Freedom of Speech
The Czech Republic vs. The United States
Chris Henry, Jennifer Lemkul, Brian Maher, Max Moldenhauer, Mike Richmond
In 1996 it came to the attention of Virginia Tech officials that a
student had a website with content that involved marijuana.
The student's account was frozen. In his own defense, the student
claimed that he thought the website was appropriate since it had
been accepted by his high school, and because other students had
sites with similar content. The student provided two such examples
of sites with similar content and, as a result, the creators of those
sites lost their account privileges as well. The first student lost his
account privileges for two months and was asked to redo the site.
The other two students lost their account privileges for the rest of
the year and their pages were archived. Were these different
punishments fair and appropriate for the situation?
Read the full scenario as well as the responses to the dilemma given
by the United States and the Czech Republic. Links to this information
are provided below.
Czech Republic Response
Czech Republic Reasoning
Bartram, Graham. The Czech Republic. http://www.flags.net/CZEC.htm. April 2002.
Bartram, Graham. The United States. http://www.flags.net/UNST.htm. April 2002.
Culik, Jan. Censorship in Bohemia/Czechoslovakia/the Czech Republic.
http://www.britskelisty.cz/9903/19990326r.html. April 2002
The Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington D.C.: Political System.
http://www.mzv.cz/washington/general/general.htm#Government. April 2002.
Interview via e-mail with Beata Olekszyk. Response received April 18, 2002.
Lee, J.A.N. Freedom of Home Page Speech ... http://courses.cs.vt.edu/ ~cs3604 /support/Debates/Scenarios.html#20. April 2002.
Mount, Steve. The United States Constitution Online: The Constitutional Dictionary. http://www.usconstitution.net/REDRESS. April 2002.
Parliament of the Czech Republic, Office of Chamber of Deputies. Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. http://www.psp.cz/cgi-bin/eng/docs/laws/charter.html. April 2002.
Rights Country Report. http://www.apc.org/english/rights/
Czech Republic Contact
Beata Olekszyk [e-mail address available upon request]
Graduate Student, Chemistry Science
Town: Cesky Budejovice