Wednesday, March 16, 2005

T-Shirts with the Marine Creed Allowed by 7th Circuit

Eugene Volokh makes the interesting point, in the above-linked post, that:

"Seems to me that the court got it right, and that the school officials got it wrong. And they got it wrong because they made a basic error that's unfortunately far too common: They confused violence with wrongful violence.

Using guns to kill innocent classmates is obviously a heinous crime. Using a gun to defend yourself is perfectly proper. An American marine's using guns to kill the enemy is a necessary (though sometimes regrettable) duty. And while we should generally want to create a culture of law-abidingness, a culture of pacifism -- or a culture in which the Marine Creed is treated as the equivalent of gangsta rap -- is a recipe for national disaster."

I have to agree with him on this issue. Moreover, I think it applies to society as a whole (as does Professor Volokh). All too often, our zero-tolerance approach to issues serves no purpose other than to remove individual judgement from the equation. Certainly, we all may quibble with the appropriateness of an individual action, but it is ridiculous to assume that all fact sets will fit neatly inside a rigid code. Most times, zero tolerance is used solely as an excuse to either not think, or as a tactic to avoid criticism for making a judgment-call.

I think it is especially bad in our high-schools (schools in general). To me it's no different than the kids who get suspended for taking advil. I'm glad the student in this case had the fortitude to take this case to court. Hopefully, everyone learned from this process and schools will handle this kind of case differently in the future.

Kid Handsome


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