Pubdate: Wed, 04 Jul 2007
Source: Daily, The (U of WA, Edu)
Copyright: 2007 The Daily
Author: Eric Uthus
Bookmark: (Bong Hits 4 Jesus)
Bookmark: (Students - United States)


When you think about it, you could get away with a lot in high 
school. Every senior year, you and your classmates were usually 
allowed to pull off one huge prank, as long as it wasn't a borderline 
felony and didn't involve a cow stuck at the top of the staircase. 
Hell, you could get away with acts of sexual deviance at school 
dances because you were basically grinding each other the entire time.

But make a joke about Jesus? That will get you sent home. And 
probably to hell, too.

That seems to have been the case for 24-year-old Joseph Frederick, 
who back in 2002 held up a 14-foot sign that said "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" 
outside his high school in Juneau, Alaska. It just so happened that 
the Olympic torch was going through Juneau on its way to Salt Lake 
City for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

And Frederick, in what I assumed was a sad attempt at showing his 
patriotism, held up the dubious sign that would get him suspended for 
10 days. He sued the school, saying his First Amendment rights were 
violated, and the case went all the way to the Supreme Court. Last 
Monday, the Supreme Court ruled against Frederick, stating that his 
First Amendment rights were not obstructed by his suspension. 
According to the justices, the principal had the right to suspend him 
because the banner promoted illegal drug use.

Many conservatives in older generations would have a lot to say about 
this stunt.

After they let the girl from Greencastle Middle School in Indiana get 
away with a vicious and immature MySpace attack on the school's 
principal several months ago, it's nice to see that they're taking 
away some free speech rights.

Students go to school to learn, not to speak their minds and 
consequently create trouble for the teachers and staff.

If anything, this incident brings up a more important issue that's 
spreading through the youth of tomorrow. That being, whatever 
happened to the youth of tomorrow? Since when did kids become so 
annoying and hard to handle? Whatever happened to the days where kids 
would listen to their peers and act like children should? You watch 
those shows like Leave it to Beaver and wonder how children went from 
lovable, attentive angels to drug-swallowing, dry-humping satanic 

But is our generation really at fault?

First off, shame on Frederick for insinuating that Jesus was a 
pothead. Just because he is depicted as having long, unkempt hair, 
walking around in dirty robes and having a tendency to perform 
"miracles" doesn't mean he ever gave into drugs. Everyone knows that 
the people who lead by example are rarely caught up in any 
controversy, whether it is drugs, adultery or driving drunk on a 
suspended license.

Furthermore, even if Jesus had done bong hits, statements like the 
one on that poster do not belong at a high school. Undoubtedly, 
there's a fine line between a controversial statement that offends 
fellow students and one's free speech rights, and high school 
administrations must tread carefully.

But high schools are supposed to be places of innocence and free of 
the atrocities that occur in someone's basement. I mean, just because 
a slew of teachers have been caught doing drugs, drinking and having 
sex with students doesn't indicate that every generation has its 
flaws, but high school students don't have any right to talk about it.

There is obviously someone or something at fault for this. We could 
blame the drug industry for forcing kids into a life of hangovers, 
parties and the inability to find their own two feet. Or we could 
blame the media for creating so many shows that promote such 
lifestyles. Hell, we could blame the rap industry, because they seem 
to be the reason behind every problem in our country.

But what if this is just another generational dispute based on 
cultural misunderstanding? Obviously, Frederick's stunt was 
disrespectful and unnecessary, but every new controversy with a high 
school student behind it seems to explain how our generation has 
failed. For once, why don't we discuss faults by teachers and 
students on the same page? There is always someone who will break 
social norms, so stop blaming our generation.

What am I thinking? It's definitely the rap industry. Definitely. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake