Ya Gotta Fight for Ya Right Essay

This essay has a total of 1930 words and 9 pages.

Ya Gotta Fight for Ya Right

Ya Gotta Fight for Ya Right

Children are forced to go to school. This has been the way for a long time. School is a
place where students go to learn a curriculum given by government officials. They are not
there to get their rights taken away from them. Although teachers have power, they cannot
stop students from hearing the issues, speaking without censorship, or knowing their
rights.


Students are living, breathing human beings. We go to school to learn about and succeed in
the outside world. Government officials are to teach us these things and see how well we
learn them. We are curious creatures. We need to know everything or else we will rebel.
Teachers should tell us both parts of a certain subject to allow objectivity in our minds.
If we hear only one side of a controversial issue we tend to assert ourselves with the
only point of view. We may also find out information on our own that is bad and believe
what we find out. Teachers are here to guide us to the correct information. If a teacher
takes a side he/she may tell us only the negative points to his opposing side. He/she may,
also, just tell us good points about his side. Either way, he/she gives us a one sided
perception. We need to hear both sides in order to make up our own minds.

Many believe that teachers have more power than students. This is a weak argument because
teachers cannot remove rights of students. The Supreme Court stated this:

"It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights
to freedom of speech or expression at the school house gate" (Tinker vs. Des Moines
Independent School District). Therefore, students are just as powerful as teachers.
Teachers want to discipline their students how and when they choose. This is a major
dispute among parents, teachers, and students. A teacher may not ever hit a student
purposely. A teacher may lower our grade for not doing work or failing class criteria.
They may not lower our grade just because they don't like us or we act slightly out of
hand. Many people say that students don't know what is best for them. This is may be true
at lower elementary, but in high school, students can speak for themselves and know what
they need. In some court cases or public meetings, teachers or the school board represents
students. Those few non-students are in control of what they believe we want. Most of the
time they have conflicting views with students. This makes it very unfair on students.


A teacher is a government official. They should not question what is asked of them. All
classes must be taught according to curriculum. Some teachers have decided to withhold
information from students because they believe that it is morally and religiously wrong to
teach a controversial issue. Students are at school to learn. A required class must teach
everything required of them. A biology teacher may teach both evolution and creation so
they are not censoring one side of an issue. According to Liberty Council, "No subject can
be thoroughly taught without some discussion of religion" (2). Teachers should not and
cannot establish a religion in school. They may only point out both viewpoints. Also, A
teacher must grade students objectively and with no stereotypes. A student may wear what
he/she wants and not be criticized with his grades because of it. If a teacher stereotypes
he/she is subject to expulsion.


A school may not censor a student in any way. Students may wear whatever they choose
without having to worry about people being offended. The principal may ask a student to
turn the shirt inside out. He may ask the student to stop speaking with that language or
tone. The student, though, does not have to comply with his/her question if the speech or
clothing is not so offensive. This can be assumed if it does not break a clothing rule in
the student handbook. A student may speak without actually speaking. A student may speak
about anything he/she wants to speak about.


The constitution protects student expression. A group of students may hold a protest as
long as it is peaceful. It must be against something they think is unfair and is
changeable. A student must be able to express himself or herself anywhere and anyhow. The
American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California says, "Academic institutions exist
for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the development of students, and
the general well-being of society. Free Inquiry and expression are indispensable to the
attainment of these goals" (2). Also, if a student does not wish to protest publicly,
he/she can always find a loophole. There is always a loophole in every school rule. In
many cases students have won cases because of loopholes. In the Tinker vs. Des Moines
Indiana Community School District case' "In December 1965, Mary Beth, John, and
Christopher Eckhardt Tinker joined an anti-Vietnam war group. They wore black armbands to
show their beliefs and the school suspended them for breaking a recently installed rule.
The Supreme Court found that this action to be incorrect and allowed the armbands to be
worn in school" (28-29).


Confining student expression to a certain place in school is not only wrong, but is
unconstitutional. If a school requires someone to submit work before publicly speaking it,
they are breaking a law. Requiring someone to submit work before speaking publicly is
restricting there first amendment. Schools may not, also, force free speech in a certain
area only. Students if supplied with one may use a bulletin board, but students may still
raise their voices in other places. Many items are available to students who wish to speak
without spoken words. Items like brochures, pamphlets, newspapers, cards, stamps, books,
symbols, and pictures. The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California says,
"Editors and managers of student publications should be protected from arbitrary
suspension and removal because of student, faculty, administrative, or public disapproval
of editorial policy or content"(6).

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