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What are you reading?
« on: April 14, 2017, 09:30:27 pm »
I thought we could use a literary thread in the spirit of "What are you watching?"

I'll go first.

I'm reading American Public School Law for one of my classes.  It contains a fascinating study of the Supreme Court cases which have shaped school law.

Right now, the most interesting case to me is Morse v. Frederick, 2007: High school students were released from school to watch the Olympic torch parade. One student, Frederick, crossed the street (therefore not on school property) and held up a banner which read, "Bong hits 4 Jesus."  Morse, the principal, ordered Frederick to take down the banner. When Frederick refused, Morse suspended Frederick for 10 days. Frederick sued, claiming that his first amendment right of free speech had been violated.  The Ninth Circuit Court agreed, and held that the principal had violated Frederick's right to free speech. In a 5-4 decision, SCOTUS overturned the lower court's ruling and sided with Morse, ruling that the school may regulate student speech which is antithetical to the school's anti-drug message.

While I don't condone Frederick's actions on moral grounds, I believe the SCOTUS legal decision was wrong. Students, as citizens, don't shed their constitutional rights when they pass the schoolhouse gates. The decision gives enormous police power to the school. However, educators are neither commissioned nor trained to be law enforcement officers. Furthermore, Frederick's stunt was on public grounds (not at the school) and was intended to attract media attention. No reasonable person would construe that Frederick was an agent of the school who was promoting drug use.  He was a kid hoping to get on TV.

Anyway, I would have thought the 1100 page legal tome to be a total snooze fest. Much of it is, so I do a lot of scanning.  However, there are some cases which really merit careful study and consideration. 


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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2017, 01:01:02 am »
When the Westboro Baptist people came to protest in Tampa (2009? 2010?), they chose to do it across from one of the high schools on the peninsula.  CrowSon was planning to join the counterprotest, when word came down from the District Powers-that-Be that any and all students doing so would be suspended.  It was the same thing--school district dictating and enforcing behavior not on school property.  I decided it wasn't worth some potential lawsuit--CrowSon was trying to get into college at the time, plus the Air Force wouldn't have let us stick around to see one through--so I praised him greatly for his intent, but said Leave It Alone.  So this case's outcome does not surprise me. 

I vaguely remember the incident behind Morse v. Frederick.  Thanks for the outcome.

On topic, I am reading The Cold Dish, the first book in the Longmire series.  A lot of differences between this and the A&E/Netflix series, but I'm enjoying it very much. 

CrowMan just finished--and wants me to read--Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.  He says it will help him be a better teacher, and parent.  I'll write more after I've read it, but if anyone else has, I'd like to read their thoughts.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2017, 01:18:51 am by CrowGirl »
Jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down.
-Ray Bradbury
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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2017, 03:10:20 pm »
This is the hardest thing for me.  I used to LIVE to read.  I read ALL THE TIME.  I was defined by many people as the person who never stopped reading.  But one of the things the depression stole from me is my ability to comfortably read.  As in, I often get anxiety when approaching a book, feel guilt for spending time on it, and find myself unconsciously avoiding reading.  It breaks my heart.  I get maybe 5 books read per year these days, when it used to probably be closer to 100. 
That being said, I have been able to finish a few books, and I'm finding that listening to Audible while I am a the gym or driving all over creation for work has been pretty helpful.
Last series I loved: The Lunar Chronicles (starting with Cinder) by Marissa Meyer, and the Reckoners (Steelheart, et al) by Brandon Sanderson.
Last standalone book I really loved: The Accidental Highwayman: Being the Tale of Kit Bristol, His Horse Midnight, a Mystery Princess, and Sundry Magical Persons Besides by Ben Tripp
Fiction currently Reading/listening to: Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett.  Oh my goodness the non-stop funny is SO helpful for my anxiety!
Non-fiction currently listening to: Medieval Heroines in History and Legend, a college course offered by The Great Courses through Audible.

Stuff I read semi-recently that I can't really recommend: Uprooted by Naomi Novik.  It really pulled me in and felt nice and YA, then 3/4 of the way it had a horrifically graphic 2 page sex scene.  I skipped that part, but I felt betrayed and tricked.  The ending wasn't very satisfactory, either.  It didn't wrap things up well and was very meandering.

Stuff I haven't been able to finish yet: The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale.  It's been building up to the big bad event, and I am pretty sure I know what's going to happen and it makes me so upset that I had to set it aside.  I don't know if I will be able to pick it back up again.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2017, 03:12:58 pm by dyany »
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