Boston student banned from prom for writing pro-democracy notes on China trip

posted at 9:21 pm on June 10, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham

You see, this school trip to China is an exchange built on “respect” and “mutual education” within the confines of the Chinese government’s definitions. It’s most definitely not an exercise in respecting the individual rights of Chinese and American students and supporting mutual education that involves critical thinking instead of upholding the polite fictions the state requires. Because thinking critically and exchanging those thoughts is dangerous in a repressive country. Which you might think would be a lesson for the school officials involved, here, but that’s not how this story goes:

Newton North High School senior Henry DeGroot was visiting a school outside Beijing on a semester abroad this year when he decided to have some fun and also make a point by writing prodemocracy messages in the notebook of a Chinese student.

“Democracy is for cool kids,” he recalls writing. “Don’t believe the lies your school and government tell you,” said another message, and “It’s right to rebel.”

But when Chinese school officials found out, he had to serve five hours of detention. And when he returned home, it got worse: Newton school officials barred DeGroot from his prom.

Newton school officials say he violated semester abroad rules, embarrassed the principal of the Chinese school that was hosting Newton students, and showed so much disrespect for the Chinese that the longstanding relationship with the school may be harmed.

The founders of the exchange program are deeply concerned. Their response to this makes me sure I’d never send my kids on any kind of educational endeavor with them:

“Until this week, we have never had an incident with a student disobeying the written code of conduct that they all sign,” Claire Kanter said from her home in Florida. “And then he refused to apologize in person. He refused to take a 30-minute train ride to apologize. I can’t tell you what I feel about this, we are an educational exchange, not a political exchange.

So, do they send a bunch of impressionable high-school students to China while willfully keeping them ignorant of the Chinese governmental system, its differences from ours, the moral conflicts this might cause for free people engaged in free inquiry, and any of the atrocities it visits upon its people? Exactly what are they educating them about if they’re subtracting any and all context from the trip?

DeGroot’s take on his actions:

“I felt as a human being on this planet I have an inalienable right to free speech if I’m doing it in a non-vulgar, appropriate way, as this private conversation was,” DeGroot said in an interview.

“Throughout this exchange, we and those that followed us taught our students to recognize and respect the cultural differences between our countries,” their letter said. “The purpose of this exchange was and still is the understanding and respect as well as the mutual education of all our students so that solid appreciation of each other’s cultures would result.”

The Kanters have sent an abject apology to the principal of the school. The student signed a code of conduct and violated it, which I suppose means they can dole out some kind of punishment. Civil disobedience does not always come without a price, and he should be willing to face it. But a prom banning sounds a little drastic for speaking out for democracy to a fellow student in China.

The school system, he says, taught him the importance of civil disobedience and speaking his mind, but then punished him when he practiced what he learned.

I suppose it was implied in his instruction that that kind of thing should only be deployed on wingers in the U.S.

Now, I’m not intimate with the rules of exchange programs. I know the politics and sensitivities of setting these things up are likely daunting. There is, of course, sometimes value in cultural exchanges, even with countries where the system is not so friendly to individual or human rights. But those exchanges should be preceded by some very rigorous thinking by educators about how much freedom of inquiry their students are being made to give up to participate. Such an exchange should also be bolstered by some very rigorous instruction about the differences between our system and theirs and the costs and benefits of acquiescing in another culture’s system to learn about it.

The tone of the Kanters’ response to this “transgression” suggests they’re giving up way too much. If your educational relationship depends upon students upholding the propaganda line of a repressive government at all times in private conversations, as this one seems to, there’s probably not much education going on.


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The Kanters have sent an abject apology to the principal of the school.

Prom simply isn’t that important.

The kid is certainly getting a valuable lesson about government and bureaucratic systems, but probably not what the school hoped for.

sharrukin on June 10, 2014 at 9:27 PM

The appropriate response to a student who does this sort of thing is…absolutely nothing. And then everyone forgets about it the next day.

bingsha on June 10, 2014 at 9:29 PM

he recalls writing. “Don’t believe the lies your school and government tell you,” said another message, and “It’s right to rebel.”

“To rebel is justified.”
- Mao Zedong

kcewa on June 10, 2014 at 9:29 PM

Henry, take the money you would have wasted on that overpriced bundle of trivialities, and spend it taking your girl on the date of a lifetime to the Cape.

And if you are short of the bread, I’m sure some of us here would be willing to kick in.

You’ve earned it, kid…

JohnGalt23 on June 10, 2014 at 9:30 PM

I’ll bet that these same officials got in trouble when they were students for rebelling against their teachers for being too conservative.

Now that they’re in power they’ve become just as bad if not worse.

kcewa on June 10, 2014 at 9:33 PM

this little narcissistic pimple should’ve been suspended or even worse

the school may very well have lost its program to this knucklehead’s thoughtlessness

nonpartisan on June 10, 2014 at 9:35 PM

There is, of course, sometimes value in cultural exchanges, even with countries where the system is not so friendly to individual or human rights.

There sure is!

When my wife & I were still living in the US, we hosted at different times six Chinese teens through an exchange program.
We were honored to help convert one of the kids to follow Jesus!
Four years later, he’s still walking with the Lord. We keep in touch via Facebook.
He told me that when he summoned the courage to tell his dad about his new commitment, his dad thought for a moment & said, “I suppose it’s better that you be a Christian than a Communist.” :D

itsnotaboutme on June 10, 2014 at 9:37 PM

When I was a high school exchange student in Japan I realized it wouldn’t be too cool to shout “Tenno-heika Banzai!”

DarkCurrent on June 10, 2014 at 9:39 PM

this little narcissistic pimple should’ve been suspended or even worse
the school may very well have lost its program to this knucklehead’s thoughtlessness

nonpartisan on June 10, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Unreal. Even for you.

RINO in Name Only on June 10, 2014 at 9:39 PM

this little narcissistic… knucklehead’s thoughtlessness

nonpartisan on June 10, 2014 at 9:35 PM

fixed…quit describing yourself and your president.

KOOLAID2 on June 10, 2014 at 9:41 PM

Honestly, nobody in my group went to prom, nor so much as considered it.

Yet, everyone I know today went to prom and have the pictures to prove it. Hell, about 20% of them are MARRIED to their prom date.

WTF?

Tard on June 10, 2014 at 9:43 PM

When I was a high school exchange student in Japan I realized it wouldn’t be too cool to shout “Tenno-heika Banzai!”

DarkCurrent on June 10, 2014 at 9:39 PM

Which means what? Does Japan have a murderously oppressive government like China?

kcewa on June 10, 2014 at 9:43 PM

the school may very well have lost its program to this knucklehead’s thoughtlessness

nonpartisan on June 10, 2014 at 9:35 PM

It should lose its program because it has nothing to teach the Chinese about the west, though I am sure the Chinese security apparatus could provide the school administrators with some very helpful tips.

sharrukin on June 10, 2014 at 9:44 PM

When I was a high school exchange student in Japan I realized it wouldn’t be too cool to shout “Tenno-heika Banzai!”

DarkCurrent on June 10, 2014 at 9:39 PM

So shouting the Japanese version of “Heil Hitler!” is similar to essentially passing private notes including the phrases “Democracy is for cool kids”, “Don’t believe the lies your school and government tell you”, and “It’s right to rebel.”.

The quality of dissent on the HotGas is really pitiful.

LashRambo on June 10, 2014 at 9:46 PM

I’ve been going to China a couple of times a year since 2003. Everyone there wants to get out. They’re very proud of being Chinese, but at the same time, they all want to move to the US. They won’t admit this when you first meet them, and they’ve got a lot of eyes on them. But when you really get to know them they eventually admit it.

And the dude should be grateful for being banned from the prom. What a waste of human energy. Anyway, props to the student.

WhatSlushfund on June 10, 2014 at 9:48 PM

He told me that when he summoned the courage to tell his dad about his new commitment, his dad thought for a moment & said, “I suppose it’s better that you be a Christian than a Communist.” :D

itsnotaboutme on June 10, 2014 at 9:37 PM

It’s not so uncommon. My MIL was a Christian, a Communist and loveable.

Though I don’t care for either, apparently some can find them compatible.

DarkCurrent on June 10, 2014 at 9:49 PM

I can’t get over the fact that there are actually American parents who would let their school-age children go to China. What’s up with that?

Pork-Chop on June 10, 2014 at 9:52 PM

Late Breaking News:

Boston Tea Party Participants Posthumously Pooh-Poohed By School Poohbahs

M240H on June 10, 2014 at 9:58 PM

This will be a better story than anything that would have happened at the prom anyway!

questionmark on June 10, 2014 at 9:58 PM

I can’t get over the fact that there are actually American parents who would let their school-age children go to China. What’s up with that?

Pork-Chop on June 10, 2014 at 9:52 PM

Do you suppose the average school in China promotes some ideology more that the average American public school?

DarkCurrent on June 10, 2014 at 9:58 PM

When I was a high school exchange student in Japan I realized it wouldn’t be too cool to shout “Tenno-heika Banzai!”

DarkCurrent on June 10, 2014 at 9:39 PM

Not sure what that means and not going to google right now (stupid iphone makes that annoying), but it’s hard to see how it could be applicable here. The guy wrote a private message.

As noxious as restrictions on political speech are, the fact is that they have been a staple of so many governments for so long in history that one could make some practicality arguments, regarding the pros and cons of abiding by such restrictions while visiting.

Asking someone to abide by restrictions on private speech, though, is a much different animal. Said restrictions are the staple of regimes that have gone well beyond authoritarianism, into totalitarianism.

I have tended to be cautiously receptive to claims that China’s hostility to freedom is exaggerated, but if the Chinese government and society in general is this hostile to private speech, then I’ve clearly been wrong.

If, on the other hand, the oppression here is limited to the actions of the individual Chinese school, then there is really no justification for him to be punished on return to the US.

Put more simply, the US has no interest in sending our kids to places where that level of totalitarianism is present.

RINO in Name Only on June 10, 2014 at 10:00 PM

…he decided to have some fun and also make a point by writing prodemocracy messages in the notebook of a Chinese student.

Some fun. What a prankster. His actions could have gotten the victim of his prank in serious trouble with the Chinese authorities. When you are visiting another country as a guest, you have to have some respect for your hosts — and by that I mean not the Chinese government, but the ordinary people you are associating with. His actions would have been fine had he done that to a Chinese student in America, but to do that in China was obtuse and selfish in the extreme.

cam2 on June 10, 2014 at 10:00 PM

Do you suppose the average school in China promotes some ideology more that the average American public school?

DarkCurrent on June 10, 2014 at 9:58 PM

Yeah. If some Chinese student had stood up IN PUBLIC and argued for communism NO ONE would have demanded an apology or given them detention.

So, yeah.

sharrukin on June 10, 2014 at 10:01 PM

You all are looking at this all wrong. The school was afraid that That Guy’s government is going to end their study abroad program for what the kid did. The policy of ensuring that American values are not to be passed along to the next generation appears to have been violated.

Wisdom_of_Homer on June 10, 2014 at 10:04 PM

He who owns the gold debt writes the rules.

Steve Eggleston on June 10, 2014 at 10:08 PM

As noxious as restrictions on politicalpublic speech are, the fact is that they have been a staple of so many governments for so long in history that one could make some practicality arguments, regarding the pros and cons of abiding by such restrictions while visiting.

RINO in Name Only on June 10, 2014 at 10:00 PM

Left of the key distinction I was trying to highlight.

RINO in Name Only on June 10, 2014 at 10:09 PM

So shouting the Japanese version of “Heil Hitler!”

LashRambo on June 10, 2014 at 9:46 PM

You suppose ‘Tenno-heika Banzai!’ is something close to a Nazi salute?

DarkCurrent on June 10, 2014 at 10:09 PM

this little narcissistic pimple should’ve been suspended or even worse

the school may very well have lost its program to this knucklehead’s thoughtlessness

nonpartisan on June 10, 2014 at 9:35 PM

LOL…

God I hope that is the Progressive line on this…not a politically smart one at all.

William Eaton on June 10, 2014 at 10:14 PM

“Democracy is for cool kids,” he recalls writing. “Don’t believe the lies your school and government tell you,” said another message, and “It’s right to rebel.”

Balls like elephant.

“I felt as a human being on this planet I have an inalienable right to free speech if I’m doing it in a non-vulgar, appropriate way, as this private conversation was,” DeGroot said in an interview.

Correct.

Welcome, kid.

Axe on June 10, 2014 at 10:14 PM

China needs dumbocracy so they can have a gay parade on every corner and their leaders conniving to overrun them with third world refuse. Keep doing the Liberal’s bidding conservatards. Your political end will be well deserved.

Darth Executor on June 10, 2014 at 10:18 PM

“I felt as a human being on this planet I have an inalienable right to free speech if I’m doing it in a non-vulgar, appropriate way, as this private conversation was,” DeGroot said in an interview.

So DeGroot should have learned a valuable lesson.

The Chinese do not have an inalienable right to free speech. This is true in many countries.

Your rights as an American do not transfer when you go to China, just as if you went to some Muslim countries and practiced homosexuality, you could be executed.

You must obey the laws of the country that you are in, not the country that you are from. You must also obey the laws of the school you are in and the program you are in. If you didn’t want to obey them, you shouldn’t have signed up.

Maybe now he will value the freedoms that Americans have more.

Maybe now he will work to help everyone in the world have these freedoms.

Maybe now he will understand why the US defends Israel in the Middle East.

Freedom is not universal and it is not free.

Missing the prom is a trivial price to pay. China sometimes imprisons and executes people for expressing opinions contrary to those of the government. Makes missing the prom look kind of silly, no?

talkingpoints on June 10, 2014 at 10:23 PM

Some fun. What a prankster. His actions could have gotten the victim of his prank in serious trouble with the Chinese authorities. When you are visiting another country as a guest, you have to have some respect for your hosts — and by that I mean not the Chinese government, but the ordinary people you are associating with. His actions would have been fine had he done that to a Chinese student in America, but to do that in China was obtuse and selfish in the extreme.

cam2 on June 10, 2014 at 10:00 PM

I agree.

rlwo2008 on June 10, 2014 at 10:25 PM

The Kanters only care about one thing…the money they make from setting up this fiasco.

Jarhead68 on June 10, 2014 at 10:37 PM

There is, of course, sometimes value in cultural exchanges, even with countries where the system is not so friendly to individual or human rights.

There sure is!

When my wife & I were still living in the US, we hosted at different times six Chinese teens through an exchange program.
We were honored to help convert one of the kids to follow Jesus!
Four years later, he’s still walking with the Lord. We keep in touch via Facebook.
He told me that when he summoned the courage to tell his dad about his new commitment, his dad thought for a moment & said, “I suppose it’s better that you be a Christian than a Communist.” :D

itsnotaboutme on June 10, 2014 at 9:37 PM

It’s not so uncommon. My MIL was a Christian, a Communist and loveable.

Though I don’t care for either, apparently some can find them compatible.

DarkCurrent on June 10, 2014 at 9:49 PM

Your mother-in-law “was”?
May I assume that she has passed away?
If so, I’m very sorry for your loss.
But I must correct you: It may be that she “was” a Communist, but she is a Christian to this day.

itsnotaboutme on June 10, 2014 at 10:48 PM

Some fun. What a prankster. His actions could have gotten the victim of his prank in serious trouble with the Chinese authorities.

Before everyone hammers this kid too hard, remember, he was educated by the NEA, so he may never have been taught the truth about repression in China, what with every repressive government on the planet being equal to, if not better than, the US in the twisted leftoid cosmology.

However, if he is smart, he will sell the commie-chic poster to Baghdad Jay to go with his Russian ones. He can use the money to rent a limo, get a fine hooker date, and circle the damn prom all night.

F X Muldoon on June 10, 2014 at 11:06 PM

Your mother-in-law “was”?
May I assume that she has passed away?
If so, I’m very sorry for your loss.
But I must correct you: It may be that she “was” a Communist, but she is a Christian to this day.

itsnotaboutme on June 10, 2014 at 10:48 PM

She passed away last fall.

I hope that that Christ she believed in was true.

At least it gave her hope.

DarkCurrent on June 10, 2014 at 11:11 PM

this little narcissistic President should be impeached or even worse

this country may very well have lost its future to this knucklehead’s thoughtlessness

nonpartisan on June 10, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Agreed

HotAirian on June 10, 2014 at 11:18 PM

I lived overseas for several years, and I think it’s important to be respectful when you’re a guest in someone else’s ‘home’ (or nation, in this case). This young man made a mistake that cost him very little but could have cost others a lot, including the Chinese student, the principal and teachers at the Chinese school (their jobs, potentially, or worse), etc., etc.. Are the Chinese wrong for having a society that restricts rights in those ways? I believe so, but they have the right to run their society as they see fit. If you’re a guest, you should behave within the rules of the host nation. If you’re not able to do that, you shouldn’t go. Protest their behavior and make a point of meeting Chinese nationals here in America in order to make your points further and hopefully have them taken back to China with them. Plant a seed here, don’t travel there to crap in the bed.

But a prom banning sounds a little drastic for speaking out for democracy to a fellow student in China.

He can thank the school for saving him the money on a wasted triviality like prom.

xNavigator on June 10, 2014 at 11:52 PM

I lived overseas for several years, and I think it’s important to be respectful when you’re a guest in someone else’s ‘home’ (or nation, in this case).

xNavigator on June 10, 2014 at 11:52 PM

Screw that. Conversation is conversation. Look, I don’t go around to other peoples’ countries telling them how to run things. But at the same time, if you can’t handle basic criticism, eff off.

I believe so, but they have the right to run their society as they see fit. If you’re a guest, you should behave within the rules of the host nation. If you’re not able to do that, you shouldn’t go. Protest their behavior and make a point of meeting Chinese nationals here in America in order to make your points further and hopefully have them taken back to China with them. Plant a seed here, don’t travel there to crap in the bed.

xNavigator on June 10, 2014 at 11:52 PM

bullshit. We have to stop apologizing for being American.

But a prom banning sounds a little drastic for speaking out for democracy to a fellow student in China.

xNavigator on June 10, 2014 at 11:52 PM

Screw proms. I went to like five. (It’s amazing how many clown noses a dude will put on to get laid.) But the real irony here as I said in my up-thread post, is that most Chinese probably agreed with the dude.

WhatSlushfund on June 11, 2014 at 12:20 AM

But a prom banning sounds a little drastic for speaking out for democracy to a fellow student in China.

He can thank the school for saving him the money on a wasted triviality like prom.

xNavigator on June 10, 2014 at 11:52 PM

Oh, sorry dude, that wasn’t your comment.

WhatSlushfund on June 11, 2014 at 12:21 AM

She passed away last fall.

I hope that that Christ she believed in was true.

At least it gave her hope.

DarkCurrent on June 10, 2014 at 11:11 PM

I lost my father-in-law three days ago.
My wife had flown up to the north tip of the Philippines (we live way down south) to care for him for a month, but instead she was able to see his last moments.
He wasn’t able to speak, but she saw the smile on his face as she talked to him about Heaven & Jesus before he passed on.

itsnotaboutme on June 11, 2014 at 12:23 AM

this little narcissistic pimple should’ve been suspended or even worse

the school may very well have lost its program to this knucklehead’s thoughtlessness

nonpartisan on June 10, 2014 at 9:35 PM

That is the funniest joke I’ve read here in a long time.

Explain what damage there would be if this program is lost? I can’t see it.

unclesmrgol on June 11, 2014 at 12:54 AM

Missing the prom is a trivial price to pay. China sometimes imprisons and executes people for expressing opinions contrary to those of the government. Makes missing the prom look kind of silly, no?

talkingpoints on June 10, 2014 at 10:23 PM

He’s missing the prom in America, not in China. It’s as if the freedom of speech which does not exist in China no longer exists here either.

That, of course, is indeed a valuable lesson for all of us to have learned — that in places ruled by liberals, free speech no longer exists.

unclesmrgol on June 11, 2014 at 12:57 AM

Yeah. If some Chinese student had stood up IN PUBLIC and argued for communism NO ONE would have demanded an apology or given them detention.

So, yeah.

sharrukin on June 10, 2014 at 10:01 PM

I doubt any high school here would have given him detention or reported him to his government. After all, the liberals really do believe that communism is good, and conservatives are so protective of freedom of speech that they would never punish one who practices it. They might argue mightily against the content, but they would not punish.

unclesmrgol on June 11, 2014 at 1:01 AM

Henry DeGroot, most of us here would like to give you the highest civilian commendation there is, for your actions over there.
.
What academia thinks about it be DAMNED.

All of you commie, socialist, anti-theist academicians should get ALL of the contempt and disrespect we can throw at you.

listens2glenn on June 11, 2014 at 1:07 AM

I guess ‘exchange’ means something different in Chinese.

James on June 11, 2014 at 1:08 AM

this little narcissistic pimple should’ve been suspended or even worse

the school may very well have lost its program to this knucklehead’s thoughtlessness

nonpartisan on June 10, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Stop saying stupid things you don’t believe in just to get a rise out of us.

itsspideyman on June 11, 2014 at 2:20 AM

I dont see the outrage here. So what he got banned from prom? Your American rights dont transfer to other countries. We dont run the world. If you dont want to follow another countries rules and regulations then dont go there! Dont go there and the cry when you get in trouble. The chinese are way bigger on respect than we are and this kids actions may have cost other future kids in his school there chance to experience chinese culture them selves. I think he got off easy.

Politricks on June 11, 2014 at 5:47 AM

This is Newton, MA.

For people not familiar with Massachusetts, when you read “Newton“, just replace it with “San Francisco” and the story becomes clear.

sultanp on June 11, 2014 at 6:09 AM

This boy gave his word to freely and willingly accept a code of conduct and then he decided to freely and willingly spit on that word of honor so that he could exercise some self entitlement that he was more important than anyone else.

He probably jeopardized that poor student and the school was right to exercise a little discipline.

NHElle on June 11, 2014 at 6:27 AM

Guess the school does not remember the tinnamen square massacre of pro democracy students.

sniffles1999 on June 11, 2014 at 7:21 AM

Did not speaker of the house nancy pelosi say

Dissent is the highest form of patriotism

IF a student does not stand up to an oppressive communist regime, who will?

sniffles1999 on June 11, 2014 at 7:23 AM

Interesting reactions voiced in the comments. Apparently it’d okay with a lot of posters above to allow a visitor come into their home and deface their property with graffiti which the visitor knows you will disagree with. {If it’s okay to do it to someone else, then it’s okay to have it done to you}

Personally, I can’t imagine why anyone would allow guests/visitors into their home who can’t behave themselves by keeping their thoughts/emotions under control. Doing so clearly shows they are the better person.

It’s a matter of respecting people enough not to shove your personal bias down their throats while you learn about their culture. Without this education, one will never learn how to mix/meld the best of both cultures.

Some might call it diplomacy.

Others might say it’s just a matter of learning to behave better than a cave man.

Ricks Cafe on June 11, 2014 at 8:07 AM

this little narcissistic pimple should’ve been suspended or even worse

nonpartisan on June 10, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Talking about yourself again?

right2bright on June 11, 2014 at 8:11 AM

This boy gave his word to freely and willingly accept a code of conduct and then he decided to freely and willingly spit on that word of honor so that he could exercise some self entitlement that he was more important than anyone else.

He probably jeopardized that poor student and the school was right to exercise a little discipline.

NHElle on June 11, 2014 at 6:27 AM

What specific rule did he break?

A question to all of you that are in agreement with the school…what rule did he break.

I haven’t seen the “rule”…thanks.

right2bright on June 11, 2014 at 8:13 AM

Some might call it diplomacy.

Others might say it’s just a matter of learning to behave better than a cave man.

Ricks Cafe on June 11, 2014 at 8:07 AM

What “rule” did he break?

If this was a cultural exchange, and our culture is “free speech” which is pretty obvious, state the “personal bias” and the rule that he broke.

All of you are just mouthing off without any specific reason…

right2bright on June 11, 2014 at 8:15 AM

I see no one has the “rule” he broke…

right2bright on June 11, 2014 at 8:31 AM

The kid seems to have exceeded his parents and educators.

Ricard on June 11, 2014 at 8:45 AM

“The purpose of this exchange was and still is the understanding and respect as well as the mutual education of all our students so that solid appreciation of each other’s cultures would result.”

Here we have Exhibit 1,789,563 of moral relativism’s asinine essence.

brentspolemics on June 11, 2014 at 8:59 AM

Am I missing something, or does the story tell exectly how the Chinese Government found out what was written in the notebook of a high school student?

Did a government official really sit down and go page-by-page through the personal notebooks of each Chinese student who interacted with the American students?

Imagine a group of visiting North Korean students, and one of them writes “Dictatorship is cool!” in the notebook of some American student he talks to.

A) How would we know about this unless the American student publically announced it? How would we feel if Homeland Security or the NSA took all the American students’ notebooks and went through them?

and B) What kind of reaction would we have? “Dictatorship is cool!” ?? We’d just laugh. Would we fear that the American student would start yearning to live in a Dictatorship? Do we *really* fear that this would happen?

No one is asking the right questions here. Why did the Chinese Gov’t go through the notebooks of their own citizens? Why are they so afraid of “Democracy is cool” ??

sultanp on June 11, 2014 at 9:05 AM

DemocracyRepublicanism is for cool kids,” he recalls writing.

FIFH

Akzed on June 11, 2014 at 9:09 AM

You suppose ‘Tenno-heika Banzai!’ is something close to a Nazi salute? DarkCurrent on June 10, 2014 at 10:09 PM

Well since you’re being so mysterious about it we have no idea why it would be a bad idea. Why don’t you give us the lowdown since we’re so stupid and don’t know Japanese and all?

Akzed on June 11, 2014 at 9:12 AM

The Chinese do not have an inalienable right to free speech. This is true in many countries. talkingpoints on June 10, 2014 at 10:23 PM

Actually, everyone has that right, it’s just suppressed.

Akzed on June 11, 2014 at 9:14 AM

this little narcissistic pimple should’ve been suspended or even worse

the school may very well have lost its program to this knucklehead’s thoughtlessness

nonpartisan on June 10, 2014 at 9:35 PM

One could only hope.
After all we can not be going around being a beacon for Liberty, Freedom, Life and the Pursuit of Happiness now can we?!
He probably was wearing a Don’t Tread On Me T-shirt while he was over there. You know the one with the thirteen stripes, alternate red and white, with a snake across them and those words below the snake. The one used by commissioned US navy vessels as a jack.

The b@stard. He should have been studying Mao’s little red book; like they make them do in social studies classes here at home.

Bubba Redneck on June 11, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Hate to say this, but on several trips to China and having studied there, I feel freer there than here under Obama communism. I agree one shouldn’t denigrate any other countries government, but you should your own! The Chinese are very entrepreneurial, friendly and most speak a lot or enough English and are very welcoming to visitors. Can’t says that any more here! Our friends young and not so young have obtained many freedoms and choices over the last few years. It is also a beautiful country, good food, lots to see and do and anyone on the streets will stop and ask to help you. Can’t remember last time that happened much under Obama’s reign!

Roselle on June 11, 2014 at 11:41 AM

This boy gave his word to freely and willingly accept a code of conduct and then he decided to freely and willingly spit on that word of honor so that he could exercise some self entitlement that he was more important than anyone else.

He probably jeopardized that poor student and the school was right to exercise a little discipline.

NHElle on June 11, 2014 at 6:27 AM

The rule being: Thou shalt not speak one’s mind?

Think about that last sentence of yours: He probably jeopardized that poor student…….

How would they know unless the kid told or they looked. Either way the Chicoms are really scared of freedom of expression. Seems you are too.

After all they are just ideas…….

Bubba Redneck on June 11, 2014 at 11:46 AM

The Chinese do not have an inalienable right to free speech. This is true in many countries. talkingpoints on June 10, 2014 at 10:23 PM

Actually, everyone has that right, it’s just suppressed.

Akzed on June 11, 2014 at 9:14 AM

THREAD WINNER!

Bubba Redneck on June 11, 2014 at 11:48 AM

The school system, he says, taught him the importance of civil disobedience and speaking his mind, but then punished him when he practiced what he learned.

I have witnessed this badge of courage interpreted as civil disobedience from snot-nosed arrogant children who are quite obviously poorly trained to enter into their own society – much less any other society.

ericdijon on June 11, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Hate to say this, but on several trips to China and having studied there, I feel freer there than here under Obama communism.

Roselle on June 11, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Yep

DarkCurrent on June 11, 2014 at 4:07 PM

I lost my father-in-law three days ago.

itsnotaboutme on June 11, 2014 at 12:23 AM

I’m very sorry to hear that.

DarkCurrent on June 11, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Roselle on June 11, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Been to any Sharia controlled countries lately? You might want to reconsider your America bashing…

ladyingray on June 11, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Been to any Sharia controlled countries lately? You might want to reconsider your America bashing…

ladyingray on June 11, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Have you? Ever?

Nevermind, I know the answer.

DarkCurrent on June 11, 2014 at 4:40 PM

Hate to say this, but on several trips to China and having studied there, I feel freer there than here under Obama communism.

Roselle on June 11, 2014 at 11:41 AM

A test:

You get a sign that reads “DOWN WITH THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT!!” And carry it in Tinnamenn Square and see what happens or any public place in China.

You get a sign that says “DOWN WITH THE US GOVERNMENT!!” And carry it in any public place in the United States and see what happens.

Compare notes.

Bubba Redneck on June 11, 2014 at 10:45 PM