Back when I was in large faculty (pun supposed!) this is the kind of stunt you laughed like insane about, but soon after you received caught, you apologized, accepted your punishment, and that was the end of it. But nowadays, when a student’s juvenile exuberance sales opportunities him to exhibit a banner that cracks up his cohorts but humiliates the higher college administrators, he alternatively sues all the way to the Supreme Court docket above his suspension.
The time was January 2002, and the occasion was the passing of the Olympic Torch via that snowy Alaskan city of Juneau. Of course, Joseph Frederick, the defendant in this circumstance, was warned that any inappropriate conduct when the torch handed by (and the National media showed their town’s large college to the entire world) would not be tolerated, but apparently the possibility was also very good for jokester Joe to move up. For as the cameras whirled and the torch paraded earlier the high faculty (with all the dutiful learners standing outside the house), Frederick and the dudes unfurled a fourteen-foot banner on nationwide television which go through “Bong Hits 4 Jesus.” Juneau Substantial Faculty Principal Deborah Morse angrily confiscated the signal and suspended Frederick for ten times for “advocating illegal drug use,” if not downright idiocracy. But the kicker arrived when Frederick (who claimed he was just possessing exciting) introduced the case to court docket on the guise Juneau Substantial violated his proper to independence of speech.
Well boys and girls, 5 years have passed, which must mean the Supreme Court is now about to hear this circumstance of higher university hi-jinx Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg definitely demonstrates her age when she says “… it isn’t clear that this [implies] ‘smoke pot.'” Justice Stephen Breyer is definitely nearer to the centre with his remark, “If youngsters go around having banners generating a joke out of drug use, that genuinely can make it more durable for me to encourage learners … not to use drugs,” but I think it is Main Justice John Roberts Jr. who really hits the nail on the head, or the pot in the pipe as the situation might be. “There is certainly a broader issue,” says Roberts, “of no matter whether principals or academics … have to dread that they’re likely to pay out out of their individual pockets every time they just take steps pursuant to proven policies.”
It just so occurs that (unfortunately) I am now a bit of an skilled on both sides of the issue. In high faculty, I not only smoked marijuana, but my poem “Stoned” was every bit the anthem in my Midwestern 70s city that Dylan’s ballad “All people Should Get Stoned” was in its 60s heyday. But I haven’t partaken in pot in a quarter of a century and, as for Jesus, “the drugs of immortality”–the daily Eucharist–has changed hashish as my drug of decision. Best oil burner pipe I nonetheless chuckle sometimes at Cheech & Chong movies and occasionally nevertheless even go through “Stoned” (which even now receives the most laughs of anything I’ve created prior to or since) but ONLY in connection with my afterwards poems this kind of as “The Convert” or “The Countless River and the Timeless Tree” to present that my lifestyle, like that of the other Augustine’s, has changed from wayward youth to pursuit of Reality.
The genuinely amusing (this time, “amusing” as in “ironic”) issue about this situation is that, in the ensuing 5 several years because the circumstance commenced, Joseph Frederick has become a instructor (in China, no significantly less!) himself. Of system, Joe has not, like myself, experienced the double lesson/blessing of becoming a instructor AND father, nor has he experienced as numerous years of experience. But, presented all that (and allowing for the truth the Chinese youngsters may be a tad a lot more respectful of authority), I am nevertheless amazed ol’ “Bong Hit” Joe has not however recognized the need to have for pupil restraint. Ideally the Supreme Court docket will get this one proper, but if they will not, this former stoner might individually get a slow boat (loaded with lots of foolish-druggie banners) to China, find out Mr. Frederick’s classroom, and attempt to influence him myself.