A seventh grade boy and his family are catching all kinds of flak after they allowed the kid to wear a fake news t-shirt mocking CNN on a field trip to the network’s headquarters.
Because, you know, only little lefties are allowed to express sharp, witty political dissent in their fashion.
You can almost guarantee if this kid were taking a trip to Fox News wearing a shirt that replaced “Fox” with “Faux” these same people would give the student a standing ovation.
Anyway, here’s the skinny on what happened.
via Fox News:
Nancy and Stan Jester, of Dekalb, are both local elected officials, she a county commissioner and he is a member of the local school board. Their son, seventh-grader Jaxon, wore a shirt mocking the CNN logo as “FNN” with the caption, “Fake News Network.”
A teacher asked him to remove it before the tour, but the school has since apologized to the Jesters. However, the parents want an apology for Jaxon because, they say, the whole thing was his idea and he has the right to free speech.
“This year when the CNN tour was announced, my 7th grade son Jaxon asked me if he could purchase an FNN-Fake News Network shirt to wear for his field trip,” Stan Jester wrote in a blog post. “As an advocate for the First Amendment, I agreed to his request.”
Jester continued: “His mother cautioned him that he might cause a controversy and needed to be prepared for that. He was fully aware of the implications of his decision and made the affirmative choice to wear his shirt.”
“Some students are celebrated when they make a controversial display during the National Anthem. My student was forced to remove his shirt because someone didn’t like it. I defend speech and expression, even if I disagree, or it makes me uncomfortable,” he wrote.
I can certainly understand why some teachers might have felt slightly uncomfortable with the kid’s shirt, but that’s just too bad.
Freedom of speech isn’t dependent upon whether or not a person is “comfortable” with someone else’s personal expression or opinion. Their job is to respect that individual’s right to share their thoughts, regardless of how those thoughts make them feel.
The question the teachers and school staff need to be asked is if they would’ve done the same thing had the news network been a right leaning one? If the answer is “yes” then that’s way less problematic. Still wrong, but less problematic.
If they can’t give a quick, solid affirmative answer, then that means it’s nothing more than bias.
What makes this even more tricky is that schools are funded and run by the government, and the First Amendment obviously offers these kids protection for the free expression of their ideas, thoughts, and beliefs. So this could be considered a case of the government limiting a citizen’s speech, which is unacceptable.
Bottom line, the school should’ve just left the boy alone, as it really wasn’t that big of a deal. Was it a bit disrespectful? Maybe. Probably. But so is the way CNN treats conservatives so perhaps they could stand to make some changes too.