“Kent McNew sues for the right to dye hair.” “Heather Wells fights her school dress code.” “Student wins lawsuit, can publish lewd statements.” “Paul, a fifth grader, fights censorship.” “Students protests are back.” At Librock, these are common headlines. The Web site’s main feature is a collection of current news stories that focus on students fighting for their civil rights, a topic long ignored and overdue. The site’s creator, Dave Doctor, collects all of these stories.
The site started out as Dave’s Libertarian response to curfew laws. Florida has thus far escaped this concept, but many states have a certain time past which teenagers must be off the streets. This means that the town’s teen hangout joints may be required to close early, and that any kid unlucky enough to be caught outside late on a school night can be picked up/picked on by a cop. “This means that the local police are authorized to enforce a bedtime,” Doctor said.
Since then, the site has expanded. It has grown to take on all the issues relevant to a student in the public school system. This site encourages students to bring about their own revolution, rather than wait and listen to politicians banter about moral reform and sex ed. This site acknowledges that there is a problem in this country with the politics of education; namely, that the students themselves are never consulted. This site also recognizes that it is hard for students to have rights when the plurality of them are too young to vote. Although the site explains what’s going on, it also encourages students to make a change. It provides links to high school underground newspapers, a list of students rights, message boards where kids across America can bash their fascist administrators, Supreme Court cases that involve the school system and unschooling success stories. It is truly an open forum for revolution in an area that has been passive for far too long. It’s a tool for reform that can be useful to any student.
The only problem with this Web site is that is shamelessly couched in the idea of getting Libertarian votes. By being the only political group to pay any attention to students (tomorrow’s voters), Libertarians assure themselves of a comfortable future. Some of the site’s statements are so blatant in their praise of youth, it is sometimes hard to take them seriously. However, this site is not hypocritical. Libertarian philosophy is based on the idea that the government should interfere only when direct harm is being done. This means that things like education are hands-off. In the spirit of good ol’ American capitalism, schools should be privatized, not standardized and generalized by Uncle Sam.
All in all, Librock is a useful Web site for any victim on the public school system, and I don’t use victim lightly.