26 October 2004

Bush HS rally in WI stifles free speech

This was reported by Daily KOS, which I highly recommend. My comment is that parents and high schoolers who believe in the First Amendment should have attended the rally with their Kerry banners and buttons hidden, then whipped them out once the cameras were rolling. Then sue the pants off the school and school district if they tried to enforce their fascist threat to stifle First Amendment rights. It's time for some more fight, and civil disobedience, in the face of these naked attempts to rewrite the Bill of Rights by this klan.

Free speech, Bush style
[by kos Tue Oct 26th, 2004 at 17:46:27 GMTAn email from Wisconsin. ]

A friend with a child in the Richland County,WI high school where George Bush appears today reports the following. students were told they could not wear any pro-Kerry clothing or buttons or protest in any manner, at the risk of expulsion. After a parent inquired, an alternative activity will be provided, probably a movie being shown in an auditorium. (The school secretary reportedly said that students had the choice of just staying home if they didn't want to attend the Bush rally, but the principal subsequently offered an alternative.) If Bush comes to a high school, how dare his campaign dictate what students can wear?
This is out of control.

My letter to the Principal of Richland Center High School:

October 26, 2004

John Cler, Principal
Richland Center High School
23200 Hornet High RdRichland Center, WI 53581-8943

Dear Mr. Cler:
It has been reported from student and parent sources associated with your school that students in attendance at your high school, where George W. Bush made a campaign appearance on October 26, were told they could not wear any pro-Kerry clothing or buttons, or protest in any manner, at the risk of expulsion. Reportedly, an alternative activity was to be provided for those who did not wish to go along with a blatantly orchestrated campaign appearance in a public school setting.

As a citizen of the United States, where freedom of expression is so critical and honored as to be made the First Amendment to our Constitution, I am horrified and shocked at such reported conduct.
If these reports are true, I believe your school has violated the constitutional rights of its students in a most shameful way, which teaches them all the wrong lessons. I would hope that the school will recognize the gravity of its error in this regard, and make some effort to redress the situation by acknowledging that it was wrong to stifle the fundamental rights of students to peaceably express their political beliefs, and by presenting some educational activity to emphasize the important civic values of the First Amendment and its meaning for Americans.

Thank you.

Very truly yours,

David Studhalter

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