They can take our lives, but they’ll never take our… Oh, they took that too.

April 21st, 2012

Eighth grade students from Spry Middle School in Webster, N.Y. were banned from uttering or wearing clothing bearing a particular word, so I thought I would try to tell the story without actually using the word.

It all began when the students organized a protest campaign to support a fellow classmate who was suspended, arrested and put on trial for possession of marijuana. Students had planned to shout, “_______” and wear shirts with “_______” written across the chest at a school rally. Unfortunately just minutes before the rally, Principal Dave Swinson threatened the eighth graders with removal from the rally, suspension and “further consequences” if they uttered the word “_______”, or wore the shirts they had made for the rally. Many called this an brazen violation of the students’ _______ of speech, but they were not discouraged.

Many of the students wore the _______ shirts anyway, without consequence, but in place of the chanting they quickly organized a much more powerful demonstration. During the rally each grade was instructed to cheer in turn to demonstrate the superior school spirit of their class. I’m sure all of us remember this kind of mindless class chauvinism from school. When it was the eighth graders’ turn, instead of shouting “_______” they were totally silent, demonstrating that even if saying _______ was prohibited, they still had _______.

About the Author: Davi Barker

In grade school Davi refused to recite the pledge of allegiance because he didn't understand what it meant. He was ordered to do as he was told. In college he spent hours scouring through the congressional record trying to understand this strange machine. That's where he discovered Dr. Ron Paul. In 2007 he joined the End The Fed movement and found a political home with the libertarians. The Declaration of Independence claims that the government derives its power “from the consent of the governed." He does not consent.