How to Stifle Creativity


One of the distinguishing characteristics of the creative childlike mind is the ability not to suppress the ideas that are unpopular or unsuccessful.

Eminent First Amendment lawyer Jon Katz brings us this tale of an Illinois high school student who is being prosecuted for following his teacher’s instructions to “Write whatever comes into your mind; Do not judge or censor what you are writing.” (His teacher was shocked by what he wrote; she reported it to her department head, who reported it to the monumentally stupid principal, who filed disorderly conduct charges.)

Jon sees it as a First Amendment problem; it is that. I see it as an attack on a young man’s creativity. Although it may be good preparation, perhaps for Marine Basic Training, we should expect better from our schools.


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