Originally posted by 2nd Hand Thoughts
Two things first. I agree to disagree.
I can appreciate that.
Rather than going into exhaustive detail and cyclic responses I'd just like to sum up with a couple of points and we can leave our difference in
opinion as it is.
I think we can agree that words are not harmful in and of themselves- they're implications and real-world effects are. Threatening speech does not
occur in a vaccuum. It is accompanied by body language, tone, and often physical confrontation, all of which can easily be spotted and addressed. Even
to whisper to a friend in Swahili that I think the geometry teacher looks like he's got Dick Cheney's butt for a chin is not a problem unless of
course it leads to defiance or noncompliance, which can be addressed and punished in their own right.
It is my humble opinion that the freedom of thought, expression, and even action is absolute except where it directly infringes upon the basic rights
of others. John Stuart Mill is my intellectual hero in that respect- [U]On Liberty sits to the right of the bible on my shelf. That is where I'm
coming from and why I believe that words in and of themselves should not be punished.
You of course however do know the lay of the land- you say you work there and I have no reason to doubt that you do and that you have learned a great
deal about the situation there, so far be it from me to get heavy-handed in my disagreement, although i do disagree as a matter of principle (which is
a little ironic for me, since my views tend to smell utilitarian, but in this case...)
Also, to clarify, the relevance of law to my post is quite simply that we are dealing with the conduct of our educational system and our
naturalization process, both of which are matters under the legislative control of the state and federal governments, respectively.
If something is necessary to the successful conduct of our education system or the process by which we naturalize immigrants, we have to institute the
corrective actions from the top, not simply within the schools or districts, where it will seem arbitrary and not be widespread enough to bring about
a pervasive change in the lives of immigrants.
If we are to institute an emersion type ESL program, it has to be a concerted effort, not simply a point of argument in defense of a rule which
apparently hasn't been working so far.
Not to hammer the point- just trying to clarify since you felt that the relevance of my initial statement was not clear.