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Freedom of speech upheld in face of ‘Nazi salute’ backlash

Boys from Baraboo High School pose with a Nazi salute. The image went viral, and was highly controversial.

photo taken by Jules Suzdaltsev

Boys from Baraboo High School pose with a Nazi salute. The image went viral, and was highly controversial.

Nickolas Roberson, Columnist

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School officials at Baraboo High School of Baraboo, Wisconsin, have decided that the students who were involved in a now-viral Twitter posting of them performing a Nazi, “sieg heil,” salute will not be punished.

The picture was taken and posted prior to Baraboo High School’s 2018 spring prom. The school has faced countless amounts of backlash and malevolence, with many individuals claiming that the students are white supremacists and Nazis. However, in the face of all of this hatred, Lori Mueller, school superintendent, stated in a letter sent to parents of the school district, “…we cannot know the intentions in the hearts of those who were involved. Moreover, because of the students’ First Amendment rights, the district is not in a position to punish the students for their actions.”

This is a tremendous sign of improvement in the recognition of our natural and  Constitutional rights in our modern-day school systems, as many high schools and universities crack down on almost any student or faculty member who dares speak out against the leftist collective opinions that run rampant in these institutions. A prime example of this violation of our First Amendment right can be found at Shawnee State University, where a philosophy professor was forced to use a transgender student’s preferred gender pronoun rather than their name. The teacher, Nicholas Meriwether, referred to one of his students by their preferred name, as their proposed gender identity went against their biological gender of being a male, thus going against Meriwether’s evangelical Christian beliefs. Rather than respecting the professor’s freedom of speech and preference of using the student’s name, the university, donning their totalitarian jackboots, clamped down on his right to free speech, and forced the teacher to utilize the student’s gender pronouns of  “she” and “Miss.”

It is a dreadful shame that public schools and universities, the proposed and advertised catalysts of innovation, expansion in logic and reason, and scientific progress and expansion, are strangling themselves of the freedoms of thought, expression, and speech. Nowadays, they choose to adopt the tantalizing, yet dreadful, ideologies of thought control and suppression, attempting to please the wicked idealogues of cultural Marxism.

Hopefully, with the recognition and respect of the First Amendment right of the students at Baraboo High School who participated in the Nazi salute photograph and Twitter posting, other public schools and institutions will follow this same path of respecting our natural and constitutional freedoms and liberties. Now, this by no means indicate that we should accept the terrible, malevolent, and oppressive ideas of Nazism; on the contrary, one should always speak out against any and all totalitarian idea groups and theories. However, even though these students are most likely not Nazis and the photograph was a joke, we must respect the opinions of our fellow countrymen. To quote the author Evelyn Beatrice Hall, “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

About the Writer
Nickolas Roberson, columnist

Nick is a junior at Delphi and this is his first year in Parnassus. He runs varsity cross country and track and field. He is also a member of Student Council,...

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Freedom of speech upheld in face of ‘Nazi salute’ backlash