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MCCSC administrator justifies censorship

By Scott Tibbs, April 22, 2005

Following up on my letter to MCCSC on censorship, State Representative Peggy Welch forwarded me an e-mail she got from John Maloy of MCCSC. Maloy responded to Welch with "an abridged version of the incident".

"The administrator investigated and determined that the shirts were a disruption to the educational environment and had the potential to incite greater disruption to the school day and possibly lead to students being harmed."

The decision was then made to require students to violate the dress code in order to have them be in compliance with the dress code. That logic sounds similar to "we need to destroy the village in order to save it."

Just how would the school day be disrupted? I have yet to see one single fact, one shred of evidence, or the slightest hint of proof that the girls who were censored targeted any individual students for taunting or harassment.

I certainly hope that the opinions of these students were not censored because they could potentially be harmed by people who found their attire "offensive". If someone were to act out in response to an opinion (however bluntly expressed) the disciplinary action should be directed at people guilty of violence, not people who are potential targets of it.

It is unfortunate that MCCSC chose to blame a slogan on a shirt for "causing a disruption". Are local teenagers nothing more than robots that can only respond based on their programming? Or are they human beings who are expected to behave in a mature manner when confronted with something they disagree with or find "offensive"?

In at most three years from now, students at Bloomington North are going to be entering the real world where they will have to deal with opinions that they find confrontational or "offensive". They will not be held to the same low standards of bahavior MCCSC has set for them.

I have been accused of "narrowmindedness" because I support the right to free speech. I find this laughable. What is more narrow-minded: someone who thinks all ideas should be free from censorship, or someone who believes "offensive" speech should be censored in order to maintain "order"?