Tuesday, June 27, 2006

No Freedom of Speech at Community College

The short version: Local community college newspaper runs a story about student depression and suicide. The larger story is about the connection between pressures students face and depression. It mentions as an example two students, one specifically named, who committed suicide.

The paper goes to press, issues are printed and distributed on campus. The papers are gone the next day. More papers are distributed. They are removed.

This is where they wound up. The dumpster.

Who placed the issues in the dumpster? Was it the campus police?

Why did administration ask for the story to be removed from the student newspaper web site?

Why am I telling you this?

Because a story has been suppressed. Newspapers destroyed. A writer's voice silenced. Fear vomited on the First Amendment to the Constitution. What good is the name and the reputation of the school if it does not stand up for what is right?

Does it matter it happened on a community college level? Yes, it does. This kind of thing can get to be a habit if not caught in time. Contagious because others may think this is the thing to do when you don't like what is being said about you, your workplace, your city, state and dare I say it, federal government.

So if you are interested you can download and read the article for yourself.

If you know a teen or college person take them for a long walk, have them turn off the cell phone and start talking about the process of making healthy mental choices. Talk about coping skills that don't involve alcohol, really nasty chemicals or burning dead grasses. Listening is good too.

Because, that really was the point of the article.

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