Room 101 and the Thought Police

by Peter Kirsanow

The Daily Mail reports that more than 20,000 British nursery and elementary schoolchildren ages 3–11 have been registered in a national database for uttering words perceived as “racist.”

Under anti-bullying laws, school authorities are required to report incidents of name calling to the Department for Education. One tyke was placed in the registry for calling another a “broccoli head.” Naturally, the bien pensants identified him as a budding Klansman. Thus branded, the information tracks the students to subsequent schools and may be accessed by future employers.

Think that’s a bit too 1984 for the U.S.? Think again. The U.S. Department of Education is seeking to expand its authority over school bullying and some proponents of the expansion seem to view the First Amendment as a minor impediment to bringing a British-style anti-bullying regime to America.

The U.S.Commission on Civil Rights will be issuing a report on the matter shortly. Kindly check out the dissents of Commissioners Gaziano, Heriot, and Kirsanow.

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