Banned posters

When students at a Massachusetts high school decided to form a conservative club, their posters advertising the first meeting were removed by administrators, David Limbaugh writes. The posters included the URL of the web site of High School Conservative Clubs of America, and HSCCA’s site included links to videos of beheadings by Iraqi insurgents. The school also blocked access to the HSCCA’s Website on school computers, Limbaugh writes:

“The material was way beyond what I believe the school should be advertising,” said Principal John Stapelfeld. What? Just because the school permits students to use its facilities to promote something doesn’t mean the school itself is endorsing it.

. . . Principal Stapelfeld insists his political bias didn’t enter into his decision. According to the Boston Globe, he was initially “thrilled” about the idea of a conservative club that would spark political discussions.

So, what’s his beef with the video links? The Globe reports that he “said the brutal images implicitly condoned violence as a way of ‘solving problems’ and did not reflect ‘mainstream conservatism'” — as if this liberal were an authority on mainstream conservatism and as if it’s fine to censor farther-right conservatism.

Of course, the conservatives link to the videos to show how brutal terrorists are, not to applaud their brutality.

Stapelfield told the Globe that showcasing these violent acts “did not address the more central problem of growing anti-Americanism abroad.” “Unfortunately, said Stapelfeld, “we really haven’t dealt with the fact that we’re not well received in the world anywhere.”

Limbaugh writes:

What he is really saying is that he — like so many other liberals — believes the Bush Administration has alienated the rest of the world because of its “unwarranted” military action against Iraq. And by promoting the viewing of these videos, his students would be engaging in offensive behavior that will further alienate other nations.

Even France is unlikely to get upset about what high school students watch on their computer screens.

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  1. I don’t know what the policies or practices are in Massachusetts, but here in California, several educators have lost their jobs over these beheading videos.

    There was one notorious (and fairly well- publicized) case in California’s Imperial Valley a few months ago where a teacher got into “heaps of trouble” because he wasn’t supervising his classroom computers and students used them (the filter failed) to view the beheading videos.

    The Massachusetts principal may have pulled the posters off the wall because he was more concerned with job-preservation (his) and less concerned with political ideology.

  2. “The Massachusetts principal may have pulled the posters off the wall because he was more concerned with job-preservation (his) and less concerned with political ideology.”

    I doubt that!

    The principal is clearly not playing with a full deck if he believes the purpose of the links to terrorist barbarity is to condone violence and not to condemn it.

  3. One would wonder how upset conservatives would be had a liberal club been banned from posting anti George W. Bush posters.

    This case is just as silly as that case would be.

    I’m a liberal and proud of it, but this principal’s excuse is ludicrous. He seems–to me–more interested in maintaining his own head. Politically, he sounds rather stupid in offering such a weak explanation for pulling down the posters.

    Make no doubt about it: the US is viewed poorly because of our actions around the world. But that has nothing to do with this conservative club’s point to show barbarity of these insurgent terrorists’ actions.

    Like I’ve said before, if liberals are upset with the creation of such a club then they should counteract and create their own.

  4. mxmat2,

    They have. It is called civics classes and history classes and English classes and geography classes. The conservative clubs arose because that was the only place, especially in Massachusetts, that the conservative kids could get together and talk over their positions without being downgraded in their classes.

  5. If it were a gay support/alliance/tolerance club with a website with links to questionable sites there’d be no problem I’m sure. Then when parents and community were up in arms the principal would be saying it’s a matter of free speech, supreme court says we hafta allow it, blah blah blah. Hope the kids try to sue….

  6. Jack Tanner says:

    Why not just ask them to remove the links or block the links saying they were too violent?