James (robojames) wrote in tgwnrf,

Fuck in the library

In the U.S., all citizens are more or less guaranteed their first amendment rights above the law, especially in any publicly funded place. However, speech that poses a "clear and present danger" of violent or criminal activity is not protected.

That out of the way, read this article that was posted on librarian.net:


Were freedom of speech rights trampled on here? On one hand, sure you should be able to say whatever you want. On the other hand, I don't think it's unreasonable or "big brotherish" to expect "civil" behaviour in a library -- if you don't like it, just check out the book and take it someplace else. I'm not sure, I'm pretty conflicted. I don't think "fuck" inherently means anything, it's just a word and therefore it shouldn't matter who you say it to. But at the same time, I think if you're telling Ms. Parker the librarian to fuck off, you have some serious issues. It sounds like he was being pretty unruly in the first place:

He claims that on Dec. 30 he used the "F-word" in his "low library voice" when he was frustrated by a computer policy on the second floor near the periodicals. A few minutes later, after he returned to his studies, a library staff member approached him and told him he couldn't use such language. He says at that point, he raised his voice and insisted he could say "anything I (expletive) want to."

So, the $24,000 question is, were Frederic Alan Maxwell's freedom of speech rights infringed when was banned from the library for using the word "fuck" in an argument with a librarian?
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