Help defend the right of free speech in school
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Hi my name is Jesse Goodwin and on June 13, 2017, a few staff members at Hewes Middle School silenced my speech. I simply gave my opinion on a controversial topic only to be silenced. This isn't the only time this has happened; many students on campuses across the nation are silenced for their “offensive” views. Silencing speech because of one's beliefs is unconstitutional and goes against the first amendment.
In my case I took a mandatory class on the genders and sexualities. I did not agree with their claim that there are more than two genders. After their false claims, they stated that we needed to respect all genders and agree with what they were teaching and would silence anyone who proposed an opposing argument. After class, I wrote “there are only two genders” on a paper (which biologically speaking, is true) and stuck it on my shirt. A teacher asked me to take it off, so I kindly consented, although I felt reluctant to do so. They told me that the first amendment did not apply in this present situation, which is false. The constitutional rights that I am entitled to was not meant to be present in some scenarios, it is meant to be present in all scenarios. After I took the paper off of my shirt, she had me called up to the assistant principal's office where I was told I was in violation of a California State “anti-discrimination/harassment” law. This didn't make sense because in order for my note to have been an act of harassment, I would have had to use “aggressive pressure or intimidation” as the definition of harassment states, and I did not do that. They said I cannot participate in end of the year celebrations and next time I do something like this I will be suspended. In other words I was getting punished for using my first amendment right.
They also said school is not the place to express your opinions especially political ones. But the truth is everywhere should be a place we're you are allowed to express your opinion. The first amendment right to free speech applies everywhere and again applied in all situations. Schools nationwide are in violation of students first amendment. My case is just one of the many cases and we need to protect our right to free speech.
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