Kansas Teacher Barred From Employment Due To Her Support For Boycott Movement

israel1download-1We have been discussing the increasing scrutiny being applied to teachers and professors over their political views and social media commentary.  A particularly problematic case has been taken up by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) involving Kansas teacher Esther Koontz.  The long-time math teacher (and something called a “curriculum coach”) at Horace Mann Dual Language Magnet School in Wichita, Kansas, Koontz was barred from renewing her contract as  teacher because she supports the boycott of Israel over the occupation of Palestinian territories.  This is not simply reflective of her political views but a religious based obligation as a member of the Mennonite Church USA.  The church in July voted to divest itself from American companies that profit off of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.  The Kansas law therefore collides head on with the rights of free speech, free exercise, and free association.

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Pakistani Senate Rejects Age Limit For Marrying Girl As Un-Islamic

Flag_of_PakistanPakistan’s Senate has struck down legislation last week that would have increased the minimum age girls to marry from age from 16 to 18.  We have previously discussed various cases of child brides being forced into marriage under the medieval Islamic traditions and laws governing much of Pakistan.  However, there was hope that the legislature would be more supportive of the basic rights of these girls.  That hope was dashed when the chairman of the Senate Standing Committee, Rehman Malik, explained that such an age limitation on marriage was deemed “Un-Islamic” by clerics who control much of the legislative agenda in Pakistan.

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Panthers Fan Arrested After Viral Video Of His Assaulting 62-Year-Old Man

download-3download-2Kyle Adam Maraghy has been arrested after a viral videotape shows him beating a 62-year-old man who simply asked him to sit down at the recent Panthers-Philadelphia game.  Maraghy and his girlfriend represent the worst of fans today at stadiums. As we have previously discussed, I do not go with my family to football games because of all of the loud and obnoxious drunks in the stands.  In this case, however, Maraghy, 26, is facing jail time for his unprovoked and brutal assault, though not nearly as much as he should be facing.

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English Man Catches Fish And Holds Up To His Mouth . . . Fish Jumps Down Throat And Forces Man Into Cardiac Arrest

A twenty-eight-year British man experienced cardiac arrest this week after he accidentally swallowed a 6-inch long Dover sole that he caught on a fishing trip in Boscombe, England.   The man was dangling the fish over his mouth as a joke when it broke free and went right down his throat.  Fortunately, paramedics arrived within minutes and saved his life by removing the fish with forceps.

 

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Wisconsin Adopts New Policy Allowing Suspension or Expulsion of Students Disrupting Speakers or Events

WisconsinStateSealMany of us have been warning for years about the anti-free speech activities of various protest groups in barring speakers and even taking over classrooms.  I have long advocated suspending students who prevent others from speaking or attending such events and expelling those who are repeat offenders.  Now the University of Wisconsin system has adopted such an approach, though some of the terminology is problematic in my view.  Nevertheless, while the policy (found here) could be more specific in defining terms like “disrupt,” it is a move that could go a long way in restoring free speech protections.

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