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Hard lessons from poetry class: Speech is free unless it's critical

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nosmokes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-19-04 04:00 PM
Original message
Hard lessons from poetry class: Speech is free unless it's critical
By BILL HILL

Last update: 15 May 2004

Bill Nevins, a New Mexico high school teacher and personal friend, was fired last year and classes in poetry and the poetry club at Rio Rancho High School were permanently terminated. It had nothing to do with obscenity, but it had everything to do with extremist politics.

The "Slam Team" was a group of teenage poets who asked Nevins to serve as faculty adviser to their club. The teens, mostly shy youngsters, were taught to read their poetry aloud and before audiences. Rio Rancho High School gave the Slam Team access to the school's closed-circuit television once a week and the poets thrived.

In March 2003, a teenage girl named Courtney presented one of her poems before an audience at Barnes & Noble bookstore in Albuquerque, then read the poem live on the school's closed-circuit television channel.

A school military liaison and the high school principal accused the girl of being "un-American" because she criticized the war in Iraq and the Bush administration's failure to give substance to its "No child left behind" education policy.

The girl's mother, also a teacher, was ordered by the principal to destroy the child's poetry. The mother refused and may lose her job.

Bill Nevins was suspended for not censoring the poetry of his students. Remember, there is no obscenity to be found in any of the poetry. He was later fired by the principal.

~snip~
more, sadly, much more

News-Journal

Hill is a retired News-Journal reporter.
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el_gato Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-19-04 04:03 PM
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1. the principal
Edited on Wed May-19-04 04:04 PM by el_gato
PRINCIPAL GARY TRIPP 896-5601
I can't find an email

http://www.rrps.k12.nm.us/rrhs/ADMIN_CONTACTS/index.htm
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beyurslf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-19-04 04:27 PM
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2. I hope both families have attorneys already.
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Tempest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-19-04 04:35 PM
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3. This is obscene
The principal and military liaison should be tarred, feathered and run out of town on a rail.

This lawsuit will be a slam-dunk.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-19-04 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
4. "Shut your faces"

Why do all these authoritarian wingnuts sound the same?
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