Analysis of Protecting Freedom of Expression

Aleshia Ledbetter
WR 121, 9:30am
April 7, 2011
Summary of “Protecting Freedom of Expression on the Campus”
In “Protecting Freedom of Expression on the Campus”, the author, Derek Bok shows how expressing yourself falls under the First Amendment, whether it is on a private college campus or public college campus. He further explains that just because it is protected by law does not mean that it is “right, proper, or civil. Bok goes on to show how censoring freedom of speech would cause people to “test the limits” to gain more attention than is needed and if dealt with in the proper manner, behaviors such as displaying a Confederate flag or a swastika in rebuttal of the flag can be avoided. Freedom of expression is a right and should not be used inappropriately.

The First Amendment rights have caused much controversy because it allows people to say, act, or feel how they see fit; for example, hanging of a Confederate flag or displaying a swastika in public view. It is an insensitive act; although it is their right to do so. According to the Supreme Court’s ruling, the displaying of these symbols is protected under the First Amendment.

Regretfully, people act and react because they are offended by things like this, but it is one of our many freedoms as Americans. Although it cannot be prohibited it should be responded to in such a way they do not feel put down or that they are wrong in expressing themselves, but rather suggest to them that it is hurtful and offensive to others. We have the right to be offended as others have the right to display or express their own interests.

Diverse communities in the United States set certain laws to protect their properties from being vandalized with graffiti and protect them from loud noise; rules of this kind should be evenly upheld in order to not discriminate for or against anybody’s opinions or ideas. If the governing authorities see fit to change the laws to prohibit such expressions, they should be cautious,...
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