The following letters were submitted by Blaine Middle School students in Megan Schutt’s eighth grade social studies class. The students were assigned to write about freedom of speech, with the understanding that letters would be published in a local newspaper. This is the final week of publishing student letters.
I find it funny that the people who use their right to free speech so proudly are the same people who believe others should be punished for using theirs. Take the case of Colin Kaepernick for example, where former President Donald Trump took a disliking to his peaceful protests during the national anthem.
For those unaware, on August 26, 2016, Kaepernick sat during the national anthem in protest of police brutality. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he said to NFL Media. Many people thought this was or should be against the First Amendment, which is false.
Kaepernick’s protests were clearly not against any laws. He did not incite violence, nor did he cause harm. He simply stated an opinion through a small action; sitting down.
As I stated before, Trump was one of the people who disagreed with Kaepernick’s actions. “I think it’s a great lack of respect and appreciation for our country and I really said they should try another country, see if they like it better. See how well they’ll be doing. See if they are going to be making $20 million being a second-string quarterback,” he said, according to sportingnews.com writer Tadd Haislop.
Why would Trump of all people believe he should move out of the country, or be fired? On plenty of occasions, he’s spoken his mind no matter whom he would offend, and showed pride in our country having the First Amendment. Shouldn’t he fight for others to use their own freedom of speech?
If you’re someone who often talks about your own viewpoint on political issues as you please, consider letting others do the same.
Blaine Middle School
Schools should lower requirements on dress codes.
I understand the importance of preparing students for future jobs that may require uniforms, but shaming them for what they choose to wear is not acceptable. Dress codes target young girls, and it’s unacceptable. It is a girl’s First Amendment right to wear what she wants, as well as feel comfortable and safe.
School should be a safe place for young girls, yet girls are being told that their bodies are the reason boys around them are misbehaving. Telling a girl what to wear in relation to “social” constructs is a violation of her rights; the “social constructs” being the expectation of modesty and purity in girls.
An anonymous girl that attends a high school in the United States recently posted a paragraph titled Is Her Mid-section Showing? on a wall at her school, and it read, “Women of all ages deserve to feel comfortable in their own skin and no one should have the right to tell her that by wearing those kinds of clothes, she is a distraction to the people around her. Doesn’t it make more sense to teach boys to keep their eyes to themselves rather than tell the girls to hide their bodies? ... I’m a 15-year-old girl. If you are sexualizing me, you are the problem.” That is one of the best ways I’ve heard a person explain it.
If you think that girls and women are not mistreated when it comes to clothes, keep in mind that there are millions of girls that feel unsafe in their environments. By ignoring these girls, you are making the issue worse. Men and boys, please take the time to understand and fix this. It is a girl’s first amendment right to feel comfortable, while wearing what she wants.
Blaine Middle School