Friday, April 30, 2010

In My Opinion-Jenine Pilla-Campus Free Speech in Action

I'm sure everyone has seen these signs in various areas around campus because it's pretty hard to miss. While walking by the bell tower on Monday morning, you could hear the screams resonating from all around. People asking how they (the anti-abortion protestors) have the right to litter our campus with'garbage like that.' Well, thank you America for granting us the First Amendment.

Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing and America wouldn't be half the country it is today without it. But when does freedom of speech get stretched too thin? When does the concept not hold up? Like we discussed in class, the limitations of speech on a college campus are similar to those in other public arenas--not many. Unfortuately for those students disturbed by the anti-abortion protestor's graphic signs, the only possible restriction I can see on these protests would be in terms of time, place and manner.

On Monday, every class I entered was hustling and bustling with the flooding emotions that were carried in with students like the mud on their shoes.
"How could they do this?"
"Who in Temple allows this?"
"Why do they think this is a good idea?! Do they want to start a riot?"

My question is, how far would this student outrage have to go before this is this could be a situation of "material and substantial disruption of the educational process?" This is the standard outlined by the U.S Supreme Court in TINKER ET AL. v. DES MOINES INDEPENDENT COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT 393 U.S. 503; 89 S. Ct. 733; 21 L. Ed. 2d 731; 1969 -Jenine Pilla

1 comment:

  1. You bring up a good point Jenine. I was in class the other day and there were a lot of students who voiced their concern about the graphic posters that were on display near the belltower. After a long debate among students in the classroom my professor began to get a bit frustrated because students wouldn't stop talking about the Abortion pictures.

    It would be interesting to see if a similar incident like this would hold up in court. In this scenario the protest against abortion (mainly the photos) did in fact disrupt the educational process.