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Wed Oct 28, 2015, 06:31 PM


Those of us with social consciences would have been thrown the to the floor too

Police don't defend rights. They violate them. They don't want free thinkers. . .they want compliance and conformity. I would have been given the same treatment that poor girl in SC got.

See, I was the worst type of student. I was the free thinker. I exercised my rights. . .I committed civil disobedience against things the school did. If they outlawed something (a shirt, an action) and I deemed it a violation of my civil rights, I broke the rule. I didn't listen to the teacher or the admin. I backed up my rights by learning SCOTUS case law. I didn't comply and conform. As Rage Against the Machine puts it. "Compromise, conformity, assimilation, submission, ignorance, hypocrisy, brutality, the elite. All of which are the American Dream."

I started exercising my rights at the age of 11 when I learned about the Barnette case with pledge. I always though the pledge was wrong, reading everything I did about racism, poverty, oppression and the double-standard legal rights in this country. I determined I would not recite a pack of lies or pledge my support to a symbol. So I started saying "I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America and to the republic it created, one nation, (silence), somewhat divided with liberty and justice for all. . .that could afford it or were white Christians." After I was told my protest was "inappropriate," I then sat and refused to say a word.

I was the worst student in the world. Straight A's with a social conscience. I walked in and teachers shook their heads. See, the defiant, the disrespectful and the bully were all things teachers were and are equipped to handle. Students like me were worse. We knew our rights and made sure all respected and didn't violate them. Here is a list of things that would have gotten me arrested or thrown to the floor by an SRO if we had them in the 1980s and 1990s.

1: I stopped saying the pledge, using Barnette as my reason.

2: Students were to park their cars in the student parking lot. I refused and parked on the street. If my car was on school grounds, all they would need is reasonable suspicion under TLO and no warrant. Parking on the street with a locked car, now they need probable cause and a warrant. And anything they found in my car off school grounds with a warrantless search was inadmissible under Mapp.

3: I organized school protests, sit-ins and walk outs of students. While I punished for "skipping class," I made sure my actions of protesting were not used in punishment, as Tinker said.

4: Any time I was brought in front of the principal, I remained silent until I had someone to speak for me present. The In Re Gault case does not allow kangaroo courts. I demanded witnesses in my defense, a list of the charges against me, I invoked my right to remain silent. When told I was insubordinate, I said "Miranda says I have the right to remain silent, Escobedo says I have the right to representation (my parents), and Gideon says I have the right to have that representative with me." When they told me it wasn't a criminal court, I quoted Goss V. Lopez. And since, under Kent V. US, I could be tried as an adult, I demanded adult due process.

5: When I was told that I would be suspended for unexcused absences, I invoked my first amendment freedom of religion (I'm Jewish), asked if they would be open on Christmas. I stated my first amendment right to celebrate Jewish holidays that the school district refused to make part of their calendar was legal and if they wanted to make a case out of it (as I knew they were going do), I already had the ACLU (which I am a card carrying member) and the ADL (which already knew about my area of the country and were willing to come there on a moment's notice) ready to make the district's life miserable. I flat out said "suspend me for being Jewish and I will own you, the superintendent, the school and the district. There will be no settlement. I already have a lawyer that offered to take the case pro bono if it happens. I will be all over the news and I will not stop until I have your home, your certification and your job. Want to test me?" The school backed down instantly.

Remember, know your rights. Compliance is not what makes freedom. Standing up while everyone else is sitting down is freedom. Remember, students. . .your rights to do end at the schoolhouse gate, as stated by Abe Fortas in Tinker in 1968.

School will teach you the rights you have, but watch out if you try to use them. Or as I say in my classroom as a humanities professor, "Your rights are privileges, just like driving. They can be taken from you and denied. Use them at all times regardless of the punishment. IF everyone does, they will become rights again."

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Reply Those of us with social consciences would have been thrown the to the floor too (Original post)
Feeling the Bern Oct 2015 OP
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Oct 2015 #1

Response to Feeling the Bern (Original post)

Wed Oct 28, 2015, 07:27 PM

1. I was a bit surprised at first that more of the students didn't stand up in protest, or try to stop

the incident, but then I thought back to my own high school years, and how much you still felt like a child, and how we'd been conditioned to obey authority. I'd like to think I would have protested, but you never know what you would have done in a situation that never happened around you. Plus, of course, it looked like a lot of minorities in the class, and what was probably going through their heads was along the lines of 'if we protest, it will get worse, he'll claim he felt threatened and shoot someone, and probably get away with it.'

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