Wednesday, September 29, 2010

TO SPEAK OR NOT TO SPEAK

“[T]he job of a public employee who speaks critically of his or her employer may or
may not be protected by the First Amendment. If a reviewing court determines that
the employee’s speech was disruptive or subversive to the employer’s interest in
maintaining an efficient workplace, the employee may lose the case.”

http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/PDF/FirstReport.PublicEmployees.PDF

TWO VIDEOS WITH THE STORY

The first video is from a public employee who is an attorney. The second is from an 11 year old boy who had his arm broken because he wants to be a cheerleader. To the best of my knowledge there is no evidence in the case of the boy that the other children ever used anti-gay language. But the problem is when children see adults acting like this assistant attorney general it seems to give them license to act with similar levels of ignorance.

I was shocked to learn that public employees have fewer First Amendment Rights. I am not sure how I feel about it. In fact I cannot and will not say this assistant attorney general should be fired. It is a very difficult question of when private conduct no matter how egregious should form a basis to punish a public employee. It is a case I would never want to decide.

I am simply posting this to get people thinking about the issue. At what point do we hold people accountable? I do not know - but I do know there are bad consequences when people act such as this assistant attorney general. My heart tells me the better approach is for responsible adults to condemn such adults for their diatribes and ignorance, but not punish them with discharge. I think we can do more for our children by speaking out against men like this, than try and silence them, by restricting their right to speak

Here are the videos -

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/20100929/us_yblog_upshot/state-attorney-launches-bizarre-internet-war-on-openly-gay-college-student

http://news.yahoo.com/video/us-15749625/boy-fights-bullying-for-the-right-to-cheer-22181559

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