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Freedom Of Speech
19 May, 2006
author: Rebecca Ditch-Hammack (aka Dreamer)

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Usually I stay out of political controversy
Since there is so much cultural diversity
But sometimes it drives me mad
When I read news stories of freedoms gone bad

A teacher suspended from doing his job
For speaking his mind in private, he is robbed
Not like he was talking to the kids
Told to see it only our way, or of you, we'll be rid

What happened to the freedom of speech
Which is in all history classes we teach
His feelings and thoughts were spoken with another
Turned into the office by an eavesdropper

Is free thinking something we have lost
Personal views silenced; what is the true cost
Is this 'keep silent' approach what we are teaching our young
Silence our voice; see it our way, or your done.

It makes me so angry when I read stories like this
At most it should have been a call to an office, a slap on the wrist
Now the damage to the fellow may not be undone
What happened to his freedoms, it seems he has none

Though we are taught in school freedom of speech is our right
The mixed messages now sent will cause much fight
Now, everyone knows, what was meant to be private
What kind of a lesson to the young who are reliant

You are free to speak; but not to say
Anything that might offend someone, someway
Isn't something like this, how free thinking is obstructed
Now all the kids will have to be re-instructed

So isn't the person who chose to reveal
What was said behind doors which were meant to conceal,
The one who gave the children's fragile belief's the exposure
What he was trying to silence.. well that's over

So what good did it do, his words, now National news
He can no longer can teach due to privately sharing his views
Though as a substitute teacher he may remain un-hired
A credit for freedom of speech, now martyred, he'll inspire

------- Author's Notes -------

I will not further damage this person's career by adding his name here nor the words he chose to share with a fellow teacher in the teacher's lounge. Long as he did not speak them to his class or to any of the students I do not feel he should have been suspended for his words.

I do however feel the actions of the school in suspending him for seven days, forcing this into the open, should be repromanded for their actions. I feel in making this choice they have protected no one, and gave strength to the words by causing them to be further repeated; not to mention have probably damaged his career.

But I am only a poet...

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Comments on this poem/writing:

Meridian (71.253.226.30) -- Friday, May 19 2006, 04:43 pm

speaking of the subject

I read in the paper not too long ago, about a university (whom I which not to specify also) suspending students for their right to the first amendment. Now, these are Journalism students, who write mini journals and editorials for their university...they SHOULD be able to determine what gets put on the front page at their school, rather than the university's president or assistant president interfering and denying them that right. Some journalism professors and instructors have either quit or been fired over this subject matter, freedom of speech.

I'm just as baffled as you are Dreamer.
All in all, well said poem! Great expression!
 
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