Student Sues Wisconsin School After Getting a Zero for Religious Drawing

page: 5
3
<< 2  3  4   >>

log in

join

posted on Apr, 7 2008 @ 02:08 PM
link   
reply to post by The Nighthawk
 
It seems to me that your stance in this matter is somewhat too closely defined by the parameters that obtain in the United States of America. I am making a point of much wider application. Liberalism is founded upon the axiom that people have the right to do and say as they like provided they cause no injury to others in the process. In the case at hand the teacher was in clear violation of that principle. The pupil was not. All he did was make a picture; an extreme liberal, one who held that children must have the same rights as adults, would call what happened in that classroom an act of censorship.

I am not such a liberal. I recognize that children are little savages, and until the process of maturity and acculturation is complete (whatever that means; it does sound a bit sinister) both their rights and their duties must necessarily be circumscribed. That is precisely why the teacher must carry the blame for what happened in that classroom.

He shares it, however, with a society that has made Holy Writ out of a human artifact (the US Constitution), thereby opening the way for a comprehensive usurpation of judgement and good sense by an inequitable, impenetrable labyrinth of laws and rules; and having quite lost itself as a result, raised up an over-mighty Priesthood of the Labyrinth, otherwise known as the legal profession, to 'guide' its citizens through the maze, thoroughly enslaving itself in the process. For those of us who have learnt to look upon the United States as a grand experiment in liberal, democratic government by a free people, it is all very distressing to watch. I will not belabour the point further.

I shall, however, comment on the following, because I must:



Astyanax: Teenage boys should be raised by men, not by bureaucrats and ambulance-chasers.

So when my father died and I was seven, my mother should have immediately re-married the first guy who made eye contact? For someone else who claims to have liberal views, that's a pretty misogynistic statement to make.

Read the sentence again: teenage boys, etc. Not infants.

By the time a boy attains puberty, his mother's contribution to the formation of his character and knowledge is essentially complete. What remains is to make him a man, and this can only properly be done by other men, even in the most modern, liberal society. It is thus that men learn manhood, not only in the schoolroom but also on the playing-field, in one another's company, in rebellion against authority and in the rather critical matter of self-defence. This viewpoint may be called old-fashioned, if you like, but it is by no means illiberal.

There is one department in which adolescent boys -- most of them, anyway -- require female instruction, but I am sure you will agree that it is hardly the office of a mother.

[edit on 7-4-2008 by Astyanax]




posted on Apr, 7 2008 @ 04:48 PM
link   

Originally posted by Astyanax
It seems to me that your stance in this matter is somewhat too closely defined by the parameters that obtain in the United States of America. I am making a point of much wider application.


Which, for the sake of arguing this particular instance, is completely irrelevent.


Liberalism is founded upon the axiom that people have the right to do and say as they like provided they cause no injury to others in the process.


Among other things. But, generally agreed.


In the case at hand the teacher was in clear violation of that principle. The pupil was not. All he did was make a picture; an extreme liberal, one who held that children must have the same rights as adults, would call what happened in that classroom an act of censorship.


But, children do not have the same rights as adults, largely because with rights come certain responsibilities that they are not prepared to handle. As children grow, their understanding of responsibility grows as well. There are times when their responsibilities outweigh their rights, such as during the teenage years.


I am not such a liberal. I recognize that children are little savages, and until the process of maturity and acculturation is complete (whatever that means; it does sound a bit sinister) both their rights and their duties must necessarily be circumscribed.


Correct.


That is precisely why the teacher must carry the blame for what happened in that classroom.


I'm sorry, what?!?!?!?!? You cannot state in one sentence that children must have boundaries, and then blame their authority figure for setting those boundaries--and then leveling just punishment when the student crosses the line. The student is at a stage where his rights are necessarily curtailed (because in a school setting, teenagers with equal rights to adults would be impossible to teach as discipline would be nonexistent), and yet he is expected to be responsible for his own actions. He had a choice to take a different class at the beginning of the semester if he didn't like the teacher's rules. Instead he chose to be an obnoxious miscreant, and then sued when he was justly punished for his actions.


He shares it, however, with a society that has made Holy Writ out of a human artifact (the US Constitution),


Which, along with the Declaration of Independence and the Magna Carta, are among the most important secular documents ever written.


thereby opening the way for a comprehensive usurpation of judgement and good sense by an inequitable, impenetrable labyrinth of laws and rules; and having quite lost itself as a result, raised up an over-mighty Priesthood of the Labyrinth, otherwise known as the legal profession, to 'guide' its citizens through the maze, thoroughly enslaving itself in the process.


We are a Nation of Laws. Slave to the Law, slave to religion, slave to money--everyone's a slave to something.


For those of us who have learnt to look upon the United States as a grand experiment in liberal, democratic government by a free people, it is all very distressing to watch.


Try being inside the beast these last seven years. Some of us are working on fixing it.


Astyanax: Teenage boys should be raised by men, not by bureaucrats and ambulance-chasers.

Read the sentence again: teenage boys, etc. Not infants.


My mother never remarried. Are you saying I'm less of a man because I grew up without a father?


By the time a boy attains puberty, his mother's contribution to the formation of his character and knowledge is essentially complete. What remains is to make him a man, and this can only properly be done by other men, even in the most modern, liberal society. It is thus that men learn manhood, not only in the schoolroom but also on the playing-field, in one another's company, in rebellion against authority and in the rather critical matter of self-defence. This viewpoint may be called old-fashioned, if you like, but it is by no means illiberal.


That's not "liberal" in my book, and I'm practically a socialist. Where, exactly, do you hail from?


[edit on 4/7/2008 by The Nighthawk]

[edit on 4/7/2008 by The Nighthawk]



posted on Apr, 8 2008 @ 01:02 AM
link   
reply to post by The Nighthawk
 

That's not "liberal" in my book, and I'm practically a socialist.

Thus we come to the heart of the matter. Here lies the cause of your difficulties with the basic principles of liberalism. Here, also, is the reason why, on this issue, you have chosen to side with the oppressor. It is, in fact, a socialist position you have been arguing all along.

Many American 'liberals' are really Socialists but dare not admit it, fearing the opprobrium of their fellow-citizens. So they have appropriated the term 'liberal' and applied it, quite wrongly, to themselves. The Economist, a newspaper founded on true liberal principles, accurately describes the situation in the following leader:

There's A Word For It*

True liberals are the intellectual children of John Locke, David Hume, Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill. We view the ideas and programme of socialism with the utmost repugnance.

 
*The link is to a blog comment that quotes the leader in full. Subscribers to The Economist may view it at the first link.

[edit on 8-4-2008 by Astyanax]



posted on Apr, 8 2008 @ 10:51 AM
link   

Originally posted by Astyanax
True liberals are the intellectual children of John Locke, David Hume, Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill. We view the ideas and programme of socialism with the utmost repugnance.


Well, for all Locke's good points, he also was big in the slave trade and helped draft the Carolinas' Constitution granting a master absolute power over his slaves, which to me seems in direct opposition to his treatise on the "self" and your "classical liberal" viewpoints. It's hard for me to accept a slavery supporter's ideas regarding self-determination in an argument about whether children in school should have their rights curtailed. And, in the end, it doesn't matter, because in this case the philosophy behind the teacher's decision is not at issue. What is at issue is, a teenager decided the rules didn't apply to him and was punished for it. The onus is not on the teacher or the administration or the school board to justify their philosophical views. Their authority is long established as legal and legitimate. The student has no leg to stand on.

The facts in evidence in this case are simple:

The teacher has rules to follow.

The teacher, in accordance with the rules laid out for him by the school board and administration, created a contract to limit the subject matter of the work in his class.

The student signed that contract, and then not only violated it, but in a supreme act of insubordination, physically destroyed it.

The student was justly punished for his actions.

The student, instead of accepting responsibility for his actions, has decided to push it even further with a lawsuit that will likely bankrupt the school and the teacher with defense costs, regardless of the verdict in the lawsuit itself.

It has been established that children in school have fewer rights than adults. This is necessary to assert control over the classroom setting. Teenagers, while not having the same rights as adults, are expected to be responsible for their actions.

You can argue all you want about the philosophies of conscience and self-determination, but in the real world of a busy high school those philosophies are little more than theories to be discussed in an appropriate class. Philosophical theory and practical reality often fail to meet in the middle, and out of base necessity, school is one of those places where the two barely pass like ships in the night.

[edit on 4/8/2008 by The Nighthawk]



posted on Apr, 9 2008 @ 12:23 AM
link   

Originally posted by The Nighthawk
For all Locke's good points, he also was big in the slave trade and helped draft the Carolinas' Constitution granting a master absolute power over his slaves, which to me seems in direct opposition to his treatise on the "self" and your "classical liberal" viewpoints.

Had he lived in the nineteenth or twentieth century this would have been a valid comment, but since we are talking about a man who died in 1704, it's simply anachronistic. You cannot condemn a man for being of his time. Thomas Jefferson (a liberal for whom you might have more sympathy) was a slave-owner and fathered a child on one -- an act that cannot be interpreted, whatever the circumtances, as anything but rape. How many Europeans opposed slavery in the seventeenth century?


You can argue all you want about the philosophies of conscience and self-determination, but in the real world of a busy high school those philosophies are little more than theories to be discussed in an appropriate class.

Who's the pragmatist now? My good friend, if principles are to be abandoned at the very moment when they are most apposite, what is the point of having principles at all?

As for the rest of your post, you are very welcome to the last word.



posted on Apr, 9 2008 @ 08:48 AM
link   

Originally posted by Astyanax
Had he lived in the nineteenth or twentieth century this would have been a valid comment, but since we are talking about a man who died in 1704, it's simply anachronistic. You cannot condemn a man for being of his time. Thomas Jefferson (a liberal for whom you might have more sympathy) was a slave-owner and fathered a child on one -- an act that cannot be interpreted, whatever the circumtances, as anything but rape. How many Europeans opposed slavery in the seventeenth century?


I don't have much sympathy for Jefferson either. I don't care what century they lived in. People who say all men are created equal, and have the right to self-determination, unless their skin is black, are hypocrites no matter how you slice it.


Who's the pragmatist now? My good friend, if principles are to be abandoned at the very moment when they are most apposite, what is the point of having principles at all?


But idealism and pragmatism must be balanced for society to function with some semblance of order. The school setting is a perfect example of this. Children in school must have certain rights curtailed, and certain rules pressed upon them, with rewards and punishments meted out for excellence or failure. This is the only way children can grow up to be functioning, responsible adults. Discipline is an absolute necessity in the classroom to facilitate the learning process. And no, this doesn't make me hypocritical in terms of my anti-slavery comments, because we're not talking about permanent ownership of another human being one uses and throws away when no longer useful. It's a needed part of the process of raising children. They are not adults, and pretending they are, with full rights to act on equal footing as adults, is counter-productive.





new topics

top topics
 
3
<< 2  3  4   >>

log in

join