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Thread: Simple overreacting or Liberal Targetting of Free Speech
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Old 03-11-2009, 05:20 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by True_Avery View Post
The thread is on targeting specific beliefs and possible attacks on free speech.

Talking about the 2ed amendment and who should be able to own guns is a separate topic.

I'm not saying -don't- talk about it. I am just pointing out that this thread should stay on topic with the teacher and not go off onto a tangent about gun laws. That has room in another thread.
Well here's the thing though, this is what the teacher was targetting, that student's first amendment rights over was their 2nd Amendment rights.
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Old 03-11-2009, 05:38 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
Well here's the thing though, this is what the teacher was targetting, that student's first amendment rights over was their 2nd Amendment rights.
You have a right to bear arms. Not guns. Not swords. Arms. He presented an argument that guns should be allowed on a school campus, using his freedom of speech right to say so.

She thought his speech was scary, over reacted, and called the police. Freedom of speech does not give him anything for guns, so her targeting of said right is solely on his speech.

Now, if he had brought a gun and she ripped it out of his hand and called the police on him, even though he had a permit to carry, then this would be a topic on the 2ed amendment.

The topic could have been anything "offensive", but the topic in question is irrelevant because the attack was upon his words.

This thread is about a teacher possibly violating a students freedom of speech by calling the police. Now, while that was an overreaction, I'd like someone to connect the dots on how calling the police is a violation of his freedom of speech.

He got up, said the speech, and sat down. It was after wards that he was called in for questioning. His speech was said, and his words were technically allowed. It was the context being called into question.

The topic doesn't so much seem to be freedom of speech as it does abuse of administrative power by going over the heads of her associates. If calling the police was an abuse of someone's freedom of speech, then any arrests for verbal threats and disturbing the peace in public would also be a violation (which could also be debated as an abuse of power).

When do you step over the line to violate speech? Did she violate it by calling, or would it be more appropriate to say she would have violated it if she stopped him mid speech and banned him from speaking about his presentation?

And if that is a violation, then shouldn't I be allowed to talk about any topic I want, anywhere I want, at anytime? If I wanna talk and the teacher tells me to raise my hand, or tells me to stop presenting my powerpoint due to lack of time or another group needs to go, or even gives me a time limit... isn't that violating my freedom of speech?

I find it hard to defend or support "freedom" of speech because anything that prevents you from speaking at any moment or any time could be considered a violation.

Which is why I don't think this topic, as of now, is on "freedom" of speech as it in more on administrative abuse.
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:55 PM   #83
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I don't thinks its liberal targetting. It looks like the school overreacted; however, we don't know the full story. What was said durring class? Did he threaten to bring in his guns, or was he just stating his own opinion? It currently looks as though he was expressing an opinion.

If the police did anything for him, they can now tell the professor he has legal documentation for the guns he has. No crime done there.

A professor in Connecticut reported one of her students to the police after he gave a class presentation on why students and teachers should be allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus. Now, free speech activists say the professor’s actions are what really need to be investigated.

Last October, John Wahlberg and two classmates at Central Connecticut State University gave an oral presentation for a communications class taught by Professor Paula Anderson. The assignment was to discuss a “relevant issue in the media,” and the students presented their view that the death toll in the April 2007 Virginia Tech shooting massacre would have been lower if professors and students had been carrying guns.

That night, police called Wahlberg, a 23-year-old senior, and asked him to come to the station. When he arrived, they they read off a list of firearms that were registered in his name and asked where he kept them. Guns are strictly prohibited on the CCSU campus and residence halls, but Wahlberg says he lives 20 miles off-campus and keeps his gun collection locked up in a safe. No further action was taken by police or administrators.

“I don’t think that Professor Anderson was justified in calling the CCSU police over a clearly non-threatening matter,” Wahlberg told The Recorder, the CCSU student newspaper that first reported the story. “Although the topic of discussion may have made a few individuals uncomfortable, there was no need to label me as a threat.”

Wahlberg declined to comment further to, saying he did not want more media attention.

According to The Recorder, Anderson cited safety as her reason for calling the police.

“It is also my responsibility as a teacher to protect the well-being of our students, and the campus community at all times,” she told The Recorder. “As such, when deemed necessary because of any perceived risks, I seek guidance and consultation from the Chair of my Department, the Dean and any relevant University officials.

Anderson did not respond to calls from Campus police forwarded requests to university spokesman Mark McLaughlin, who declined to comment, citing Wahlberg’s privacy.

Robert Shibley, vice president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), said Anderson's actions appeared to be out of line.

“If all he did was discuss reasons for allowing guns on campus, it seems a bit much to call the police and grill him about it,” Shibley said. “If you go after students for just discussing an idea, that goes against everything a university is supposed to stand for.”

Shibley said FIRE has seen many more cases of hair-trigger responses by administrators over anything gun-related since the Virginia Tech shooting.
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