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The First Amendment is under threat by misinformation, fear

Photo by Thomas Hawk/Creative Commons

It is deeply troubling when freedom of speech is used for fear mongering, hurtful rhetoric, or misinformation. 

Several elected officials and their base have infiltrated school board meetings.  The intent of these individuals is to garner attention by making false accusations about the Superintendent and board members with no evidence, rudely reading excerpts from books without identifying the title, and demeaning students from diverse communities.  

These men and women cannot be allowed to continue their shameful behavior.  School board meetings highlight education along with parent, student, and teacher concerns. For example, Scottsdale had over 150,000 residents vote for a highly educated and devoted governing board. It is a travesty that fewer than 50 resentful adults, some not even living in the district, abuse and berate those who are running the open meetings. 

This disruptive group must be held accountable. Teaching should not come to a halt and courses should not be prevented because of a small group with incorrect facts.  Educators, at every level, spend many years in college to perfect their chosen profession and should be respected for their passion for teaching. 


Joanie Rose, 



  1. Amen.

  2. The concept of “free speech” does not extend to meetings. The people running the meeting have responsibility to run the meeting efficiently. That means limiting the time a person speaks, or removing an unruly person from a meeting. Even a government-run public meeting has limits on disruption under the guise of “free speech”.

  3. The concept of freedom of speech, as granted by our Constitution’s First Amendment, protects your speech as well as that you may not like or agree with. I find it disturbing and very sad that so many today are so quick to want – even demand – that speech they disagree with be squelched by government. That is a very slippery slope that leads to the death of YOUR liberty. And like the frog in the proverbial pot of water on the stove that starts out comfortable and leads to the frog’s demise, you will realize only too late that they’ve also come after your ideas, your speech and that of others with whom you agree. If you’re so fragile that you can’t bear to hear someone else say something with which you disagree please just stay in your echo chamber and quit chipping away at the liberty of the rest of us.

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