Debate

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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"Rights talk seeps into spheres of American society where a sense of personal responsibility and of civic obligation traditionally have been nourished. An intemperate rhetoric of personal liberty in this way corrodes the social foundations on which individual freedom and security ultimately rest." Because I agree with this quote, I firmly resolve the resolution that establishing a safe educational environment for grades K-12 justifies the infringement of civil liberties.

I would like to offer the following definitions: Establish: to make firm or secure Safe Educational Environment: an environment conducive to learning where students are free from hurt, injury or loss Justifies: to demonstrate to be right, just, or valid Infringement: an encroachment, as of a right or privilege Civil Liberties: fundamental individual rights, such as freedom of speech and religion, protected by law against unwarranted governmental or other interference The value that the affirmative upholds is education. The value criterion I will use to uphold my value is safety.

Safety is extremely important on any educational institute because it allows the students and faculty to learn and operate without any threat hanging over them.

To explain my position, I offer the following contentions: Contention 1: Without the establishment of a safe learning environment, the ability to learn and to teach is severely hampered.

Without a safe educational environment, the attainment of knowledge is difficult to achieve. As Michael Ferraraccio said, "If schools cannot operate in a violence-free atmosphere, then education will suffer, a result which ultimately threatens the well being of everyone." An infringement of a student's civil liberties is required to be able to maintain a safe and enjoyable learning atmosphere for both the students and the faculty. When a student does not feel secure in their learning area, they are often distracted and unable to focus. For example, a student cannot possibly concentrate if another classmate is spewing insults and cuss words at the teacher. However, if we allowed students the freedom of speech, this could be common place.

Contention 2: Moral obligation to provide safe schools Donald Beci stated "Because a state requires compulsory school attendance, it has a moral duty to maintain student discipline and to protect children from violence that occurs while they are attending the very schools to which the state has bound them to attend." A school is required to protect the children that it harbors, and thus some civil liberties must not be granted. Examples of these are the right to bear arms and the right to privacy, which could be construed to mean very dangerous things by students not mature enough to understand them.

Also, privacy rights must not be granted in school, as it might endanger the safety of others. In fact, Donald Beci also says that, "In situations where the school administration and students share joint control of lockers, desks, or other school property, the students would not have a legitimate expectation of privacy in such property; thus, in the abscence of privacy, Fourth Amendment requirements would be inapplicable." Thus schools must disregard some civil rights to uphold the value of safety which most of them abide by.

The affirmative has proven that schools must disregard students' civil rights in order to ensure a good and safe learning environment.

VOTE AFFIRMATIVE!!