First Amendment banned in Lincoln Park schools

The Lincoln Park (Mich.) School District passed a controversial dress code which prohibits school students from wearing T-shirts with any images, writing or political statements on them, including 9/11 commemorative T-shirts and copies of the First Amendment.

That’s right, the school board is trying to be a bunch of censors.

Hundreds of students have already been sent home or suspended, and over 120 have left the school district entirely, since the dress code was enacted at the beginning of the school year.

Critics say, besides the obvious censorship issue, the district isn’t paying enough attention to the poor quality of education.

Before the board cut off discussion, the members heard from several parents, including 39-year-old Della Schaaf, who said school officials should be more worried about other problems — like textbooks, she said, holding up a tattered and torn language book her fourth-grade daughter, BreeAnn, uses at Foote Elementary School.

“Look at my daughter’s book that she got. What about her homework?” Schaaf asked. . . .

But the dress policy has been defended by those who say it is needed to keep students focused on their school work.

“Since the school year began this year, we have seen better attitudes, more respectful students,” Pam DiNunzio, a ninth-grade geography teacher and family and consumer science teacher at Lincoln Park High School, told the board Tuesday night. — Detroit Free Press

Two students who had been suspended for wearing T-shirts with the First Amendment printed on them came back to school wearing armbands with the First Amendment printed on them. In a bureaucratic oversight, the district forgot to apply its censorship policy to armbands.

Parents are planning to protest the new dress code by keeping their students home on Wednesday, which is “count day,” the day of the year on which districtwide attendance determines how much education money the school district receives from the state.

Because the district receives about $7,100 per student, the 120 who have already left the district, combined with those who stay home Wednesday in protest, could cost the school district dearly.

I say to you parents that you should just remove your children from the district entirely. For your $7,100, you could get a much higher quality private school education instead — if the government wasn’t stealing that money from you in the first place and squandering it on heartless bureaucrats. Perhaps the next thing you focus on should be instituting education vouchers or tax credits.

(Hat tip: Bennett Haselton)

One thought on “First Amendment banned in Lincoln Park schools

  • November 26, 2007 at 7:32 am

    the thing of not letting kids wear a shirt with the first amendment printed on it is stupid and parents not paying atention to the student education.

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