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Dave Lane
09-11-2004, 09:24 AM
http://www.cnn.com/2004/EDUCATION/09/10/academic.freedom.ap/index.html

Not about the Broncos but about free speech. Seems weird they have to pass laws to "protect" conservative views. And I always thought you were free to bash either side. I wonder if this will cause a spill over in liberal areas to enforce their views on colleges there. Interesting thought anyway.

Dave


Free-for-all over free speech on campus

Friday, September 10, 2004 Posted: 1:37 PM EDT (1737 GMT)


DENVER, Colorado (AP) -- A university president and a Democratic state lawmaker said rules put in place this year to protect conservative views on Colorado campuses have led to death threats against professors and a harmful effect on free speech.

Republican lawmakers responded that conservative students still are being harassed and more needs to be done.

A handful of college officials and students went before the Legislature's Joint Education Committee on Thursday to report on efforts to enforce the Academic Bill of Rights. All state-funded colleges adopted the policy this year under pressure from Republican lawmakers.

Professors at Metropolitan State College in Denver are concerned that some topics may be off-limits in the classroom, interim president Ray Kieft told lawmakers. He cited discussions of stem cell research, a lightning-rod issue for some Republicans who claim it amounts to abortion.

Kieft said death threats against a Metro State political science professor have "sent a real chill across the campus." The professor, Oneida Meranto, said in March she was threatened after a student filed a complaint against her and told lawmakers he had asked to drop her class because she was biased against conservatives.

Meranto responded publicly that the student was failing, prompting the student to accuse her of violating his privacy rights. School officials said the threats originated off campus and the FBI has said it was investigating.

Sen. John Andrews, R-Centennial, a committee member, pointed to three new complaints aired by students at the meeting as evidence that schools need to enforce the policy more strictly.

University of Colorado law student Mario Nicholas said a professor called him a Nazi after Nicholas complained when the professor told the class that "the 'R' in Republican stands for racist." The professor was chastised by the dean but not suspended.

Metro State student William Pierce said he filed a grievance after a professor accused him of spying on the class for Republicans intent on enforcing the new policy.

Colorado State student Heather Schmidt, an Army veteran whose husband is serving in Iraq, said one of her professors criticized former President Reagan and drew a caricature of President Bush. She said when she complained, she was told to find another class.

Sen. Ken Gordon, D-Denver, said he called the professor involved in that complaint and was told he had been forced out of the classroom by death threats.

"He said he sleeps with a shotgun under his bed," Gordon told the panel. The professor did not return a call from The Associated Press.

Rep. Lynn Hefley, R-Colorado Springs, said professors who violate the rules should be suspended.

"It seems to me you need to take swift action," she told the university presidents.

Larry Penley, chancellor of the Colorado State University System, CU President Elizabeth Hoffman and University of Northern Colorado President Kay Norton told legislators they are enforcing the policy.

Colleges agreed to implement a stripped-down version of the policy after lawmakers killed a measure that would have required them to allow students to file grievances against professors if they felt they were being harassed for their political or religious beliefs.

Baby Lee
09-11-2004, 09:34 AM
I can't imagine what a pariah I would've been as a contrarian in such a buttoned down environment. Looking back to my years at [now] Truman State, I was truly lucky to have both staunchly liberal and staunchly conservative teachers who actually sought out the contrary view in their classes.
If you can't create a learning environment at the university level in the presence of opposing viewpoints [particularly at the level of petty contemporary political sloganeering], you are a piss poor educator, period.

Dave Lane
09-11-2004, 09:40 AM
I can't imagine what a pariah I would've been as a contrarian in such a buttoned down environment. Looking back to my years at [now] Truman State, I was truly lucky to have both staunchly liberal and staunchly conservative teachers who actually sought out the contrary view in their classes.
If you can't create a learning environment at the university level in the presence of opposing viewpoints [particularly at the level of petty contemporary political sloganeering], you are a piss poor educator, period.


I agree I don't get it. Why do you have to pass laws to protect one side or the other. Too bizarre for me.

Dave

WilliamTheIrish
09-11-2004, 09:43 AM
I agree I don't get it. Why do you have to pass laws to protect one side or the other. Too bizarre for me.

Dave


This sounds like a DenverChief issue.

Baby Lee
09-11-2004, 09:53 AM
I agree I don't get it. Why do you have to pass laws to protect one side or the other. Too bizarre for me.

Dave
Because the professors are;
liberal,
tenured, and
possessing a full grip on the students' educational ball sack.

Oxford
09-11-2004, 10:11 AM
Because the professors are;
liberal, tenured, and possessing a full grip on the students' educational ball sack.

Agree with the nice professor and get a better grade, fight them and you'll get screwed, told to leave, ridiculed, shouted down etc.

ChiefsFanatic
09-11-2004, 11:01 AM
Because the professors are;
liberal,
tenured, and
possessing a full grip on the students' educational ball sack.

Too bad some of those students just aren't bright enough to get it.

Hydrae
09-11-2004, 11:18 AM
University of Colorado law student Mario Nicholas said a professor called him a Nazi after Nicholas complained when the professor told the class that "the 'R' in Republican stands for racist." The professor was chastised by the dean but not suspended.

This professor should be out of a job tomorrow. Period.

Metro State student William Pierce said he filed a grievance after a professor accused him of spying on the class for Republicans intent on enforcing the new policy.

This one is just weird. The professor should go see a shrink about his paranoia problems.

Colorado State student Heather Schmidt, an Army veteran whose husband is serving in Iraq, said one of her professors criticized former President Reagan and drew a caricature of President Bush. She said when she complained, she was told to find another class.

Honestly, I don't see what the problem is here. So the professor criticized a former president. So what? Of course it might be nice to know what kind of class it was also. There would certainly be no room for this in a calculus class but I can see that there would be a lot of classes where these issues would/should be discussed freely. It's not like the professor sanctioned her for having a different opinion.

Rain Man
09-11-2004, 11:33 AM
Colorado has a lot of very good people, but for the sake of the nation I hope that we have a higher percentage of crooks and whackjobs here. Maybe it's just the job that I have now, but I've seen incredibly blatant corruption here that is not just tolerated, it's supported, by people like our attorney general and our politicians.

Dave Lane
09-11-2004, 03:36 PM
Because the professors are;
liberal,
tenured, and
possessing a full grip on the students' educational ball sack.

So should liberal states enact laws to protect liberal students from "Nazi" conservatives?

I think the need for laws on this issue is insane.

Dave