Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Don't let Congress censor us!

Here is my open letter to my Congressional Representative about the PIPA/SOPA bill being proposed.  Please take the time to research it, if you are a blogger, like me, this bill will impact your living, free speech, and much, much more. 

Since when has free speech been about protecting copyrighted work.  These days it seems the government looks out for the big man and could care less about the little man. But, unless I have been educated incorrectly, it was the little man that founded this country, and it is the little man that set up the constitution in a way that would enable its citizens to speak freely.  By passing the PIPA bill potentially millions of bloggers will be put in jail for up to 5 years just because they set up a link on their page.  I am a blogger, and I set up links all the time, not to steal its content, but rather to help make my little voice just a little louder.  I am also a special education teacher, who suffers from Pectus Excavatum, Attention Deficit Disorder, and Dyslexia.  I was told by my 4th grade teacher that I would never be anything special.  And now, I teach children with autism. I feel like my life has lead me down a road that has obligated me to help educate people.  If I post a link to a copyrighted website in order to further my plight, then you're telling me I could go to jail for up to 5 years?  I could be sued?  Really?

Who is this bill really protecting?  It doesn't seem like it's protecting the little man.

In addition, they are proposing to fund this bill with 46 million dollars; meanwhile I have 7 students with severe and profound children in my classroom.  I teach grades K-4.  Yes, that means I have 10 year olds in a room with 5 year olds, all because our district had to close a class due to budget restraints.  Our district has also combined classes - making them bigger, but they are not able to provide the teachers with extra support.  By all means, let's worry about corporations and the entertainment industry and the money that is owed to them.

At the end of every school year, I worry about losing my job because of educational budget cuts.  By all means, let's worry about someone's link on facebook.

Millions of teachers have lost their jobs.  A little girl even gave her teacher her allowance money - in hopes it would be enough to keep her from getting fired.

So how is this bill a good allocation of the people's tax money?  Please don't pass these bills, instead let's help redefine special education.  With Autism on the increase, schools are being filled with these kids.  Scool districts do not have the knowledge, or know-how to education them to their best potential.  So they shove them in a class that is inappropriate and maintains their disability, instead of helping them overcome adversity and helping them reach for more.

It is the free exchange of ideas that help keep people's minds open to all sorts of possibilities.  Rather it be referencing information about Autism, or Pectus Excavatum, it is our constitutional right to express these ideas and censoring its ability to give the little man a voice, it will only mute the innovative educational process and leave American's citizen's minus one educational source and creative outlet.

P.S. I would have like to include a poignant quote by John Adams about how reading keeps ones mind open, but I was afraid I might be infringing on someones copyright.

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