I am a bit of a history buff and just found out that today is a day to be celebrated in history. See, today marks the celebration of the ACLU anniversary of the US Supreme Courts decision on student free speech. Here’s how it started:
On Tuesday, the non-profit organization the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a video and press release commemorating 40 years since the landmark Supreme Court of the United States decision involving freedom of speech in the case Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District. The Tinker case was decided on February 24, 1969. The case involved students in Iowa who chose to wear black armbands with peace symbols in protest of the Vietnam War – in violation of a recent school board policy. In their statement, the ACLU compared issues of freedom of speech in the Tinker case to a more recent case, Gillman v. Holmes County School District, where a school district in Florida forbade students from wearing rainbow symbols in school in support of LGBT rights.
In the Tinker case, John and Mary Beth Tinker and another student decided to wear black armbands with peace symbols to school in protest of the Vietnam War. The school district heard of the students’ plans and decided to ban armbands in school. The three students case were represented by the ACLU of Iowa, and in a 7-2 decision the Supreme Court ruled for the plaintiffs.
Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas wrote in the Opinion of the Court: “It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights…at the schoolhouse gate.”
Unfortunately there are too many young people today that think there’s nothing they can do to make a difference. Well these kids did just that. They made a difference. We all can make a difference if we do it right. There should never be violence when we feel something needs to change. There should only be peaceful means to make the changes we feel are important. Violence never makes a positive change.
Have you heard about the comet that will be visible to the naked eye? It’s amazing to me and my children. We have been looking for it in the sky but have not seen it yet. Can you see it from where you are? Here’s what the news had to say about it:
For the next few days, a newly discovered, green-tinted comet will be visible by the naked eye in most parts of the Northern Hemisphere. Comet Lulin, with the official designation of C/2007 N3, was discovered in 2007 and astronomers say that this is the first time it has visited our solar system and may well be the last.
As it makes its way around the Sun, an astonishing 800 gallons of water will evaporate from the comet every second. In each 15 minute period, it will shed enough water to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool. It will come within 38 million miles of Earth at its closest pass, making it visible to the naked eye and even clearer with binoculars or a telescope.
The best viewing time for people living in the northern hemisphere is after midnight when Lulin will be at its highest point in the sky, or 40 degrees from the morning horizon. Current estimates peg the maximum brightness at 4th or 5th magnitude, which means dark country skies would be required to see it. No one can say for sure, however, because this is Lulin’s first visit.
Astronomers from NASA and the United Kingdom will use the Swift Telescope to study the comet and its composition. Astronomers also say to see it while you can because this could be the first and only time it passes through our solar system. It’s estimated that if it returns, it will not be for another 1,000,000 years.
“We won’t be able to send a space probe to [the comet], but Swift is giving us some of the information we would get from just such a mission,” said Jenny Carter, at the University of Leicester in England, who is leading the study. The comet was discovered using the Lulin Observatory in Taiwan by astronomers Ye Quanzhi and Lin Chi-Sheng.
It amazes me that they know so much about something like that. It makes me feel like we are not alone maybe. Who really knows what’s out there? Maybe one of my kids will grow up to be an astronaut or someone that will help in discovering more about what truly is out there. That would be totally awesome, you know. That’s the amazing thing about children, you never really know what or who they will grow up to be. I have heard a lot of people say that they wouldn’t bring a child into this world the way it is today. Well how do you know if they might be the one that helps make the world a better place or not? You don’t so hope is one thing that every child brings into this world I feel. I don’t think I’m the only one that thinks that way either.
A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the preacher decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening. The preacher found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for his preachers visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited.
The preacher made himself at home but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs. After some minutes, the preacher took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone then he sat back in his chair, still silent.
The host watched all this in quiet contemplation. As the one lone ember’s flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and dead. Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. The preacher glanced at his watch and realized it was time to leave. He slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow, once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.
As the preacher reached the door to leave, his host said with a tear running down his cheek, ‘Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I shall be back in church next Sunday.’
We live in a world today, which tries to say too much with too little. Consequently, few listen. Sometimes the best sermons are the ones left unspoken. Words can strengthen you or not but a lesson without words is one that will touch you in ways words can’t. I guess the saying “Silence is golden” would apply here because the silence taught far more than any words could have.
Well I have had two sessions with the online counselor and I am working really hard to do what they have suggested. I get up in the morning and look in the mirror and tell myself that I am worthy and I deserve only the best and that’s what I will have. I can’t say I believe it yet but it sounds good anyway. I can easily look at my children and say they are very special and deserve the best and can have anything they want if they work hard enough but I’m still having trouble believing it for myself.
I know it’s going to take longer than a few days. I’m not stupid enough to think there’s a quick fix out there. Its going to take a lot of hard work on my part but my children are worth it. It’s more for them than me. That’s why I’m doing all of this. I owe it to them for bringing them into this hard world we live in I believe.
I suddenly find myself so full of self doubt that it’s almost paralyzing to me. What if I can’t do this? What if I mess up the best chance I have ever had to not only be a good mother to my children but to better my own life so there’s can be better too? I’m so full of what ifs that I can’t hardly function. Life has been hard for me and my children and then this blessing falls right into our laps and I don’t know how to take it.
I have found a great web site online for counseling. I am hoping that they will be able to help me stop thinking so negatively about myself and restore my faith in myself. The counselor is supposed to be one of the best there is so that gives me hope. Hope, that’s a very strong word. In fact, it’s one of the strongest I know. Hope is what they are offering to me and best of all, it’s online and I don’t have to face a group of people I don’t know and whine about my life. I can’t do that. Maybe if you need help too, you should check out online counseling. It has given me hope just knowing something like this is out there for help.