Sticks and stones may still break bones but name-calling gets a second chance. That after a Pennsylvania federal appeals court decided last week to overturn a local school district’s anti-harassment policy on the basis that it criminalizes free-speech.
It’s a decision that could affect every classroom, schoolyard, and bully across the country. Although rules against bullying, teasing and hate speech are nothing new; many school districts put together stronger anti-harassment policies to offset growing anxiety that resulted after Columbine.
Now, many Christian parents and others are crying foul – calling the rules “over-protection.” They say the protection of speech against everything from racial slurs to differing opinions on sexual orientation is not only overbroad but unconstitutional. So how do we protect our children and our constitutional rights at the same time?
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)
Arthur Lipkin author of “Understanding Homosexuality – Changing Schools.” David Warren Saxe – Penn State Associate Professor and member of Pennsylvania Board of Education. Legal Guardian of two students against whom the case was filed. Larry Frankel, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania branch of the ACLU.