Dude, Here Comes the Torch!

June 04, 2008 - by: Troy Foster 3 COMMENTS

My love of “The Office” causes me to lament these weeks where we don’t get a new episode (or even repeat) to enjoy.  But while I certainly miss my weekly dose of Michael and gang, I need not look further than our very own United States Supreme Court to provide us with more scintillating material for HR nuggets of wisdom.

Take, for instance, the Supreme Court’s  “BONG HITS 4 JESUS” case – decided last term.  Don’t know why this one caught my attention.  I am still trying to figure out what “BONG HITS 4 JESUS” even means.  Part of me wishes that it was a local church’s way of trying to attract some more youthful congregants.  But anyway, the Court said that it was okay for the principal to suspend a student for unfurling a fifteen-foot banner with the words “BONG HITS 4 JESUS” right in front of television cameras as the Olympic torch passed by the high school on its way to
Salt Lake City in 2002.

So what do you do when an employee hangs a “BONG HITS 4 JESUS” (or similarly expressive) banner in his cubicle?  First, as you know, though many employees of private companies claim to have “free speech” rights (and so many others) – they don’t.  But, even though private companies can discipline employees for speech because we don’t like it, I suggest chilling out first!  Toke on what we want to limit and why, and make sure that we’re going to enforce it across the board.  A well-crafted company policy on workplace behavior should set forth what types of speech are unacceptable.  Consistency is key, dude!  Peace out.

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3 COMMENTS

1 Other Blogs
11:02:21, 09/06/08

[...] That’s what she said makes good use of The Office’s off-season with a discussion of a real case that could’ve been on The Office. [...]

2 ACU Frank
17:39:22, 09/06/08

So, if the Supreme Court would have overturned the suspension, would the school have to let the kid back in school… even though he’s 25 years old now?

I understand the need for some of these cases to “play out”, but sometimes I wonder… what’s the remedy?

3 Troy Foster
09:54:32, 12/06/08

Unfortunately, most of the time, the remedy is the good old fashion dollar. Here, if the Supreme Court had overturned the suspension, the case would have been sent back to the trial court for a trial on “damages.” Sometimes frustrating, but money talks!

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