New student parents can be so ridiculous.
Especially when it comes to a conservative college that their child is going to.
They expect it to fit all these stereotypes, standards, and check lists of what an appropriate “conservative college” looks like.
If you call yourself a “conservative Christian college,” you better fit a parent’s idea of what that means.
That doesn’t always go well when rebellious students come into the mix.
Let me clarify…
It doesn’t help when one of the upper classmen hangs an Obama flag in his dorm window.
Yep, this really did happen. And yes, it got bad, fast.
Of course this guy’s room was located in just the right spot for new student parents to see it. And complain about it.
And complain they did.
From what I heard, the security desk got several angry calls from parents about the flag. All along the lines of “you need to remove this flag,” “this is a disgrace!” and, “I’m deeply disappointed.”
Several new freshmen even came into their room asking if they were “the guys with the Obama flag.”
The ridiculousness of it all was off the charts.
I was a little surprised about it all, but then I wasn’t.
Some conservative Christians are downright horrible at dealing with controversial, out of the norm, or inappropriate things.
This is one of those moments.
They handled it horribly.
They Fell Head First Into the Trap
Rule 583: recognize, and properly react to trolls.
These parents failed miserably in following that rule.
They saw the flag and jumped to conclusions. Instead of seeing it and moving on, they got angry, self-righteous and complained.
That’s what the student wanted. He wanted a reaction from them. Heck, that’s what I do to people…sometimes.
It’s called getting a reaction from people, and boy did he get a reaction.
They Acted Like Liberals
The parents complained to the security desk? What are we, a bunch of self-conscious liberals?
People let themselves get affected by outside forces. This ends up with them looking foolish.
Don’t let yourself get affected by outside forces…like flags…of Obama.
The Thought Didn’t Cross Their Minds
What’s funny is that the parents didn’t even entertain the notion that the student was trolling.
They immediately went to angry mode.
I mean come on, this is a conservative college. Our crazies are relatively normal to the rest of the world. Well, except for the anarcho-capitalist and theonomists.
Bonus Tip: Not a Freedom of Expression Issue
Sorry guys, but this wasn’t a free speech issue. That amendment only applies to the Federal government, not individual property owners.
See, people tend to confuse the issue. Yes, freedom of expression is an awesome privilege on a college campus, but it’s not a right.
When you go to college, you’re agreeing to a set of terms laid out by the college. You’re also staying in dorms, which is the college’s property.
You’ve agreed to follow their laws, and you’re staying on their property. That means you’re under their authority. You have every right to leave if you want, but until that time you’re under their authority.
If the college wanted the student to take down his flag, they could do that. I wouldn’t agree with the decision, but I’m not the owner of the college.
You see where I’m coming from?
In the end, recognize trolls, don’t overreact, don’t freak out, and don’t confuse the issue.