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Guinnin vs Superintendent of Mockingbird High
A group of white high school students from Dallas’s Mockingbird High school were visiting Texas A&M University as part of their schools program “Road toCollege” program. These students attended a class on American History, which presented slavery as an essential issue to the civil war and argued that Texas’s leaders at that time exhibited racist tendencies in their failure to support Lincoln’s proclamation of equality.
One student Emma Gunnin, a descendant of Jim “Tex” Gunnin, a hero of the confederacy, was in the visiting group. She had on confederate flag earrings, and a shirt with a confederate battle flag on it saying “Southern Pride”. When the class was over she approached a group of students surrounding the professor, who was African American, and many students who were predominately African American and Hispanics. Emma said “Do you like my earrings”? And then continued with “How about my shirt”. Two other students from Emma’s class joined the conversation, holding a notebook with a Donald Trump bumper sticker on it, and began using racial epitaths, saying to the professor “Why don’t you go back to Africa where you came from” and then turned to some students and said “Stupid wetbacks, you can’t even get your papers! Wait until that wall comes up!” amongst other things. They continued to harass and taunt the professor and college students saying they would never want to go to college where liberal lies were taught by
stupid and biased professors to students who can’t think for themselves. At that point, another friend showed up to tell them it was lunch time, as they left Emma turned around and said: “maybe when you graduate you can get a job picking vegetables for my family”. When the superintendent from Mockingbird high school heard about their behavior she suspended Emma and her two friends for 30 days. Emma, and her parents, sued
the school saying they violated her first amendment rights and quelled her educational experience, and have harmed her chances to get into a college. Is this a violation of her freedom of speech?
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Decision & Judgment on Emma Guinnin versus superintendent of Mockingbird High School case :
U.S’s first amendment rights as referred in the constitution refer to considerations when the U.S. government confers freedom of speech to individuals in America. This case is about Emma Guinnin and superintendent of Mockingbird High school regarding the former’s behavior in Texas University. This will be discussed with reference to three case laws and six issues. Emma had been under the preconception of southern pride. This is chiefly in respect to her confederacy. Every student should be able to act equally with others that can represent his/her good taste. It is based on prohibiting laws and regulations towards special conference to any particular religion. It also states that there would not be any free exercise or religion or abridge of freedom of speech by individuals. There should be freedom of speech, freedom to assemble. All such factors form a very important part. US citizens deserve a right to opt for freedom in terms of accessing liberty or leading a happy life. In this case, the students visited Texas A and M University, as a part of their college program. Hence, if any student behaves unfair in the latter’s premises, then school authority is liable to get punishments or legal obligations form the government. The U.S constitution of law provides right of freedom of speech to Americans. However they shouldn’t question the existence of Hispanics and other communities in America on any ground (Levy 2017).
Emma and her friends misused their rights to assemble and express themselves under the university program. This is not ethical in the first place. Emma should not have used material substances like of confederate flag earrings or shirt showing Donald Trump in battle flag to raise argument or humiliate others. The first amendment of the United States constitution came into effect on and from 15th December 1791. The first amendment states that every student/ individual exercises freedom of speech in schools or in other public places. It is positive as this provides the ground by which he or she is able to judge whether things are going right or wrong. Further it would help to create a positive learning environment and acquiring of skills. Emma and her friends could enrich themselves in the long run. So, first amendment is actually stairs taking the students towards meeting self-sufficiency and productivity towards important goals (Amar & Brownstein 2016).
However in this case, it was found that Emma was not right at what she spoke. Every individual has the freedom to speak and express him or her but when words are civic. Emma used savage words to humiliate the African American professor and other students. An individual has no right to discriminate between people on the basis of religion or body color. For example Emma insulted the professor as well as group of students which questioned on their stay in America. The main reason behind this was disparity in that body color as well as culture and religion. This kind of aspect strongly protests her hate speech. It is also a proof to show that she did not exercise her right to freedom of speech in the correct manner. Hence it was not wrong for the superintendent to suspend these students for a term of 30 days. I provide my affirmation on this, with its logical grounds. This step was quite essential for the students to understand about their speech and democratic limits. They have full freedom to access their rights without questioning upon others. Hence this was a violation of freedom of speech. It was not unjust for the superintendent under the possible scenario and options open to the public school management (Byrum 2017).
The bill of rights (under amendment provisions 1-10) secures the rights of every student or every individual within their surroundings so that they can express themselves freely. However in case of Emma and her class mates, there was lack of courtesy while speaking to the Texas’s professor and other students. This is going to earn a bad name to the school that they belong to. It also questioned their mentality towards the blacks. Based on this, the superintendent is right to proclaim decision about suspension about the students for 30 day time period. The students need to understand that every individual is equal in terms of the government or within schools or within society. There should be no disparity amongst themselves or in the eyes of law (Cantor 2017).
It has been stated in U.S Case law that the first amendment values are adequately protected by appellate divisions for further use as stated by Miller v. California , 413 U.S 15( 1973)
Statements asking black students to go back to Africa and other similar statements were nothing was disgusting. Mockingbird High School should be able to concern on seeking for right goals for a positive learning environment, not only within school premises but in all school programs. Under this form of situation, the schools and their management should be able to take informed decisions in order to retain the principles, moral and mannerisms of that school without being liable to the American Governmemt. On the other hand, each and every student should get equal opportunities to express themselves. However the students should exercise their rights and freedom well and not exceed them.
The supreme court hold no responsibility regarding fighting words, which may cause injury or breach of peace as stated by chaplinsky v. New Hampshire , 315 U.S 568 (1942)
Before being able to represent a final decision on this case, certain things need to be cleared. The constitutional law of America confers freedom of speech, freedom to express self, to every individual living in America. The Supreme Court cannot punish any individual like that of Emma for being able to speak unreasonably. However, I feel it was an acute example of insensible and inhumane behavior. On the other hand, the court and the government have legal rights to punish the school authority ie Mockingbird High school if they are unable to handle their students and their behavior well. Under such a situation, Mockingbird High school is answerable to the court as well as to the government if they are unable to maintain proper school policies and regulations. The management of every school is expected to retain positive learning environment within school or externally during school programs. Students under such a perspective were not supervised by any coordinator when they were inside Texas University (Collins 2018).
The U.S Case laws have special conformity with reference to amendment of rights.
It is needful for the superintendent of the school to take some urgent action against this sort of behavior and action by students. Hence the superintendent was right in order to be politically correct. He had to ensure punishment which otherwise would have encouraged other students to behave rudely. This would occur has a distress to black African American students as well to the professor or anybody else. By adopting the present decision, the school is clear and transparent in maintenance and adherence of official laws and schooling policies (Moore & Bell 2017).
On the other hand if I consider about what Emma’s mother stated with regard to her, certain factors need to be highlighted. Emma’s mother raised questions on amendment of rights or about her education getting affected. However, the suspension period would not prove any positive or negative influence upon her schooling. She would be able to imbibe positive characteristics in personal development. As an individual, we need to respect others without demarcating between them. Emma humiliated them saying that the job of picking vegetables from her residence would serve the latter. This questioned her personal courtesy ratio and insulted America’s strong initiatives to maintain equality. On the other hand, if such students are not punished now then the school would be answerable. There would be even more students who would feel encouraged to do the same. It would further bring trouble upon the Hispanic, the African Americans, as well as other cultural and religious groups of America. This should not exercise within any learning environment. We should always protect our society as well as different educational and work institutions from negative statements acts and behavior in every way possible.
Hence the constitutional law of America has to consider a number of factors before realizing to whether the superintendence was wrong. For example, classmates had randomly been showing Donald Trump bumpers sticker to people and commented about a needful border between the Mexicans and Americans. To object this strongly, Americans have tried did hard attempts to bring equality among all (Garry 2017).
The U.S case law indicates that there should be freedom of speech for all.
For example there should not be any discussions on border between Mexicans and Americans one of these statements they has commented so indirectly, so that the former cannot enter into the latter’s country for education or any other purposes. The students even questioned about the content been taught in Texas University. Such comments are highly unethical and not recommended in any institution or profession. As this group was sent on a college program by the management of Mockingbird High school to Texas A &M University, there are certain responsibilities that the school as well as the students were expected to follow. In contrast, if this sort of statement or behavior was not dealt with on a serious note now, then it would encourage students to question the integrity of the school, the American government, the constitution, and the people.
The U.S case laws suggest that there should be secured legislations within U.S public schools.
The court shall hence not encourage such kind of racist tendencies among people. Apart from valuable class lessons, students should learn about maintaining equality in all respects. However on a personal level, it is assumed that Emma and others lack awareness which was well evident through her hate of speech. All this cannot promote a safe environment for learning in the school or even outside the school. So, I pass this decision that the management and the school officials of Mockingbird High school had adopted a right decision in the best possible manner. The superintendent was right in his part. When he found that an over exceeding of free speech was exercised by Emma and her classmates, he had to take a harmless decision. It called for an urgent action. This kind of attitude is not punishable under the law so far as the individual i.e. Emma Gunnin is concerned. However, it was commendable job for the superintendent on behalf of the school authority of Mockingbird High school to take such an urgent action (McVicar 2016).
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