On Freedom of Speech and Real-Life Consequences

This image is credited to http://teacherreadermom.com/tag/think-before-you-speak/

This image is credited to http://teacherreadermom.com/tag/think-before-you-speak/After hearing all the fuss about how a “4-year-old was expelled from pre-school over Mom’s Facebook Post” I am compelled to write and explain the limitations of free speech.

When you look at this from the 10K foot view, this is really a picture of an irresponsible parent and less about a school making a decision to remove a student. I think the school is in the right, and that parent needs to learn how to use a calendar reminder in her “smart” phone.

I hate to play the role of Captain Obvious, but let’s take a look and see what really happened here.

I think that most folks feel that freedom of speech is a carte blanch application of their rights, that anything they say or print is totally above reproach, and without any repercussions. That’s a false narrative that needs to be de-bunked and quick!

Having the right to say whatever you want is that freedom to express, but that’s only guaranteed to cover you from an oppressive government. What isn’t included in this constitutionally-granted freedom is the reaction from others (and organizations) around you.

The essence of rights is simple; My rights end where your rights begin. So yes – I can say whatever I want, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be upset about it.

Specific to this case where Ashley Habat posted a negative rant about her son’s pre-school on Facebook, she had a right to express herself -but there’s no implied or otherwise-guaranteed safety from the school kicking her to the curb!

Let’s give another analogy that might hit closer to home. You go to a restaurant and have a poor experience (who knows – maybe your expectations were too high?), but you go home and you light them up on Yelp. The owner of that restaurant sees your epic rant about their service or food, and he can’t help that you said what you said. The rant is online for all to see, and possibly at the point where the restaurant’s business or image is damaged.

Fast-forward to later that week… You are shopping with your friends  and everyone decides to get lunch at the same restaurant. The owner recognizes you when you are seated and asks you to leave – THAT’S HIS/HER RIGHT TO DENY YOU SERVICE!

Now who’s the A**hole? YOU! It was your right to flame the restaurant on Yelp, but it is the owner’s right to not serve you in the future. Get it? [Read guidelines to posting online reviews]

In my humble opinion – The Sonshine Christian Academy in Jacksonville got it RIGHT! If Ashley Habat wants to talk trash about us, we don’t want you as a customer. (period), end of story. To the expression that she is outraged, maybe she should have looked at the school’s memo about picture day (giving her notice that pictures were the week after) and paid better attention to it. The school made a reasonable effort to keep her informed which she slept on, and yet she still was upset because SHE was late. Did she have an expectation that they needed her to reminder her AGAIN about picture day? Wouldn’t that be considered coddling? She obviously has a smart phone, why didn’t she set her own reminder? Isn’t she a responsible adult?

Irresponsible (Haiku) from PoetFreak

The mistake of not working.
I feel no remorse.

By Louis Wing

About Louis Wing 68 Articles
I talk about this, that, and the other stuff. I have to admit I may ramble on and on... but I am usually driving to a point. Educated and street-smart, I like my beats downtempo. Read more about Louis Wing

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