Monday, July 6, 2009

Another dent in the First Amendment

During the afternoon news browse I found this lead story on Fox News.

A California mom says her public school administrators violated her daughter's First Amendment rights when they ordered the seventh-grader to take off her pro-life T-shirt.

Anna Amador has gone to court on behalf of her daughter, who she says was ordered by her principal to change her shirt on "National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day." The shirt the girl was wearing displays two graphic pictures of a fetus growing in the womb.

The incident occurred in April 2008 at McSwain Elementary School, a K-8 school in Merced, Calif. Amador alleges in her legal complaint that school Principal Terrie Rohrer, Assistant Principal C.W. Smith and office clerk Martha Hernandez mistreated her daughter and denied the girl her First Amendment rights when they ordered her to leave the cafeteria and change her shirt.

"Before Plaintiff could eat [breakfast] she was ordered by a school staff member to throw her food out and report immediately to Defendant Smith's office, located in the main office of McSwain Elementary School," the complaint reads.

"Upon arriving at the main office, Defendant Hernandez, intentionally and without Plaintiff's consent, grabbed Plaintiff's arm and forcibly escorted her toward Smith's office, at all times maintaining a vice-like grip on Plaintiff's arm. Hernandez only released Plaintiff's arm after physically locating her in front of Smith and Defendant Rohrer...

You will note ladies and gents that while you are required to pay most of your local taxes to the school board that does not necessarily mean that the values that you attempt to instill at home are passed on during the school day. Now, had this child worn a shirt with say a large pot leaf emblazoned on it or a Che Guevara likeness that activity would not have only been accepted but I am sure the school administrator would have walked through hellfire to preserve the right to display the shirt. But not in the case of an "offensive" shirt. That expression apparently does not fall under the First Amendment. See the offending speech for yourself:

(Apologies for the quality of the image. The text says "growing, growing gone".)What will the next target of institutional education be? The Flag or the Constitution itself. Take solace in the fact that its Summer Break and at least your kids won't be taken out of class to watch televised coverage of Michael Jackson's Memorial Service.

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