Protect Free Speech at Walton High School

Jen Cox
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It has come to our attention that on November 9, 2016, the day after the United States presidential election was decided, Mary-Anne Snow, a student at George Walton Comprehensive High School, wore a sign on her jacket with the words "America Chose Hate." She was told it was causing disruptions and to take it off or face in school suspension (ISS). Meanwhile, plenty of students were wearing pro-Trump related shirts and hats. Some of these students were making taunting remarks such as "Hillary for prison," and they were not singled out for "causing a disruption." When Mary-Anne Snow spoke to the police officer stationed on campus and asked him if students were allowed to express their opinions at school, he answered, "That opinion is not shared by obviously the majority of Americans because they voted." The question is about expressing opinions, not whether or not one agrees with them. The administration maintained that she could not display the words "America Chose Hate."

This is a violation of her 1st Amendment rights of free speech. We expect the administration and staff at our schools to protect those rights, no matter the political statement being made. The right of free speech is indivisible: When one of us is denied this right, all of us are denied.

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