Sunday, July 15, 2012

Groups Urge Balance Between Censoring and Stopping Bullies

Groups Urge Balance Between Censoring, Stopping Bullies
Education Week May 22, 2012

“Unless it causes a substantial disruption, it’s important for administrators not to overreact by simply trying to censor the speech of a student.”  Schools are a training ground for teaching student to live in a democratic society, one where censorship isn’t the first reaction to offensive speech.

“We want a respectful exchange of ideas.  Schools should sincerely work on that – teaching students to express views without hurting people.”  Blocking students’ ability to express themselves could backfire with students taking more drastic action in response.

“People in our society do not have a legal right to prevent criticism of their beliefs or even their way of life,” a judge wrote.

The above is a wonderful and precise way to express my views on the subject of bullying.  It seems to me that as soon as someone disagrees with another’s point-of-view or criticizes it, the speaker is immediately labeled as a bully.

That’s not always true and that label is being used too freely these days.  The judge’s pronouncement above helps me to differentiate between expressing one’s views and beliefs, and bullying.

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