Tongue Tied

A gun-rights group in New Jersey is suing the Montclair School board for shutting them out after allowing anti-gun groups to distribute leaflets at the schools.

After the "Million Moms" group sent home fliers in June asking people to fight a state Senate bill that would ban the sale of firearms that don't have certain safety devices, "Moms for Gun Safety" wanted to do the same but were denied by the local school board. 

Earl Maltz, a law professor at Rutgers University-Camden, told the Bergen County Record that the school board better have good insurance. "They basically forced students to be couriers for a very heated political issue without letting the other group have their say," he said. "You're immediately inviting trouble doing this." 

Now ... Define Hate Speech Again? 

A Florida appeals court says cursing in public, even at police officers, is protected speech. The Third District Court of Appeal in Miami ruled Wednesday that police overstepped their bounds when they arrested Wilbert L. Lee on charges of disorderly conduct. 

Lee reportedly yelled, "Why are these crackers f------ with us?" when officers asked him and others in a group of about 20 youths hanging out on a local street corner about suspected drug activity. 

ACLU at It Again... 

The Louisiana chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union said it would sue to block the "Partners in Prayer Program" in the Beauregard Parish schools because it is unconstitutional. As part of the program, the Associated Press reports, parents are sent release forms asking if their children's names can be used in "Partners," which allows churches and other groups to adopt classrooms and pray for their students. The head of the school board says he will not drop the effort. 

And Again 

The Olathe, Kan., public library is taking off labels that mark particular books as suitable for Christians after complaints from the ACLU. The group says the labels are unconstitutional. David Ahlstrom, president of the Library Board, said the labels were not meant to offend anybody — but were just intended to provide a service to patrons, according to the AP. 

The Hiawatha Hornets, Maybe? 

The AP reported last week that the school district in Hiawatha, Kan., wants to stop using Indian monikers and logos for all its sports teams. Currently, elementary teams are the Braves, middle schoolers are the Warriors and the high school squads are the Redskins. A local coalition wants to eliminate the use of "false and offensive" symbols by individuals, groups and public and private organizations throughout town. 

Bad Monster 

A Catholic university in Allentown, Pa., Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales, is trading in its 30-year-old centaur mascot and replacing it with something "less ribald and barbaric." In Greek mythology, Centaurs didn't do much but get drunk and kidnap women. Females on campus apparently took offense with that reputation. 

A Decade and Three Statues Is Not Enough 

PC Patroller Chris P. in San Jose alerts us to: A flag planted 150 years in San Jose, Calif., is still making waves. The San Jose Mercury News reported Monday that plans to erect a statue of former Mayor and Mexican War veteran Thomas Fallon are drawing criticism. Fallon is, apparently, a symbol of American imperialism. 

The city commissioned the $500,000 statue 10 years ago but decided not to put it up until monuments to honor other ethnic groups rose. In the decade since, statues depicting local Ohlone Indians, the founding of the Pueblo San Jose de Guadalupe and the Aztec serpent-god Quetzacoatl have sprung up. 

But Pueblo Unido, a small activist group in town, still doesn't want to see Fallon's image go up. It wants the statue melted down and recast as something representing several ethnic groups. 

More Mail From the Central Servers: 

John M. Writes: "I was informed during a meeting this week that I am not PC. Why? Because I spelled deaf in lower case letters. It now is spelled DEAF (all upper case). This shows that you are sensitive to there special needs. No joke. Give me a break!" 

PC Patroller Ken L. takes note that the word "religion" may be on the way out: "In the second Bush-Gore debate, Gore shuns the term religion in favor of a softer alternative: 'In my faith tradition, it is — it's written in the book of Matthew ...,' Gore says. Or am I just being picky instead of PC-ky?" 

Ted S. writes re: last week's "What's All the Squawking About" item: "I am usually against all the PC stuff too. However, being part Cherokee, I am aware that the term Squaw was a derogatory term referring to a part of the female body that would be objected to if you applied the term as translated to English. By the way, even Indians do not agree about the word Indian. According to Russel Means, the story that it came about because Columbus thought he had found India doesn't hold water because the country was called Hindustan back in those days. Means claims the term came from Latin for those 'in God.' Anyhow, I am a Chiefs fan." 

Wayne T. writes: "I am an American of Japanese Ancestry, called AJA during WWII and the immediate period following the war. I am a US citizen having been born in Hawaii, then a territory of the US, until it became a US state in 1959. All my life I had grown up as 'Oriental' which was and is fine with me. No one ever asked me if I preferred to be called 'Asian' which I can't relate to. I would say to anyone of these political correctness folks, 'Give me back my identity! You took it away without asking me!'" 

Ben H. writes: "I don't think your column fits Fox News' slogan 'We report, you decide.' Your reporting of the cross-dressing 14 year-old as a ridiculous level of political correctness seems derisive. The US was a country based on individualism. Why is a young man's right to expression a ridiculous thing? High school and outrageous fashion would seem to go hand in hand. Your editorial remarks smack of the political right, and for a network that vigorously attacks the liberal slant of most other networks this is disappointing to me. When will the American people have a news channel that is free from political ties?" 

And finally, our favorite from Phil M: "I love you man. Don't you ever die!"