Letter – Hypocritical complaints

Published 5:43 pm Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

The primary issue brought by those opposing Isle of Wight County School Board member Mark Wooster’s proposed policy is the accusation of censorship.

This concern about free speech and censorship is proven false by the pattern of behavior already observable. An example of such is the self-censorship campaign taught in elementary school “Digital citizenship – Watch What You Say!”

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This Orwellian campaign showcases a type of violation of enumerated speech rights known as the “chilling effect.” Educators who claim to stand against  censorship in regard to the obscene and the toxic are precisely those who do all they can to “chill” the speech of an entire generation. Similarly, the enumeration of this right in the First Amendment is inclusive of what in colloquial language is known as “hate speech.”

These same educators have previously turned around to exclude this form of protected speech. Not only this, but they have not made a distinction by speech that is hateful and speech that disagrees with the “Reich” these educators represent. Indeed, not only are positions of political and social dissidents protected, but so is the speech that would actually fall under the claim of hate speech; nevertheless, whenever power is on their side, they move with extreme prejudice to censor — to persecute and scapegoat dissident students.

If, as these opposition teachers claim, it is to protect the rights of students, why have they historically and commonly engaged in the same persecution and scapegoating they claim would now be created by these policies? Thus, while some tell the board to trust the supposed expertise of educators, it is worth noting that these educators, not only voicing opposition from a longstanding pattern of flagrant hypocrisy, apparently lack the capacity to understand free-speech issues from the standpoint of jurisprudence or the American tradition in general. Similarly, so do the students that they have foisted up, or rather “groomed,” for testimony.

These, having lacked the opportunity for a noble education, have been given an education lacking in both that end and the means to that end. They complain that the policies would prevent teaching the perspective of the enslaved in history, but have educated toward the end of making all slaves — all usable and abusable, in service to the “Reich.”

This is the substance of the corruption of the youth. These educators seem to consider that free speech is exclusive only of thought and of truth.


Jared Emry