Do children have liberties? | INFJ Forum

Do children have liberties?

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by slant, Feb 1, 2010.

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  1. slant

    slant Sedated slanty

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    A discussion with my analytical cousin who came in visiting for the Sundance film festival [which is where I've been for the past week or so, just so you all know] led to this topic.

    My grandmother was discussing School Uniforms, and asked him what he thought about the subject. Of course he had to pause and didn't have any real 'personal' opinion about it, and then said it depended upon if children had rights or not.

    I then pointed out the fact that children do have rights seeing as sexual and physical abuses of minors are considered crimes and charged against. He then explained that he had used the wrong word; the question was, whether children had liberties.

    There are distinct differences between what is our right and what are our liberties. For the purpose of this discussion/debate we're going to assume that the country of topic upon whether children have liberties or not is the United States of America. We are also defining 'children' as minors, those under the age of legal adulthood, 18.

    Civil liberties are the inherent things we are granted; freedom of speech, right to worship what we want to worship, and the right against unreasonable seizures of property. Basically, civil liberties are our 'inalienable rights' dubbed by the constitution.

    Civil rights are a relatively new concept. They were produced as a way to stop discrimination against minorities like women, people of different races and countries, and of orientation. Civil rights are what states that people shouldn't be fired or hired of the basis of race, sex, or orientation.

    My cousin determined that if children have liberties, then school uniforms shouldn't be put into use. If they don't have liberties, then, school uniforms were okay.

    The question is: Do children have liberties?

    I'll first give some evidence that points to the case that they do not have liberties. Some of you may have heard of the 1988 Supreme Court Case "Hazelwood School Dist. v. Kuhlmeier". What occurred was, a series of newspaper articles about controversial matters like pregnant students and family problems were trying to be publish through the school newspaper by students at a school. The principal looked over the paper and found the content inappropriate so he/she took it out, and did not allow it to be published. The students, when they were older and graduated, took the case the court in which it was ruled that it wasn't censorship or a violation of the 1st amendment to censor the school newspaper.

    This, to me, is evidence that children do not have liberties, at least not in the school setting. If the same situation had been applied to an adult who attempted to publish something about the work situation and was censored, it would seem that the office corporation setting would be forced to allow the adult to publish it because of freedom of speech.

    What are evidences that children have liberties?

    What are evidences that children do not have liberties?

    Sources:
    The Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier case here: http://www.anarchytv.com/speech/hazel.htm

    The difference between civil liberties and civil rights here: http://www.commonplacebook.com/current_events/politics/difference_betw.shtm
     
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  2. efromm

    efromm Hiding In My Shell...
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    Hmm I will take a stab at it. Even though I think I shouldn't here goes. First of all if children have liberties then abortion would have to be banned. Is not life the ultimate liberty. The problem is kids rely on your good judgment until they become smart enough to question your judgment. It's the age old problem. I am a father and I know from real world experience. If you let kids have their liberties where do you draw the line. Who's liberties are you going to set as guidelines. I am all for letting kids grow up and letting them make their own decisions. The problem I see is that there is a maturity problem. Kids today thinking that there is injustices towards them? LOL try living when I was a kid and we had rules a plenty. You guys got it easy. When I went to school you would get spanked when you got in trouble. The school has to make many different people happy and sadly your education is not their concern. The school is wrong when people speak the truth and they try to cover it up no matter what.
     
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  3. OP
    slant

    slant Sedated slanty

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    I'm going to have to ask that no one else comments on this and this does not become an abortion debate thread. I will say that the reason this doesn't apply is because the only reason that abortion is allowed is that it is accepted the definition of a child being only an actual child after birth. So, abortion does not relate in pure definition to this topic.
    What year did you go to school?

    Also, what was your opinion, I think I missed it. Do minors have liberties or not? Should they, do you think?
     
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  4. efromm

    efromm Hiding In My Shell...
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    In my estimation it does. Your deciding the future for someone else. It's the same thing. Your parents decided your future for you to some degree. They decided to let you live. If you are not anything when your growing in the womb then why can't women go out drinking and shoot up heroin when they are pregnant? Why are woman so worried about their developing child? Yes the child comes out developed but it has to grow somewhere. And that stage of growth is just like any other in life. I speak from experience here and shame.
    What year did you go to school?
    First grade was 1977-1990
    I think it is impossible for children to have liberties unless you lower the age of consent. Their brains are not fully developed yet to the extent that they can make good decisions for themselves. Not all kids are able to make good choices in their life. There has to be a groundwork of rules to live by.
     
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  5. OP
    slant

    slant Sedated slanty

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    The age of consent of sex?

    Are you implying that having sex is what creates the availability of liberties, and that liberties should be granted to all who are capable of performing the act of sex legally?

    I'm a bit confused.
     
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  6. efromm

    efromm Hiding In My Shell...
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    No what I am saying is that you have to set at what age you think the typical child is mature enough to engage in any adult activity. Take drinking for instance I never got why you can get drafted and die for your country but you cant buy a beer. I think the age should be 21 for the age of maturity not 18. You as a younger person would think that is too old. The school is taking the stance that students are not mature enough to understand what they are doing so the school is making the rules. They make you go to school or they put your parents in jail. Do adults actually have freedom over their own lives? I don't think they do.
     
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  7. under skies

    under skies Community Member

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    I think your examples pertain less to the children not having liberties of their own but more to the fact that they are beginning to infringe on the rights of others.

    The argument for school uniforms is that they are an equalizer, beneficial to children who would normally be looked down upon or discriminated against because of their attire and also less of a distraction from schoolwork.

    The Hazelwood case wasn't considered a violation of the first amendment because the content could have been perceived as upsetting to certain students who have the right to attend a public school and receive an education without worrying about distractions like what some might consider provocative news articles published in a school-sponsored paper. The Bill of Rights only goes as far as to grant rights/liberties to U.S. citizens as long as those rights/liberties do not infringe on the safety, welfare, or rights/liberties of others. As an aside, I guarantee that if a teacher wanted to publish the same article in the same paper they would be denied, as well, and, on the same note, I am sure if the article were good enough it could have been published in any other paper not affiliated with a public school. I don't see how the case is age-specific.

    I'm not saying I agree with either of those things, but it isn't particularly upsetting to me as I understand how they can each be good things in certain situations.

    Children have liberties, but just like adults, they give up many of them when entering any government-owned building.
     
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    #7 under skies, Feb 1, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2010
  8. OP
    slant

    slant Sedated slanty

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    If you agree that children have liberties than how can you also agree school uniforms?

    If children have liberties forcing them to dress in a particular uniform where they are force to attend [ children do not have the right not to go to school so if a public school system adopted uniforms, unlike adults who may have to wear uniforms at work but can easily quit], then their liberties are being taken away and they are being suppressed.
     
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  9. Reon

    Reon Midnight's Garden

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_loco_parentis

    This law has a few things to do with civil liberties and kids. I do generally agree, though, that children don't have civil liberties but you can also lose civil liberties by entering a government building
     
  10. Raccoon Love

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    I agree with this law completely.
     
  11. OP
    slant

    slant Sedated slanty

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    That article implies that children have civil liberties in the first place.
     
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  12. Reon

    Reon Midnight's Garden

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    It's implied, yes. Effectively though, it appears that kid do not have civil liberties.
     
  13. sagewolf

    sagewolf Newbie

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    The amount and nature of the 'liberties' afforded to children is dependent largely on what their parents allot to them. Some parents allow their children to earn money (through chores, allowance, and the like) but not to spend it, keeping it in a savings account or a piggy bank, some allow the child to spend their money with some restrictions, some will let the child loose and let them make their own decisions. Most children dress themselves; the parent may or may not pick their clothes for them. With the family, a child's liberties are controlled by their parents, and this is as it should be; if the parents are well-adjusted adults themselves, the kid can be in no better hands.

    In society, yes, the sale and consumption of most drugs (caffeine excepted) is prohibited to minors, they're not allowed in 'adult' shops or sections of shops (despite how enticing the word 'adult' is to them) and they're not allowed in pubs/bars after a certain time of night. They can't vote, they can't enlist in the military, and they can't apply for certain legal forms of ID on their own. These don't seem like huge infringements of their liberties. Societies generally do not place restrictions on the liberties of children beyond what I see above. (If I omitted something, please point it out, though.)

    Schools, however, (touching on the uniform issue, and obviously the next bit pertains mainly to the US) contrary to many people's convictions, are not public property, and are not subject to the same concepts of liberties as a public place is. They are private property, under the jurisdiction of the School District.

    Look at the part I bolded. In what way is it an infringement of the students' liberties if a representative of the school board decides to make an editorial decision concerning the school newspaper? Yes, there are such liberties as freedom of the press and freedom of expression, but that doesn't mean any newspaper has to publish an article just because you wrote it. They, in turn, have the right to choose what they do and do not wish to publish, and controversial topics often don't get aired in commercial newspapers without a little caution on the part of the editorial team. What's more, the principal's decision was completely and utterly justified:



    Look at what I bolded, again, and especially at what I underlined: this is journalistic ethics 101. In the 1980s (you were in high school then, were you not, efromm? Correct me if I'm wrong), I don't think it was socially acceptable to be pregnant in high school. The modern equivalent would probably be writing an article that outed a student as gay or trans, and the right for students to feel safe and unthreatened in school is a crucial issue for those who can be identified easily as targets. Making sure the content of a school newspaper is age-appropriate and relevant for all the students attending is important, too (although I would judge an article about birth control very appropriate for a high school newspaper). The last issue is libel, and the journalism teacher should have caught it before it even made its way to proof, then told the students what it was and why they couldn't do it. It's not acceptable (or, indeed, legal, and the school would be liable, I think) to publish defamatory information about anyone.

    You wouldn't be able to publish a newspaper containing articles like that through work, either, I have to tell you. Indeed, you would probably be reprimanded severely even for publishing it yourself and handing it out or making it available at work, because it's controversial, and work is not the place for controversy. Indeed, in most workplaces, you're not permitted to air your religious or political views, in particular, at all, because these are such volatile subjects, and, again, you're not in your place of work to have a IRL flame war with your co-workers. You're at work to do the job you're being paid for, and the company is within its rights to ask that the time and effort it buys off of you are being spent doing what it wants you to do and not inciting controversy or discomfort (or even fear) in your co-workers. So, you see, the liberties of adults are curbed in the same ways that those of children and adolescents are. I don't see anything in this case that suggests children have no liberties.

    (Also, I'm sorry about the red. If it's hard to read, or offensive to your eyes, just say so and I'll change it: I'm not using the default skin so I don't know how it'll look if I change the colour.)

    May I second this? Abortion really isn't relevant to this. Allowing children to have liberties or not is not 'deciding their future' in as concrete a manner as abortion is. Mainly, though, it's an extremely controversial topic that could easily derail the thread, and it's not what slant was trying to bring up. Interesting directions for a converstion are one thing, but abortion is another one altogether.

    There is no 'typical' child. Everyone grows and matures differently, but I think one thing I can say with certainty is that you grow and mature far more when you are able to make your own decisions as an adult, and live with your own screw-ups, and rejoice in your own victories. The 'go to school or be put in jail' thing isn't completely true; there is such a thing as homeschooling, which puts the case of liberty for the child back into the hands of the parent, and where the limits and the cope of those liberties can be adjusted for the child as it grows; never so tight that it inhibits movement, but never so loose that it cannot protect from a fall or misstep. And besides, we trust 'children' of 17-20 years of age to pick their colleges (an investment of $100k and more, in some cases) and their undergraduate majors, don't we? Why trust them to do this, but not to buy a six-pack and drink it responsibly, or to elect the legislators who will affect their lives for the next several years?

    The bolded part is a blatant ad homeniem argument; please don't be ageist. We have brains too, and we can think. Otherwise, why try to teach us? School is clearly pointless. :m145:

    EDIT: Wow, this is really long, actually, and I got ninja'd about ten times, so.... sorry if I missed an argument of yours that appeared while I was writing. I just didn't see it.
     
    #13 sagewolf, Feb 1, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2010
  14. efromm

    efromm Hiding In My Shell...
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    Hmm I am a little confused. I did not know I was attacking you? Where did I act ageist? If you take offense to the typical child saying I will retract. Since I do have three of my own I can tell you that I am clearly aware that my three little ones are all different. I think you missed the meaning of my posts. And I gotta tell ya I knew I should have never posted my opinion in the first place because I really don't want to defend it. It's a waste of time. And I am beginning to realize that is why I don't contribute much on these forums.
     
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  15. under skies

    under skies Community Member

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    Because I also believe that children shouldn't have to feel bad about their clothes if they can't afford more than a few outfits or the kinds of clothes that are considered cool. If you have the money to express yourself with clothing, that's great, wear it out in public, but some people have to wear the same shirt every day, and not only do kids notice, but they like to comment on it, too. I have seen it happen before. I feel bad for those kids and don't think they should have to feel that way over something they really can't control.

    To be honest with you, though, I am on the fence. I never said I agreed with school uniforms. I, in fact, said that I did not but that I could see how they could also be a good thing. For me, there are so many gray areas involved.

    If you'll refer back to my original post, I said that children, just like adults, give up some of their liberties while they are on school property because it is part of a government instutition. Any time you walk into a government-operated institution, special rules apply, and those rules exist to maintain order and ensure the safety and welfare of you and those around you.

    As far as children not having the option not to go to school goes, it's true that there is no adult equivalent. It, however, still has nothing to do with age, if you ask me. (Correlation =/= Causation) You have certain liberties and rights until they violate those of others. This just happens to be one of those cases and it happens to involve children rather than adults.
     
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    #15 under skies, Feb 1, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2010
  16. OP
    slant

    slant Sedated slanty

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    Are you suggesting that giving children liberties violates the rights of others around them, though, not adults, somehow? Clarify.
     
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  17. under skies

    under skies Community Member

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    I am speaking, in this case, specifically about uniforms. You are taking my words and applying them to very broad scopes.

    Children have very little financial freedom, if any at all. They don't have any control over the kinds of clothes they can afford to wear.

    If you are forcing a child to go to school and he or she doesn't have very nice clothes or much variation in wardrobe, there is a definite chance he or she could get pretty badly teased for it. However, schools are intended strictly to serve as learning environments, and children who attend schools have the right to feel safe and happy when they do. A majority of school rules are based on this principle.
     
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  18. OP
    slant

    slant Sedated slanty

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    What about the sixteen, seventeen, even legal adult aged kids who have a uniform forced upon them and can afford to buy clothes that they want? I mean, it SOUNDS just to say that the uniforms are to support the environment but if kids have liberties than that's an obvious violation of them.

    If they cannot chose how they would like to dress in compulsory school even though, technically they have freedom of expression and have the liberty of dressing how they wish, it becomes an injustice.
     
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  19. OP
    slant

    slant Sedated slanty

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  20. Barnabas

    Barnabas Time Lord

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    Children give up liberties to enter into private/public institutions, they also give up liberties to live in there parents house.
     
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