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Question for the Free Speech advocates on my friendslist - 1370°C

Sep. 13th, 2007

07:30 pm - Question for the Free Speech advocates on my friendslist

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Date:September 15th, 2007 10:45 am (UTC)
Well, in my personal experience, and the way I enforce this rule in my own classroom, is when the VAST majority of the class takes on a look of complete "I cannot believe he/she said that" combined with the actual content of what the person said.

It's not a matter of censoring my students. Usually, as I said somewhere else around here, it's a matter of PROTECTING the person who said the terrible thing.

For example, if one of my students said "I think all niggers should _____," I am NOT going to try to make a lesson out of it. I'm NOT going to play kindergarten teacher and say "Who has a DIFFERENT point of view than Jimmy" or "How do you feel about what Jimmy has to say?"

I'm going to shut that topic down. FAST. Because things are going to get ugly.

I'm just saying that I try to be fairly liberal. I'm not going to ask everyone to shut the hell up if they voice a political belief I'm against. But when a situation has the potential to get ugly, if things get too inflamed AND AREN'T BEING DISCUSSED IN A SEMI-RATIONAL WAY, I personally will not let it continue. At that point, people aren't talking with their minds, but revert to emotional arguments (which usually has NOTHING to do with the class topic at hand).

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[User Picture]
Date:September 18th, 2007 07:44 am (UTC)
That's different. You certainly have a perogative to maintain order during your classes ... which could include any number of issues, like smalltalk, throwing paper airplanes, whatever. While they're young adults, some are still growing up a bit, and occasionally can use a guiding hand on how to properly conduct themselves. A classroom is a good opportunity to provide that.

I was speaking more of speech in public areas, such as general areas of campus.
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