In my second year of university one of my women's studies professors approached me after class, wanting to ask me about a paper written by one of my best friends, who was also in the class. She suspected that my friend might have plagiarized the essay, and wanted me to read it and give her my opinion as to whether I thought my friend could really have written it. I think that was a heck of a position to put me in. I read the paper, and knew right away that my friend hadn't plagiarized it. It was well-reasoned and well-written, and perhaps a little above her usual work, but her usual work was quite good, and I'm still not sure why this prof thought she'd plagiarized it. But I knew for sure my friend had written it: the subject was witchcraft and feminism, and my friend was a neo-pagan/witch herself, and she had discussed all the ideas in the essay with me at length over the years. I knew they were her thoughts and ideas. I knew it was her own writing, because her style was so distinctive. I'm glad I was able to reassure the prof, and I've never to this day told my friend about this (and I'm fairly sure she'll never read this, which is the only reason I'm mentioning it at all). But what if I had thought she'd plagiarized it? I just don't think I should have been put in that position. What if I said she'd plagiarized it, and she hadn't? There have to be better ways to determine academic integrity.
Anyway, Adam decides to pipe up at this point: "Can I just say something? I'm not wearing a button." Price: "You were observed handing them out." Adam: "Technically, holding the bag." Price: "That's why it's called 'left holding the bag,' Mr. Rove." Adam stands up: "Well, um, I'm not really part of this whole revolution. I really don't care what happens here." He walks out while Joan looks slightly hurt. Price demands, "What about the rest of you? Are you willing to 'die' for your beliefs? Symbolically? Because anyone who leaves this school wearing one of those buttons will be suspended until further notice." Grace stands up defiantly, glares at Price, turns to everyone, and says, "Come on." She marches out. They all go with her as Joan Jett starts up again. Price looks cheesed off as Joan looks pleased: "Wow!" She grabs her stuff and leaves. There's been a lot of discussion and debate in the forums about whether the administration has violated any laws or rights in its approach to this uprising. I've heard some convincing evidence both ways, and one thing that seems certain is that different schools, in different places, get away with different degrees of repression. In some schools there seems to be a lot of latitude for political expression on the part of students and in others, not nearly as much. Buttons and armbands might not even be tolerated in some places. In some schools anything the authorities deem "disruptive" can be prohibited. Which makes it kind of hard to comment on what's going on here, other than to say that naturally I sympathize with the students and think Price et al. are being chuckleheads for the most part.