According to History.com, Freedom Of speech is the right to express your opinions without government restraint. Originally this idea came from the ancient Greeks. Free speech was talked about in Greek literature around the end of the fifth century B.C. Fast forward to the US, free speech was adopted into the Bill of Rights in December 15, 1791. History.com says, When free speech was written into the Bill of Rights it was never specified what is protected under free speech. This caused many gray areas. Around WWI The Supreme Court decided that there should be limitations to free speech such as “Obscene material, Plagiarism, Defamation, and True Threats.” For more information on the background of free speech visit https://goo.gl/TcVgtQ.
In 1965 at a public high school in Des Moines, Iowa, there was an organized, silent protest against the Vietnam war. A girl by the name Mary Beth decided to wear an armband that had a peace sign on it. Want to know more about Mary Beth, check out https://goo.gl/ceZFnH. She was then suspended from school, because the armbands were distracting and could lead to danger of other students. I feel this is a lousy argument that many schools still use today. Lucky the supreme court ruled in her favor. For more information on Tinker vs Des Moines visit https://goo.gl/ZDwXfs.
Free speech can be a great thing, when used the appropriate way. But what is deemed appropriate especially in schools? Well that is when things get difficult. I believe if high schoolers want to wear a band with a peace sign on it protesting the Vietnam war, then they should have the right to do so. Then they should have the right to, it is their opinion. It is important for people to know that not everybody is going to have the same opinion as you. Now if the students were to wear shirts that say “I hope the soldiers die in Vietnam” then I would see that as going too far. Overall in the grand scheme most things are opinions, and we must be careful how much we limit before we censor everything. Somethings that make me mad is how the schools make lousy excuses for kids to not share their opinions. That they are being too distracting. These reasons are too vague and is showing kids that it is dangerous to share a different opinion than the majority, because then you will get in trouble or be a distraction. This confides people’s minds into boxes and does not allow for individual thinking.