I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write

March 22, 2010

Chase Harper’s case is one that, I thought, you’d have to be absolutely blind to justice to be unable to make the obvious decision that what he did was not in any way wrong. The school decided to force it upon everyone to have a day of silence in which they would all have to silently agree to support homosexuality, and you can’t force your ideas on everyone even if they will cause sunshine and rainbows throughout the world. Chase didn’t agree with it, and it’s his right to speak against it as long as he is not supporting or legitimizing the use of violence towards the thing he’s against, all he did was put on his shirt that he was against it and his reason for being against it, and there is nothing wrong with that at all. A student should be allowed to wear whatever they want to school, as long as it is not calling for violence or is considered offensive by someone and that person who considers it offensive speaks out against it. In college though, a person should have no limit as to what they wear, unless it calls for violence (like a Nazi symbol, or a shirt supporting the KKK).

I don’t think a high school is a marketplace for ideas though, and the school shouldn’t be pushing ideas on its students either. It should be just informing them of ideas and allowing them to choose what’s right and wrong, and anyone should be allowed to wear anything as long as it isn’t overly sexual or distracting, or offensive.

Chase should’ve received no punishment at all. The high school forced their ideas upon him, and he spoke out against an idea he didn’t agree with. No discipline should’ve been administered even if someone had decided to say it was offensive.  I think that a T-shirt incites’ just as much as words do, it’s the idea that whichever form is expressing that incites people.

If I was a teacher, I wouldn’t have done anything and would’ve instead honored his first amendment right to speak his mind. If I was a student, and I was offended, I would’ve pointed that out and had some action taken, otherwise I wouldn’t have done a thing. If I was a jury member, I’d do the same thing that I would if I was a teacher, consider him not guilty of anything and say that he has a right under the first amendment to say it.

“I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write”

– Voltaire (although it’s debated if he was the one who actually said it, I’m going to go with this as his quote as it was originally thought it was)

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