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Freedom Of Speech

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To the Editor:

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution states that each person has the freedom of speech. However, how far can a person apply his freedom of speech before he is considered to be violating this right? In the letter, "Should this Student Have Been Expelled?" Nat Hentoff argues that Brown University's President, Vartan Gregorian, was wrong to have expelled Doug Hann from attending Brown University based on Hann's use of free speech. I disagree with Hentoff that Hann should be kept from attending the institution based on the issue of free speech; Hann should not have been banned from attending Brown University due to his hateful speech, negative actions, and his defiance against the school rules.

The freedom of speech gives a person the rights to speak his mind. However, that freedom does not allow him to aim his hatred on someone else with words that can result in confrontation and violence. One night, while Hann was drunk, he shouted racial, anti-Semitic and homophobic insults that invigorated a number of students who live in a dormitory. As a result, those students came down and confronted him. As words got around, Brown University found out about the situation, and Brown's President Gregorian along with Brown's senior officer expelled Hann permanently from Brown.

Hentoff argues that the confrontation between Hann and a number of students as, "There was no physical combat. Just words. Awful words, but nothing more than speech." Hentoff believes that words do not hurt a person because it is a part of speech. That is completely false. Today, there are many cases where a person sues another person if he comments on her body figure. These sexual harassment cases, where the victim considers those vulgar comments as a word assaults to her, could leave her mentally wounded. In addition, there are many times the juries have given victims the victory. The reason for that is words could damage a victim's mind; words could also bring emotional and psychological pain to the victim if it is not treated carefully.

Words are like swords in which penetration can cause a reaction that could be harmful to both parties. I had a fifteen-year old cousin named Michelle. She was a simple and sweet-hearted girl. However, her body was the size of a hippo. Last year, when she was a freshman in a public high school, some of the other freshmen made fun of her. Those freshmen believed that by making other people laugh at another person, they would gain popularity status. Michelle was the perfect victim because she was a fellow freshman, she did not have any friend in the school, and she was obese. After awhile, Michelle could not take it anymore, and she told them to quit teasing her but they did not. Instead, they teased her more because they love to see her reactions. A few days later, she went and explained to the Principal of the situation and he decided to suspend those students out of school for a week. When they came back, they stopped teasing her directly. However, they started to spread false rumors, or as Netoff called it "freedom of speech" that Michelle liked to look at other girls when they are showering together. As

words got around of school, everybody



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