Tuesday, March 20, 2001

School's ban of Manson T-shirt OK

Yet another example of how kids' rights get trampled, Nicholas Boroff was a senior at an Ohio high school who wanted to wear a Marilyn Manson T-shirt. School officials told him he could not attend classes while wearing that shirt, as it was 'offensive'. Boroff sued, and yesterday, the Supreme Court gave his rights to free speech and due process the thumbs-down. Once again, we have a difference in how different generations view 'offensive' material. Marilyn Manson is a scary-looking guy who uses hype and shock tactics to sell albums. The T-shirt Boroff wore had a picture of a three-faced Jesus on the front and the word 'believe' on the back, with the letters 'lie' highlighted. Apparently, this is offensive.
It's not.
What is offensive is that kids' rights are being routinely denied by authority figures every single day, and it seems like there's nothing that can be done about it. After Columbine, students who wore trenchcoats, or Goth makeup, or were self-described loners got undeserved suspensions from school and harassment from educators and fellow classmates. Marilyn Manson puts the free-speech amendment of the U.S. Constitution to the test; he should be congratulated for reminding Americans how great their country is. Instead, students who wear his T-shirts are denied the right to free speech through supporting his music. Terrific. What's next - black students in Compton won't be allowed to wear Malcolm X shirts?


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