March 1969

Afterwords: Disciplinary limits set
no author

    Last week the United States Supreme Court set disciplinary limits for school officials.
    School children in Iowa had been prohibited from wearing symbols of protest of the Viet Nam war. The Court decided that freedom of speech had been restricted. Justice Abe Fortas declared that "apprehension of disturbance" should not prohibit freedom of speech.
    We agree that free speech should not be prohibited within the school. Freedom of expression is the privilege to voice opinions without infringing upon the rights of others. The right of free speech does not,, however, place students on a level equal with that of the administration.
    We note with apprehension the growth of the idea that students can force the administration to answer for its actions either in Student Council or in private conferences.
    It seems that loud mouths hide closed minds. Any thinking student would realize that members of the administration are already responsible to parents, tax-payers, and state officials.
    As long as public school students are educated with public funds, they must function within the framework specified by the tax-payers. As Justice Hugo Black stated in dissenting the Supreme Court decision, "The original idea of schools, which I do not believe is yet abandoned as worthless or out of date, was that children had not yet reached the point of experience and wisdom which enabled them to teach all of their elders."
    The task of the administration is difficult enough without the Supreme Court hindering disciplinary action. Students are sent to school to be educated, not to become loudspeakers of propaganda under the guise of free speech and in the name of "liberal progress."