As the United States falls extremely low compared to other countries on the worldwide education rankings, some people are speaking about our education system—mainly the common core. Johnnelle Raines set out to do exactly this when she scheduled for herself and a group of people to march in a parade speaking out against the common core. To her surprise however, when she arrived to march, she was met by parade administrators and police telling her she was not allowed.
First administrators of the parade said they would not be able to march in the parade. Being that it was the town’s parade, they were told that everyone was informed that nothing political was to be represented in the parade.
Raines states to the administrator that she has a permit to march and they knew why she was marching as she detailed her intentions on her application. It should also be noted that no where on the application, does it prohibit anyone with political affiliations from marching.
When police came over, they said that they could march and wear their shirts, but they would have to ditch the signs.
Apparently police forgot about their first amendment rights. Seeing how we here in America don’t have a freedom of signs, this must be where the confusion lies.
Raines asked the police officer what law she was in violation of to which the officer did not have an answer. He did however say that since the town was hosting the event, they had the right to restrict who was marching in it.
The funny thing about the situation, is parades usually have a few main things in them, one of which is politicians. They usually march in effort to get their name out there and gain support of those who might have been on the fence.
Jim Haggert, another member marching for the cause told reporters that, “I was prepared to be arrested and thought I was for a moment, but then the officer walked away.”
It seems as though the marchers made a bigger stink about the situation than police felt like dealing with. Either way, I don’t believe the officers had anything they could have charged them with without risking a huge constitutionally based lawsuit.
Would you let police silence your first amendment rights?