The violation of the freedom of speech in American education dates back to 1962 when the government banned prayers in all public schools. It was a policy that prohibited religious freedom to the student and was absorbed by the education system (Coleman, 123). The move by the Supreme Court that prohibited a practice that had been carried out every morning was the first sign of the denial of the enjoyment of the freedom of speech. Despite the First Amendment to the American constitution stating that the congress would make no law that abridge the freedom of speech; this commitment is countered by the 14th amendment (American Myths, 1).
The education system takes away the freedom of speech by establishing school uniform that makes the students look like prisoners. Though the constitution permits symbolic speech, the introduction of uniforms denies students to express themselves and what they believe to be freedom through their dressing (Hudson, 134). It also denies them to present their real personal traits through clothing. The uniform system makes students feel trapped and unable to present their real self as they are already confined to what they should look and present themselves (Debate, 1). School uniform may make students lose their confidence as they think that the way they would like to present themselves to others is not adequate. It is in the interest of the students to be allowed to dress as they wish so that they can fully enjoy their freedom.
The education system in America does not take away the freedom of speech from the student. On the contrary, it provides the best platform for the enjoyment of this right. Through the debating clubs, science congress, music, drama festivals and even in their exam papers, the students are given the best opportunity to express themselves. With the advancement in technology and increase in the use of social media such as Instagram, twitter and Facebook, student can freely interact in their school pages and express themselves and their feeling about various aspects of the school system.
In some instances, the education system may ban the use of certain language or symbols if they are harmful to another group or if they can cause cultural, racial or religious conflicts. Though such action may be termed a violation of their rights, it is in the interest of the education system and the nation to ensure that the country is peaceful and there is safety for all citizens. On the other hand, the school system should ensure that minimal interference to the students’ freedom of speech is violated if it cannot be fully avoided. However, this should be directly attributed to benefit the students.
"American Myths." The Freeware Hall Of Fame (sm) Home Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Apr. 2014.
Coleman, Jeffrey L. Words of Protest, Words of Freedom: Poetry of the American Civil Rights Movement and Era. Durham: Duke University Press, 2012. Print.
Debate. "Do school uniforms violate a student's right to freedom of expression? | Debate.org." The Premier Online Debate Website | Debate.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Apr. 2014.
Durchslag, Melvyn R. State Sovereign Immunity: A Reference Guide to the United States Constitution. Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2002. Print.
Editorial Staff. "Banning Prayer in Public Schools Has Led to America's Demise — The Forerunner." The Forerunner — Home. N.p., 1988. Web. 2 Apr. 2014.
Hudson, David L. Let the Students Speak: A History of the Fight for Free Expression in American Schools. Boston: Beacon Press, 2011. Print.
Rudstein, David S. Double Jeopardy: A Reference Guide to the United States Constitution. Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2004. Print.