Limits on our freedom of speech?


Did you know that the rights of the first amendment are limited in schools?

America crafted freedom of speech in the first amendment. Some Americans pride themselves on the freedom their country has, especially compared to other countries. In many countries, citizens have to be careful about what they say. In China, the government even censors their TV’s.

Freedom is when a person is allowed to do what s/he wants; but is America really free to say anything it want? In schools, teachers aren’t allowed to share their political views because they don’t want to cause controversial commotions with parents, teachers, and the kids. Politics is a touchy topic.

In schools, students aren’t allowed to say certain things in school. An Army veteran and student at Modesto Junior College, Robert Van Tuinen, was told that he wasn’t allowed to pass out literature outside the designated “free speech zone.”

Yet why does America limit our freedom: is it to protect us?

Logically, people can’t just go around saying rude things to others — there are limits. Freedom of speech would allow people to say whatever they want to, even if that speech injured or bullied others.  There needs to be a limit or else people who commit hate crimes will go unpunished. Amanda Todd’s suicide and subsequent bullying case from last year is proof enough.

The first amendment also allows religions to express themselves and newspapers to share certain information, such as seen in the articles of the New York Times. However, there are also limits on articles that are too offensive and against religion acts that could turn to terrorism.

When words lead to violence, that is when the law comes in.

“The First Amendment is first for a reason. It makes me feel a little like I’m pontificating to cite the founders of this country, but it’s true they were so afraid of centralized power that they saw a free press as the critical bulwark against unbridled government – and that is our role,” Jill Abramson, the executive editor of The New York Times, said.