Freedom of speech is one of the most crucial rights guaranteed to all Americans. This is the right that fosters democracy in our society. By attending school, we voluntarily give up certain rights in order to ensure a safe, comfortable, learning environment. I believe giving up some of our freedom of expression in order to make school a safe place is a small price to pay. Claremont schools should ban any material endorsing a message that distinctly alienates a certain group, and the confederate flag ought to be considered a symbol of racism in our school system. The confederate flag, while controversial, clearly reflects a shameful time in our history when a minority was subjugated by a dominant race. This image is offensive to many students of all backgrounds. Upholding a non-alienating, wholesome environment is key to establishing an equally safe space for all students to learn. As important as the first amendment is, it is equally important for each student to feel welcome and secure coming to school. An image of hate and intolerance is more dangerous than anything else that can be brought to school.
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