Freedom of speech is without doubt one of the greatest and most powerful principles of our democracy. Rigorous conversations and debates in the public square are a crucial part of civic engagement. But as even comic book cliché’s hold, with great power comes great responsibility. Civility and mutual respect in discourse matters. Hate speech, ad hominem attacks, and ill-informed comparisons to human atrocities and hate mongers should have no place in the debate over public education reform. Defending those who engage in such activities – even under the lofty banner of protecting free speech – isn’t remotely cool.
Sign your name below if you agree that it is ok for Americans involved in debates over improving public education to disagree on how we get there, as long as we do so in a civilized manner. That means calling BS whenever someone makes a reference to truly abhorrent figures like Hitler or Osama Bin Laden. Such comparisons have no place in a healthy and honest debate over providing a better education to our nation’s young people.