Conn. school board member resigns after outcry over his comment about Newtown school shooting

  • Article by: Associated Press
  • Updated: January 9, 2014 - 10:09 AM

BROOKFIELD, Conn. — A school board member in a Connecticut town neighboring the one where 26 people were killed at an elementary school has resigned amid an outcry over his comment that he would observe the Newtown massacre's anniversary by distributing ammunition.

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carbonbigfotJan. 9, 1410:52 AM

Hmmm. A school board member that wants to protect the kids and reduce the chances of something like that ever happening again. And he's forced to resign.

rschildkJan. 9, 14 2:53 PM

Once again, someone learns the hard way that; "Freedom of Speech" does not include "Freedom from the Consequences of your Speech" (nor should it.)

dentesterJan. 9, 14 3:17 PM

Re: "Freedom of Speech" does not include "Freedom from the Consequences of your Speech" - Do you realize how stupid that sounds? If there are negative consequences for what you say, then you are not "free" to speak. Being punished for what you say is the antithesis of being free to say it.

carbonbigfotJan. 9, 14 3:33 PM

"Freedom from the Consequences of your Speech" ?? The consequences of the parents action is that the kids are totally unprotected in that school.

faustusJan. 9, 14 4:35 PM

Some posters here are confused about what "free speech" is, exactly. 1st Amendment – intended to prevent the Federal government from "abridging" the free speech of citizens; in time that was extended to state governments (through a series of Supreme Court decisions). Part of these decisions introduced legal concepts like "fighting words" and the fact that freedom of speech does not extend to a person yelling "FIRE!" in a crowded theater just for thrills. The concept of "freedom of speech" has limits. This school board member said something incredibly insensitive and stupid. If his only intention was to make clear he thinks every person in the U.S. should be armed and well supplied with ammo, then he should have said that as part of his Facebook statement: "I’m saying this because …" Instead, he makes a terse statement that he knew would be inflammatory. It was clearly a "fighting words"-style statement, given the occasion (memorial event for local gun violence victims). It’s an indication that he doesn’t have the good judgment and maturity to hold a government position of authority. He admitted as much in his public apology. Of course, that is very true of many older than him and in much higher government positions than he was holding on a local school board (most of Congress, for example). The electorate who voted him into office had every right to ask for his resignation. Fortunately he took the high road and obliged them. In fact, their right to do that is also part of the 1st Amendment: "…the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." It’s interesting to read posters who, by their views on this incident, likely preach "personal responsibility and consequences" in regards to people living in poverty and using public assistance, but who crow and bleat about "free speech" being infringed when someone in public office is required to face consequences and accept responsibility for something stupid and insensitive that they’ve publicly said/written.

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