(RNS) Guidelines seek line between free speech, bullying

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When Sally tells Jimmy that he’s going to hell for believing in a false religion, is that Sally exercising her First Amendment right to free expression, or is that Billy getting bullied?

A broad coalition of educators and religious groups – from the National Association of Evangelicals to the National School Boards Association – on Tuesday (May 22) endorsed a new pamphlet to help teachers tackle such thorny questions.

Authored chiefly by the American Jewish Committee, “Harassment, Bullying and Free Expression: Guidelines for Free and Safe Public Schools,” contains 11 pages of advice on balancing school safety and religious freedom.

Read it all and see what you make of the guidelines themselves.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationLaw & Legal IssuesPsychologyReligion & CultureTeens / Youth* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General

Posted May 23, 2012 at 5:15 am

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The URL for this article is http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/43017/

1. Mark Baddeley wrote:

I’m no expert on the relevant legal precedents and the like, but it looks basically common sense to me, with an awareness of the areas where it is likely that the courts are going to give more clarity on. It was nice to see that there was a clear recognition that in the current context people will confuse being offended by a general statement of a principle that they profoundly disagree with, with being harmed by that statement being made, and that educators had to work hard to uphold the right of students to say things that are deeply unpopular to other groups in the school.

May 24, 10:52 pm | [comment link]

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