Stephen A. Frye s.frye at VERIZON.NET
Mon May 12 19:56:37 MDT 2003

Organizations - such as businesses and schools alike - often do things that
they really do not have the legal authority to do.  I signed no contract
with my employer regarding my conduct away from work and work
functions.  If I misbehave at work or at a sanctioned activity - they can
do as they will.  If I misbehave on my own, I sincerely question their
legal right to do anything about it.  They may well find (read
manufactured) another reason to fire me.  If I am convicted of something,
then that may, and I emphasize *may*, open the door for them to act.

Where is the line drawn?  What if a student's home life - such as religious
practices, etc - are perceived by the school (or the employer) to not be in
their best interest.  Are they then free to expel/fire someone?

Without legal convictions, I have to side with the students here - however
deplorable.  It is, so far, beyond the scope of the school.

>         It's always been there, Stephen. Just like a job. If you or me or
> any of us went out and engaged in deplorable behavior after hours and
> away from the office,

Who defines deplorable?  What if the school (or an employer) decides that a
student's support of the NRA, anti-abortion actions, etc are deplorable?

>          Administrators will insist that they are protecting the school's
> reputation, that discipline "sends a message to others who may be
> thinking about acting inappropriately" and so forth.

Agreed - they believe they are protecting the school's reputation.

>         Schools hardly differ from businesses and (nearly always) wish
> for their publicity to be positive.

All wish for positive publicity.  We don't always get what we want.

>         The administrators would be fully in their rights to decide that
> they will refuse students with those kinds of behavioral problems.

Again, I don't agree.  They have no authority whatsoever over those kids
away from school and/or school activities.  It is simply beyond their
scope.  They even admitted that they had disassociated themselves from that
particular activity!

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