Expulsion is a very grave and serious penalty to a student. Not only will a student loose the chance to have an education in his/her chosen school or in a well established institution but a student’s future may be at stake because of expulsion. How you may ask? Well, first, the offense would be permanently marked on his/her record thus when he applies in another school, the school will see the reason for his expulsion and normally, good schools do not accept students who have grave offenses from the past.
Aside from the student having a hard time being accepted in schools, he/she would also suffer all the emotional and physical abandonment and disappointment of the people surrounding that person. In my opinion, Doug Hann should not be expelled for his behavior but not for the reason that the author of the article stated nor of the reasons of Mr. Gregorian. I firmly believe that Doug Hann had committed an offense by what he did during the night that he was drunk.
I would like to tackle my reasons in two aspects: the meaning of freedom of speech and the debate in the article of whether or not Doug Hann violated Brown’s code of Conduct. First, the meaning of “freedom of speech” also has its limitations. “Free speech only becomes a volatile issue when it is highly valued because only then do the limitations placed upon it become controversial” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2002). Based on the phrase, it can be taken into fact that freedom of speech has limitations.
I believe that some people have taken out of context in terms of defining “freedom”. Let me expound by giving an analogy; United States is a free country. The citizens are free to talk, take a bath, go to work; anything that they want to do but this country, though considered a free country, still has a set of rules and regulations, the constitution and laws amended, that guide and protect the citizens of the country. Rules were made so that along with that freedom, the discipline of doing what is right and respectable should be exercised.
With Hann’s case, ethics and principles should be taken into consideration. Again, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy discussed: “The best way to think about this is to ask whether speech should be protected rather than to ask whether it should be prohibited. This leads us to the recognition that we can and should regulate speech, but ultimately we cannot prevent it if the person is dedicated to making the statement. ” (2002) Speech should be protected, valued, and respected not the other way around. Freedom of speech should exercise these traits and apparently, Doug Hann didn’t.
Secondly, Brown’s code of conduct clearly states “…inappropriate, abusive, threatening or demeaning actions based on race, religion, gender…” Clearly, Mr. Gregorian firmly stated that Hann did not commit any offense against any code of conduct because Hann did not do any action but only spoken a few foul words. I believe a more appropriate term that they should have used is behavior rather than action.
Isn’t it correct that speaking a form of action or rather, behavior? At this point I presume you might be asking yourself “Why does this author believe that Doug Hann should not be expelled? and my answer is this: He should not be expelled because it is established that he has done something wrong. An institution, especially an educational institution, should help students and instill in them values that they should uphold and practice. Institutions believe that expulsion is an enough disciplinary method for these cases but I believe otherwise. What if he/she repeats it in another school? In public? Or in a supermarket? What the institution did was just to ‘dump the guy in the streets and leave him there. ’
I apologize if I seem to be attacking the institution but I want you to know I am not. The most helpful way is to keep the person in the school and apply discipline measures that shape, develop, correct, and assess the behavior of the student. We never know, maybe that student needed more help than we originally thought he needed. Uncontrollable outbursts or behaviors of people like in the case of Doug Hann may have been triggered by other experiences. These behaviors may be effects of other problems, events, or traumas that the person experiences in the past or present.