry, I err on the side of free speech. As Lenny Bruce said: If you outlaw the F-word, you outlaw the ability to say F the government.

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Response to AZLD4Candidate (Reply #45)

Thu May 20, 2021, 12:47 AM

56. content being taught in the schools is different territory

constitutes endorsement by the state. Public schools have never had wide latitude of speech.

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Response to stopdiggin (Reply #56)

Thu May 20, 2021, 02:01 AM

62. Not according to SB1458 here in Arizona.

Being a teacher, I can be fined up to $5000 for teaching something someone considers offensive, especially if they consider it CRT, whatever that is.

So, as I said, it swings both ways.

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Response to AZLD4Candidate (Reply #62)

Thu May 20, 2021, 04:58 AM

64. You completely misread (or misunderstood) what I posted

Again, "Public schools have never had wide latitude of speech." Content disseminating from public schools (particularly K-12) has always been under fairly strict oversight and constraint.

And by and large -- the public sees that as the way it ought to be. Who the hell wants some wingnut over at school shouting about Q-Anon pedophiles, alien abductions, holocaust hoaxes, satan worshipers and other little juicy plums? I want a muzzle on the crackpots as well!

And conflating this kind of common sense constraint with 1st amendment privilege and argument (as you seem to insist) is -- in my opinion at least -- pretty -- unique. You want the crackpots to have open forum at the middle school?

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Response to stopdiggin (Reply #64)

Thu May 20, 2021, 10:54 AM

69. Barnette v. West Virgnia disagrees

I want crockpots to have open forum: Actually, I don't want to get fined for teaching the Holocaust and have some neo-nazi complain.

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Response to AZLD4Candidate (Reply #69)

Thu May 20, 2021, 02:17 PM

72. well thank god you hold a minority opinion

I can think of little more destructive to public education (and an informed electorate?) -- than a bunch of 'nutters' free to hold forth with their crackpot theories (or anything else they chose to disseminate. anti-abortion diatribe, anyone?) -- from their positions of authority at the head of a classroom.

I for one am glad to see some 'constraint' imposed on the wingnuts -- most particularly in the public schools. Huge free speech proponent. But the idea that it finds application in the schoolroom? As I said -- pretty unique.
------ ------

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Response to stopdiggin (Reply #72)

Thu May 20, 2021, 02:23 PM

73. I teach social studies. Can't teach freedom of speech without offensive things being taught

Again, "nutters" could use your position legally in Arizona to get me fined up to $5000 if I taught something they found offensive.

Door swings both ways, and it's wrong both ways.

I watched an English teacher get crawled on the carpet by liberal parents angry she assigned Uncle Tom's Cabin for its portrayal of black people.

I got crawled on the carpet by and anti-Bibi liberal for teaching the Arab-Israeli conflict because I would give a slanted pro-Israel view because "I was Jewish and all Jews support Israel."

Door swing both ways. As a teacher, I've gotten "nutters" on both sides.

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Response to AZLD4Candidate (Reply #73)

Thu May 20, 2021, 02:44 PM

75. I think that might be 'called' on the carpet

I really hope you (and your fellow teacher) weren't forced to crawl on the carpet. That does seem a little debasing. I'd be a bit annoyed too.

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Response to stopdiggin (Reply #75)

Thu May 20, 2021, 02:49 PM

76. So, what you are saying can be used both ways

Unless it is something unoffensive, like math and basic science, like the periodic table and cell parts, everything can be offensive.

So I am against this on all sides.

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Response to AZLD4Candidate (Reply #76)

Thu May 20, 2021, 02:53 PM

77. Yes. You certainly are. -(nt)-

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Response to AZLD4Candidate (Reply #69)

Thu May 20, 2021, 02:40 PM

74. B. vs WV?

Good lord! You really are turned around aren't you?
The whole purpose of this ruling was to protect students from government sanction. Get it? The students -- from the state? You would trot this out to make an argument for the rights of the 'state' (teachers) -- to engage in harmful, inflammatory, offensive and/or otherwise dubious speech? I really rather doubt the justices would agree that was what they were saying here!

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Response to stopdiggin (Reply #74)

Thu May 20, 2021, 03:29 PM

79. No government, no matter how high or petty, can dictate what is orthodox in politics, religion,

public policy, and other matters of opinion.

That includes passing laws making sure certain things can or cannot be taught (Scopes Monkey Law).

You are arguing just for the sake of arguing. When you teach in a classroom, come talk to me. Until this, I refuse to continue with you.

Have a nice day.

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Response to twin_ghost (Reply #38)

Wed May 19, 2021, 11:12 PM

48. It is in the United States, and rightly so.

Punish people that say hate speech.


"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" --- Evelyn Beatrice Hall

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Response to twin_ghost (Reply #38)

Thu May 20, 2021, 12:49 AM

57. a bad slogan -- and sloppy logic. -(nt)-

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Response to twin_ghost (Reply #38)

Thu May 20, 2021, 01:32 AM

61. In France.

It’s free speech in the US.

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Response to twin_ghost (Reply #38)

Thu May 20, 2021, 07:45 AM

67. Dumbest comment yet.

Maybe hate speech is not free speech in the country you live in, but here in the US, it is free speech.

I guess Civics 101 is no longer taught in our schools.

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Response to MarineCombatEngineer (Reply #67)

Sat May 22, 2021, 05:09 PM

88. I can remember attending large protests

Where liberals fought for offensive speech.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Wed May 19, 2021, 10:21 PM

44. Why not both?

People have a right to free speech.

However, if their chosen speech is harassment &/or hate speech, there can be consequences.

They don't have a right to use their privilege to impinge upon someone else's liberty.

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Response to NullTuples (Reply #44)

Wed May 19, 2021, 10:46 PM

46. Sorry, legal consequences are not acceptable.

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Response to NullTuples (Reply #44)

Wed May 19, 2021, 11:30 PM

52. By that logic every North Korean has free speech.

It's just that saying something nasty about dear leader has a consequence that will likely get you shot...

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Response to NullTuples (Reply #44)

Thu May 20, 2021, 01:04 AM

59. the 'state' should not punish

Your boss may fire you (within certain constraints). And your neighbors, church and spouse might shun you until the cows come home. Little League parents will very like decide you will not be coaching a team this year (and your kids glad for it). But, being an obnoxious ass (even an hateful ass) is still one of the freedoms you enjoy as a citizen.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Thu May 20, 2021, 12:34 PM

70. Off topic, but why is "black" capitalized and "white" lowercase?

Last edited Thu May 20, 2021, 02:42 PM - Edit history (1)

Shouldn't either both be lowercase (like I use) or both be capitalized? And before anyone questions my motives, I'm just curious and I happen to be black.

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Response to Polybius (Reply #70)

Thu May 20, 2021, 02:01 PM

71. I noticed that

Maybe someone can explain.

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Response to Polybius (Reply #70)

Thu May 20, 2021, 04:04 PM

80. Some journalistic associations adopted this (last year I think).

Why we capitalize ‘Black’ (and not ‘white’)

AP says it will capitalize Black but not white

It seems awkward, though, because this comes across as treating "white" like a default setting, and then "black" becomes an aberration or something different.

Interestingly enough, the National Association of Black Journalists recommends capitalizing both, especially when referring to race.

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Response to Dr. Strange (Reply #80)

Sat May 22, 2021, 10:17 PM

91. I've had this discussion recently in an academic setting...

The academic journal supported capitalizing Black but not White. I insisted on capitalizing both in my work.

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