Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Reminder of TX v. Johnson

This week, a student has been considering filing a lawsuit against a teacher who placed his Mexican flag in the trash can on Cinco de Mayo. Facts seem to be a little wishy washy on both sides due to the student's lack of proficiency in Engilsh, but none the less his flag was physically placed into a garbage can by his p.e. teacher on a very special day. The teacher claims it was for school safety because of racial tension on campus and that he had no where else to place it. Yet again, we're back to our good 'ol list of cases that Mr. Silton has given us. Should different laws apply on school grounds? Or does high school violence give enough of a cause to limit carrying a flag around campus on a holiday, and therefore allow this teacher to take away his flag?

I know TX v. Johnson had to do with United States flag burning, but if we can't burn a flag, are we allowed to throw it away? To me, it seems like the same meaning in slightly different form. Yes, burning the flag is slightly more dramatic, but throwing it out is equally degrading to the meaning. Similarly, in a country built on freedom of almost anything possible and respecting the differences between people, should we be able to degrade OTHER flags in a country built upon citizens from all over the world?

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

College Drug Bust

About 100 people, 75 of which were students, were arrested in an undercover drug sting at San Diego State University today. This investigation was initiated by campus police after a student's fatal overdose a year ago. Officials claim to have confiscated more than $100,000 worth of drugs in "Operation Sudden Fall," including four pounds of cocaine, 50 pounds of marijuana and 350 ecstasy pills. They also took one shotgun, three semiautomatic pistols and $60,000. Among those arrested were students majoring in homeland security and in criminal justice, one even worked under campus police as a student community service officer. In addition to facing criminal charges, the students are also suspended from SDSU and have been evicted from their housing. How could colleges prevent these kind of "mid-level distributors" who sell more than someone might buy for personal use? Should colleges take these extreme measures in order to limit their students' drug use? Was this an appropriate way to handle the situation?

Drunken Pirate Loses Her Teaching Credential

Miss Stacy Snyder, who is 27, has lost her teaching credential from Millersville University because the administration caught wind of drunken pictures of herself on Myspace. She will not be able to get her credential now because of a picture of her in a pirate hat drinking from a Goodbar Cup with a caption that reads "drunken pirate" and her favorite activity was listed as "dancing like an a**hole." The University also said that she would not have received it anyways because she had "unsatisfactory performance" and "unprofessional behaviour." Her father, however, claims that, "I don't think its fair...She could have been a good teacher."
Does her behaviour really warrant a withdrawl of her teaching credential? Becoming a teacher includes making changes in your life so that you become a role model and do not encourage questionable behaviour.She was young, however, and had not graduated yet, so is this an extreme example? Lots of college students have pictures of themselves partying on myspace, so was it just bad luck that she got caught? How justified is the school's reaction?

Monday, May 5, 2008

True-Life: What To Do About Criminal Pirates

Like the stories of pirate-hood in Pirates of the Carribean, recent boaters in the Atlantic have come upon violent men with money symbols in their eyes. Recently, Colin Darch was faced with such a problem. "With boats on each flank and almost 20 pirates armed with AK-47s, he and his five crew members would not escape. The pirates rushed aboard, firing their weapons into the air and ordering the crew to lie down". This mariner and his crew were quite lucky, it only took them six weeks to come up with $700,000. Unlike the 1700s, these modern-day pirates are now holding men for ransoms as large as 1.2 million dollars for a small crew. Maybe it's just me, but I always thought that this pirate idea was a crime of 3 centuries ago when people still believed the world was flat and had an end! Little did I know, the navy has been monitoring the waters off the East Coast of Africa for the five past years because of the increase in such water-crime. "The Navy works with France, the Netherlands, Britain and Pakistan in what is known as Combined Task Force 150, a maritime coalition that has taken on additional anti-piracy roles around Somalia" and keeps a warship present! Especially living where we're blessed to live, it's funny to think that such primitive ways of life still exist at all. Maybe I live in some cardboard box, but who knew Johnny Depp could have actually done a true-life interview to get to the core of his gold-loving, boat-taking character over the past two years. How else should the U.S. be involved in this open water crime? Or should we be involved at all when we have a war-focus elsewhere?

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