Law: First Amendment

Listen up, you primitive screwheads.

Too many times I’ve heard people say, “those Covington Catholic kids should never have been allowed to wear MAGA hats on a school excursion.”

Well — why not? If your position is “because Mr. Trump does not represent Catholic values and a private Catholic school should not be supporting him,” and you’re a practicing Catholic, then you are exempt from this rant: you clearly speak from a position of knowledge and principle, and I salute you.

But for the rest of you, who believe that public school administrators generally possess the authority to deny the wearing of MAGA hats — congratulations: you either don’t care about the First Amendment, or know so little about it you’re a complete dumbass.

Students in public schools enjoy the First Amendment guarantees of free political speech when involved in school activities: see Tinker v Des Moines. In Tinker, some school kids wanted to wear black armbands to school to protest the Vietnam War. This was seen as disruptive and they were forbidden.

SCOTUS said, “tough luck: the kids aren’t being disruptive and they have the right to make their political views known.”

You really think wearing a Make America Great Again hat is different from wearing a black armband? You think the hat itself is disruptive? Try again.

The First Amendment does not exist to protect the speech you like and favor. It exists to protect the speech you dislike and disfavor. Any kid in any public school has the right to wear a MAGA hat, and if we think otherwise we’re betraying our Constitution.

Consider the battle lines drawn. You know on which side I stand.

2 Comments

  1. Sadly, I think that most public school administrators THINK that they have the right to prohibit wearing apparel that promotes anything they disagree with (MAGA hats, shirts with political messages, etc)

    One of my neighbor’s grandkids was sent home from school a few years ago for wearing a “Kill Bill” sweatshirt. School said it promoted violence.

    • Is a kill Bill sweatshirt political speech? I’m not familiar with the subject, but the article states that it’s political speech that is protected in school activities. A Kill Bill sweatshirt sounds like it’s just promoting the film, not any particular political movement, so wouldn’t be protected in the same way that the maga hats are.

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