Doug Hann's Argumentative Analysis

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For centuries, the first amendment has protected each citizen across the nation to be able to express themselves freely. However, there comes a time when this right is not protected and occasionally the individual can be faced with consequences. This typically occurs in a learning facility or a place of business. Outrage has ensued because some believe that these facilities are too limiting when it comes to the first amendment right; thus making a mockery of it. Nevertheless, the limits exist for a reason; they exist to limit harassment and to uphold moral conduct. For that reason, Students should be obligated to sign a pledge that prohibits offensive language, so long as the terms outline the qualifications for punishment and what the punishment…show more content…
When Doug Hann, a varsity football player at Brown, became intoxicated while celebrating his first birthday he began to shout obscene language filled with racism, homophobia, and anti-semitism at nearby students and almost found himself at an altercation with one (Hentoff). Needless to say Hann was expelled; however, a debate ensued whether his expulsion was truly just. Though at first glance, Brown’s code seemed to be thorough it was actually flawed as it states that the school “prohibits inappropriate, abusive, threatening, or demanding, actions based on race, religion, gender, handicap, ethnicity, national origin, or sexual orientation (Hentoff). It was the usage of the word actions that spiraled the debate as speech is not an action. Hann was expelled for speech. This is why a school wide pledge needs to outline the qualifications and possible punishments so that there could be no debate. This student was had a chance to have his expulsion reversed because of this error. Speech like this is unwelcoming and distracts the student from learning by creating an uncomfortable learning environment. Anyone who seeks to destroy an individual's opportunity for an education has no role in the university’s community (Epstein). When one does not make an attempt to stop the use of this language it shows that the community does not view it as important; thus, the language continues. The language will continue to hurt students and distract them from their learning if measures are not
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