1.    Should a student be allowed to wear offensive t-shirts in HS? College?

No, the student should be allowed to wear offensive shirts in HS.  I say this only because speaking from experience and observations, HS students seem to be relatives immature and inconsiderate of others feelings.  Also they don’t really know much about how the world operates and how their message can possibly hurt someone else.   Also in the realm of public education there are two types; the one you pay for and the one you don’t.  HS happens to be the one that you don’t pay for and since everybody is required to go then they may come into contact with those that have views opposing theirs.   College on the other hand is different.  the environment is more open and cultural ideas are more free to roam so there is bound to be a conflict of interest.  Also college is the type of public education that you pay for.  What this means, is that one should be aware of potential problems that will occur in college and therefore choose to go at their own discretion.  Also nobody is forcing anyone to go to college and people who do go for the most part on their own merit.  With that said in college people should have the right to wear what ever they want but also keep in mind the repercussions of such actions.

2.    Is a HS a marketplace for ideas? Can anyone wear anything?

Technically a HS is a marketplace for ideas.  We spend those 4 years learning ideas of people throughout history and how they affect us today, as well as the ideas of those sitting around us within the classrooms and lunch periods.  Peer pressure also forces us to decide what your ideas are and how they are shaped.  As long as the school is public, the attendees can wear almost anything they want.

3.    Should Chase have been suspended, expelled or disciplined?

I think he shouldn’t have been suspended and instead, made to do something such as an assignment to learn about gay culture.  Often times hate crimes and acts come from ignorance of what the hate is targeted towards, so just making the person aware of what they are hating and educating them can reduce the hate and possible escalation.

4.    Does a t-shirt incite or do words?

Often times words and messages can be taken out of context or interpreted in any way the person chooses.  Now in this case I believe that Chase’ shirt had a clear-cut message on it that can be interpreted in few ways.  I believe that it is not the word or shirt, but the message behind it that incites because it is the interaction between that symbol and the person that kick starts the reaction.

5.    What would you do if you were a teacher, a student or a jury member?

If I was one of those in the question, my first measure of operations would be to make the person aware of what they are doing and how it affected them.  If that doesn’t work, a form of punishment representative of one given for a hate crime would be instituted.  After all, hate leads to violence and it is crucial to stop it before it reaches that point.  Also often times it helps the person to understand by putting them in a situation where he/she is hated for a certain belief or characteristic they possess.  Perhaps that would show someone like Chase why what he did was wrong.

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