School administrators in public schools are required to respect the rights of their students.  However, they all too often violate the free speech rights of same.  That they do so frequently in a manner that doesn’t add to safety, security, or education is profoundly troubling.  

No, no skinhead tried to wear an SS uniform to school.  The latest popular case involves censoring the ideas of a Jewish man through Nazi symbols.   Students, Jews included, decided to put on the famous musical play “The Producers”  written and composed by Mel Brooks, himself a famous Jewish writer/producer/director. Tappan Zee High School in New York wouldn’t allow it.  

ProducersPlaybillWhy? “The New York school district that oversees Tappan Zee High School considers the inclusion of a swastika to be offensive and, possibly, a hate crime—regardless of the context.”  

If you can believe it, the direct quote from school district superintendent Bob Pritchard is that “[t]here is no context in a public high school where a swastika is appropriate.”  In a high school.  No context.  Like in a history book or film on the Second World War perhaps?  No.

Which is more troubling, the leader of four schools’ personal opinions about one of the most widely recognized symbols in modern history, or his ignorance of the First Amendment requirement that he and the school not discriminate against students’ speech simply because he finds it offensive?