Homework: A Gross Violation Of Civil Liberties This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   A grave problem faces America today. A problem that tramples on the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the memory of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. It is a crime worse than murder, theft, or fraud. Friends, I stand here today and say that every teenager in this country, deprived of their civil rights, is subject to penalty if they refuse to do their homework. Astonishing? Yes. Appalling? Afraid so. Never since slavery has this country accepted a more flagrant breech of rights and the fact that it has gone on so long without redress is a national shame.

In a ground-breaking step toward equality, Congress has opened the door to a new America. Laws have been passed making it illegal to discriminate against a person with a "handicap." Since then several courts' decisions have sent a messsage to America, "Thou shalt not discriminate against the disabled, since they are merely victims of cruel fate and are never responsible for their circumstances." Let me illustrate. One poor man operated a crane for a city construction company. Unfortunately this man grew to an unseemly weight and couldn't fit in the crane's cabin. Since he couldn't perform his job, the company fired him. To protect this man, a district court decided that it wasn't his fault the man was obese (It was a gene that determined it or perhaps a childhood experience) so he couldn't be fired. It was an infringement of his constitutional right. The man has been reinstated, paid for damages, and the company bought a new crane that fits him. A true story that displays the protection guaranteed every citizen - not to be discriminated against.

Another triumph for liberty occurred in Duxbury, MA. A fireman clubbed his wife, fracturing her skull, severing her ear and leaving her partially deaf. A judge acquitted him, ruling that the man was temporarily insane. But the fire department fired him. The clubber filed a complaint and seven years of litigation produced a ruling from the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination: the clubber was a victim of "handicap discrimination" because his aberrant behavior wasn't his fault. Rightfully, the court ordered him rehired and paid $200,000 plus 12% interest for back pay and emotional distress. That's what this country is based on. Protection of the weaker from the masses and I think it's just great that people with disabilities can count on the government to interfere into private business and force employers to hire a person who, because of a "disability," cannot perform his job.

With that in mind, I ask to be received with an open mind and soft heart, for I, too, must deal with the same discrimination as the aforementioned gentlemen. My handicap, which I developed due to extreme childhood abuse, is a natural aversion to homework. As a child my parents would call me in from play to complete my schoolwork, which began at a very early age and extended through elementary school. As a direct result, my subconscious will not allow me to concentrate on homework. Call this my disability because of which I am being discriminated against. Kids who don't have my disability are rewarded for doing their homework, while I am penalized for not doing it. I beg and plead for this senseless discrimination to end on the grounds that my adverse feelings toward homework are not my fault - and yet I am being punished.

I provide a solution to this problem that is simple and rudimentary. I propose that children who have undergone the same painful childhood episodes, be assigned to a special class where their needs will be met. A class with no homework would suffice and alleviate the problem. First, it would eliminate the present form of discrimination. Second, it would provide teenagers, like me, with an alternative academic program. Any sane, rational human being would not object to these provisions unless they would also object to desegregated schools, lunch counters, and buses too. From now on, we must be known as "homework disadvantaged" and never be discriminated against. This would be a victory for America and the principles it was founded on. What did Lincoln say? "Freedom is the last, best hope on Earth." And so what is left when our freedom is denied by discrimination? Lincoln would say that nothing is. ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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pluto said...
Nov. 17, 2009 at 11:39 am
Dude,i love the way you write.Seriously,your serious tone adds to your completely eccentric thoughts.
 
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