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
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]