From: Jim Lloyd
Sent: Thursday, August 27, 2020 6:31 AM
Subject: The disinvited
Congratulations on being uninvited from speaking to still-developing
minds, which all of us could probably benefit from having.
The list inspired a question for me, as “commencement” and “campus
speaker/debate” are treated the same.
I have been to a few university graduations, never my own which is an
indicator, and actually had a restraining order that prevented me from
attending my high school coronation [obviously a story there, but who
doesn’t have one?], and it seems to me that unless those students who
would disagree with the speaker at a once-in-a-lifetime-experience can
express themselves peacefully but fully or obviously to those around
them, they are being misrepresented.?? If that’s true, ther than the
cap & gown I have seen in movies & on TV, what would a university
allow that satisfies the student’s desire to oppose the commencement
speaker on whatever grounds without disrupting the ceremony for
everyone else, ie a different color cap & gown?
On 8/27/2020 8:11 AM, Walter Block wrote:
What’s your HS story?
From: Jim Lloyd <email@example.com
Sent: Thursday, August 27, 2020 8:48 AM
To: Walter Block <firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Re: The disinvited
A brief preface before I outline what I will call “TheDay”.
My father, a convicted felon with a penchant for armed robbery, met my mother when she was nurse’s aide at UoIA hospital and he was avoiding Anamosa.?? After a correspondence courtship, they were married and honeymooned around the midwest for a time, until she had to ask where the money was coming from, found a gun under the seat of the car and learned she was pregnant, returning to live with her parents.
Adolescence with a single mom eventually resulted with me being declared CHiNA, or ChildInNeedofAssitance by the state of IA, removed from the home and placed in different facilities in IA that included juvenile offenders.?? After completing various program over the course of roughly five years, almost always with staff asking why I was there, I arrived at my senior year needing three credits to graduate, essentially three classes and two full semesters to get them.
Sometime before “TheDay” I didn’t like the structure of instruction, my peers & teachers were convinced I was a criminal, and I didn’t want to associate with anyone.?? I was enrolled in AP Calculus, Physics, Chemsistry and some other AP class I don’t recall, and a few electives-Rhetoric & Mythology [1st term], then Speech & MinorityCultures [2nd]-my senior year and by October I had all been abandoned the effort, saved by the Mythology instructor the first term and the MinorityCultures instructor (and football coach) who didn’t like me until he heard I corrected the Economics instructor who stated the MontgomeryAlabamaBusBoycott only lasted a few months.?? After that, I was “the smart kid” in his class.
On “TheDay”, there were no classes scheduled for seniors, graduation was about ten days out and I had detention for having skipped a few days.??
That morning, a local church was having an annual “SeniorBreakfast”
which included parents and my mother was dressed very nicely.?? I, on the other hand, while wearing a shirt & tie, also had on the most tattered, raggedy jeans I owned. She told me I wasn’t going with her like that; I responded that it was the SeniorBreakfast, and maybe she wasn’t going with me dressed as she was. Confiscation of car keys, drive to the school, she’s off to breakfast after I get walked to the detention area.
After she left, the teacher holding the space that morning, told me I couldn’t be there.?? For the detention to “count” I had to be seated by 0800 and it was 0802.?? I asked what difference it would make, said I would stay late, but despite another student coming in-one of his volleyball players and the daughter of a local attorney who often did civil cases for the county-I was told to leave.?? I said to the person sitting next to me “I’ll see you later” which the teacher understood to be a threat against him.
The person who was sitting next to me, ShaneFortner, had previouly offered to detail a small knife I sometime I had on me. I had never shown it in school, never threatened anyone, etc. Shane stopped me in the hall after detention, saying he had my knife with him if I wanted it and I retrieved it, planning to bounce for the day after cleaning out my locker and returning books.
Bell rings, classes start I am called to the office to face the principal and two local LEOs.?? They shake me out, hook me up (in view of the school as they waited with the principal until the bell rang again) and walk me to the cruiser.?? At the shop, both take turns measuring the knife and have to admit that it’s under the legal limit allowed and there was no law at the time that precluded me from having a knife on school property [IA 1991]. Released OR half hour later, returned “home” to some of my stuff outside and a note saying to leave and don’t come back, which I did.
Ultimately, the criminal charge was “criminal mischief”, my public defender was the father of the volleyball player and I got a hefty fine and four days in jail, where I read “Shogun” & “NobleHouse” by JamesClavell.
The school filed a restraining order preventing my attendance at coronation, although I had received enough credits to graduate and my mom had a graduation party that I was not allowed to attend.
If you read this, thank you and I’m sorry if it was verbose, but context is necessary in everything.
Do you have an opinion on my question?
Wow. What a story!
Is this your question? what would a university allow that satisfies the student’s desire to oppose the commencement speaker on whatever grounds without disrupting the ceremony for everyone else, ie a different color cap & gown?
My answer: it’s up to the univeristy, as a matter of law. As a matter of libertarianism, all universities should be private, ditto.
Walter6:21 am on October 19, 2020 Email Walter E. Block