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Old April 30, 2013, 10:00 PM   #90
Join Date: January 20, 2013
Posts: 36
Defiance or obedience

I want to thank Double Naught Spy for presenting a reasonable case contrary to the general opinions of this thread.

I believe the situation was handled poorly by all involved, and support the student’s right to wear an NRA shirt to school.

Let’s keep in mind, however, that we are talking about an 8th grader, typically a 14 year old, defying a teacher’s effort to enforce the dress code. In this situation the student should at most respectfully ask to walk with the teacher to an administrator for further consideration of the issue.

To distinguish this case from Tinker (based upon the following holding only)

In wearing armbands, the petitioners were quiet and passive. They were not disruptive and did not impinge upon the rights of others. In these circumstances, their conduct was within the protection of the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth. Pp. 505-506.
Unlike Tinker, this issue involved defiance that resulted in a disruption. Even with the teacher being wrong, there were avenues for redress that did not involve defiance or disruption.

I am a teacher and know the dress code is a difficult issue. I once raised the issue of a student wearing a pot leaf and was told that until it caused a disruption he could wear it. I followed up with the student and the students’ parents. The student was later expelled for selling pot on campus.

If we are trying to teach our kids how to support and defend the right to keep and bear arms, we should also teach them how to properly address the inevitable conflicts that will arise. An essential element in this effort is the recognition of and respect for authority, even when it is improperly exercised. Respecting authority is a first step to understanding how to effectively address the misuse or abuse of authority through appeal to a higher authority.
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