Sunday, February 22, 2015

Circling the Wagons

It's one thing for an instructor to share his/her personal beliefs, but requiring students to state those beliefs goes beyond the line, even in college--and the university is protecting this instructor:
Administrators at Metropolitan State University of Denver have determined that a professor who forced his students last fall to recite a satirical anti-American pledge of allegiance that characterized America and Republicans as racist, homophobic, sexist and anti-poor did absolutely nothing wrong.

“The university concludes there was no violation of the students’ first amendment rights, and that the faculty member exercised his right to academic freedom, and considers this matter closed,” campus officials have determined as a result of a probe into the matter.
I have no doubt that had the views been conservative, the outcry would have been deafening and the results entirely different.


maxutils said...

This guy's done absolutely nothing worn, in a college setting. I absolutely see no harm being done … and maybe some good. I love America, and don't beed to reaffirm it on a daily basis by reciting the pledge … and the more times I do, the less I think of what I'm saying. Now, if I were in North Korea? Yeah, I'd probably need the reminder. So, by forcing his students to recite it? He opens up the discussion of blind -eyed patriotism, as well as the problem of making people recite things they don't believe … that his class didn't immediately follow id a GOOD thing. And sure, he's probably got a leftist viewpoint … but that's fine as long as he doesn't penalize students for making well argued dissents -- which was not the accusation. Also, if you look hard enough? There's even conservatism in the pledge, which he didn't write: "curtail freedom and liberty?" Conservative. "Except for women who want abortions." Conservative. And let's face it, the reason why the play from "Republic" to Republicans is because the word was there … and whether one likes it or not, even if you're a Democrat, or a Green Partier, or a Socialist … you're a Republican. Because that's our system.

KauaiMark said...

"...forced his students last fall ... no violation of the students’ first amendment rights...the faculty member exercised his right to academic freedom..."

WTF?? I would think any lawyer could make a case here if moved outside the school ruling body.


maxutils said...

He din't force them, because he can't. If he literally walked around the room, and then docked the grade of everyone not saying it … then, yes. He can't do that. But nothing in the article suggests that's what he did. I frequently have 'forced' my students to do things as an academic exercise that I knew I could never in a million years get by the school board -- and when the students, usually a few, would tell me that, I would always play it off, and say, "Well, give it until tomorrow, and see if you're still unhappy." And I got a couple of complaints. But … it was a useful academic exercise, forcing them to examine previously held beliefs, and they were not graded beyond a simple classroom participation grade … and, frankly, I always gave full credit. But then we discussed the exercise … and they learned stuff. In my case, it was that Communism seems like a great economic system, until you actually examine why it is always destined to fail -- and that pure capitalism might need a tweak here and there. And these were my students' conclusions, not mine. If that's what he was going for, even if he's a liberal, I remain on his side -- could be a great lesson. If he didn't, and used it to bash the Republican party while not tolerating student interaction? Then I don't. But none of that was discussed.