Have you ever wondered what life at school would be like without”freedom?” In myopinion I think it would be horrid. Think about it. If wehad no freedom we wouldn’t be able to do the things we love most, or choosewhat friends we hang out with. The freedoms we have now we all take for granted.
For example, do you even know what your freedoms are? If you don’t, then youought to hear me out so you know in the future what they mean. First of allthere are two very specific freedoms that all students and teachers should knowand understand. These two freedoms are the very basis for our society. 1)FREEDOMOF SPEECH Freedom of speech is one of the most important freedoms we havebecause if we didn’t have this one we wouldn’t be able to speak our mindsthrough speeches in public. This freedom allows us to speak in more ways thanone.
It allows us to express ourselves through reading, writing, and speaking. Although freedom of speech has its greatness in many ways, it also has adownfall, in which it is abused. For example: Media today can twist this freedomto invade your privacy, which is not a good thing if you’re ArnoldShwartzenegger getting out of the shower, and someone takes a picture of younaked and prints it in the local paper. But most of the time this sineriodoesn’t occur because they’ve come up with laws like the “Privacy Act,”and so on so this sort of mayhem doesn’t happen, but even though laws are madepeople still break them. 2)FREEDOM OF RELIGION This freedom goes along withfreedom of speech yet stands alone in its own category. There are many ways tolook at this freedom.
It has as many goods as it does bads. You just have tolearn how to apply it to you. First I’ll list the goods. The gains of thisfreedom allow you not only to speak your own opinions, but allows you to take ita step further. Example: Lets say you are a Christian, but go to a school whereChristianity is looked down upon.
Now lets say you have some friends that alsoattend this school and want to have a lunchtime bible study, but are afraid thatthe school may suspend you or even worse. Well, it says in the constitution, therules and regulations our country is based upon, that students may have a biblestudy in and on school premises as long as it is student led. Teachers may evenattend, but cannot participate in the function. This is where a lot can go wrongand things get turned upside down. This is also where some of the bads come intoplay. This freedom is more a rightstricken than abused law.
In other wordsit’s more denied than abused. An example of this was written by Rebecca Jonesfrom the American Schoolboard Journal. She wrote, “Lillian Gobits VsMinersville District, in 1940 led some West Virginians to punish Jehovah’sWitnesses who refuse to have their children recite the Pledge of Allegiance inschool. The Witnesses, she wrote, “Were actually herded together and fedcastor oil, stripped of their clothes, and forced to walk through town.
“(Jones 2) Well, about three years later the supreme court reversed itself andruled that schools could not require the pledge. It’s this kind of abuse thatturns people away from religion in my opinion. Nothing is more challenging thanconfronting a well-established myth. A myth, repeated often enough that it takesa hold on peoples imaginations and is all but impossible to get rid of. One suchmyth is that when it comes to religion in public schools, people For and Againstschool prayer are engaged in the legal equivalent of Hand-to-hand combat, oneside fighting to put God in schools, and the other desperately trying to keephim out. Unfortunately, parents, schools officials, and politicians alikesometimes act as if the myth were fact.
Some people ag-on this myth withwell-intentioned, but simply wrong statements about what the constitution doesand does not permit. House speaker Newt Gingrich, for example, announced a whileback that under current law students could not pray in the schools cafeteria. Also, teachers believing this outlandish myth have sometimes refused to accepthomework with religious content. Some schools mistakenly support some segmentsof the religious community when they permit (unconstitutional) state-sponsoredprayer, such as allowing coaches to pray with their teams, as long as theyexcuse students who do not want to pray. Or, another example is where a schoolexcludes all religious activity period. As much in this media age, perceptionovercasts reality.
Matters on which there is no dissagreement in the courts and,equally important in the thinking of church and civil groups, have too oftenescalated into open conflict because parents, the public, and school officialssimply don’t know what the law provides. Schools have been distracted fromtheir educational mission and forced to endure unnecessary debates overreligious issues. Our society as a whole is depicted as being boiled in anendless culture war over public education. As our courts have reaffirmed,nothing in the 1st amendment converts our public schools into religious-freezones, or require that all religious expression to be left behind at theschools’ house door.
“Religious freedom is perhaps the most precious of allAmerican liberties–called by many our First freedom. ” (clinton 20-22) “TheConstitution protects expression by students of their religious beliefs throughreports, homework, and art work. ” (Stern 6-8) If you really think about it, wereally have it easy, because all we actually do is take them for granted untilsomeone tries to either take them away or abuses them, then we get mad about it. A long time ago teachers and students were limited by a strict theme of rulesand guidelines, but today we have a new challenge.
One to carry on generationafter generation. Our freedom to speak out against wrong doing and our freedomto live a normal happy life. In my opinion “If you don’t have freedom whatdo you have.”