Rachel has three Constitutional Rights violated- for 12th grade US government extra credit
|The vice-principal's note is a welcome distraction from the class. After all, it's always fun to see who got in trouble this time, right? Murmurs run through the class as the teacher walks to my desk and places it in front of me. After pinching myself, I force my eyes to look down and slowly read the note. "At once", it says. I make to leave, and the teacher doesn't stop me.
At the vice-principal's office, his door is open. "Come in, Rachel. Do you know why you're here?" he asks.
"No, but I'm guessing it's the piece I wanted to submit to The Point, that the security guards found that day, while searching for the iPhone?"
"Yes. I had you sent home early that day so as to avoid further controversy among the students. I hope you understand that."
"Did they ever find the culprit?" I ask. "I mean, that phone must be something really precious, if the security guards had to lock us in the classroom and manually search all our bags. And whatever happened to Raymond when he refused to let them search him?"
"Yes, they did. Raymond is none of your business. However, while you're here, I'd like to discuss the piece with you."
"You included a lot of revealing details in that essay."
"Well, none of it was false. I justified my opinions about the class with facts on what Ms. Wang has been doing to us during class. It's not pleasant, and nobody really likes that she treats us non-Chinese differently than the 'heritage learners'." I air-quote the last part, because it's something she always says. "I just wanted to warn future Chinese language learners about what they would have to go through if they weren't native-born, and didn't have a propensity to suck up to the teacher."
"I have asked the Chinese teacher regarding these incidents, and she denies that any of them have happened."
"Of course she'd absolutely deny it! Who, in their right mind, would actually admit she made a student cry, and that they've had a vendetta against one person in the class since forever?" My arms are now flailing around.
"Watch it, Ms. Rachel."
"I'm sorry, but seriously, if I were the teacher, and that were me, I would totally deny all of that. I mean, it's her first year teaching high school Chinese. Coincidentally, maybe, or maybe not, she has a bunch of her previous students from middle school. There's a mutual feeling of dislike, verging on hate, between the students and the teacher. Someone really just needs to go and sit in a class and see for themselves. Oh, wait. No. That won't work. The lady turns into the Teacher of the Year whenever someone goes in to observe." I mimic her. 'Oh, everyone, Samantha got a question correct. Let's all clap for her!' I wrote that piece to let everyone know what a horrible time people are having in Chinese class, and how poorly we are being treated as students."
"I'm sorry you feel that way, Rachel. Unfortunately, we can't do much about it at this point. If what you say is true, then we can not evaluate her fairly as she teaches."
"Yes. It's all true. Why would I lie? I mean, seriously, what would I gain from lying and making up random lies about stuff like that? Seriously. What she does. It's especially annoying, because she gets away with it!"
"Ms. Rachel, you are hereby suspended for two weeks, on the provision of having the intention to submit a piece of work that would be controversial to the school populace, and questioning teacher policies."
"But, if you asked anyone, anyone in the 3rd period Chinese class, they'd totally back my stories. Ask the girl I wrote about. Ask Samantha. Ask Crystal. All of them would back me up in a heartbeat. I swear they would."
"I'm sorry, Ms. Rachel. There's nothing I can do. If you'll please excuse me, I have a meeting I need to get to. Good bye."
In this story, Rachel had three of her Constitutional rights violated. When the security guard at school locked down the classroom to manually search everyone's backpacks for the missing iPhone, it was a violation of the 4th amendment- no search and seizures without a reasonable cause. Her article was not the item being searched for, and so it was also a violation of her Constitutional rights. Then, being suspended for writing the piece she planned to submit to The Point was a violation of her 1st amendment rights to freedom of press and freedom of speech. What she wrote was neither slanderous nor libelous, and therefore should have been allowed to be published.