A Disruption of School Affairs

A friend of mine lives in a particularly conservative city in south Texas; a city where 41% of the population is of Mexican descent and about 61% is Hispanic. When Arizona’s SB 1070 passed, my friend and twenty of his classmates organized a school-wide campaign to push back against the new law.

They taped up posters around school that displayed huge pictures of eyes on them with the subtext, “We See You, Latinos.” They put up mirrors around campus and underneath them, wrote, “Do I Look Illegal?” The whole thing was unmistakably caustic and sardonic; it was a powerful statement, the likes of which this school had never seen.

The high school’s administration ended the protest. My friend, along with two other students, got suspended; but not for displaying their political ideology, the administrators claimed, or because it broke with popular opinion. They suspended them because the protest “disrupted school affairs.”

That same day, during school hours, the school gym was being demolished by a crane. But that didn’t “disrupt school affairs.”

“(There shall be) no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Tell me, does the first amendment not apply to minors?


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