There is an appeal filed in Dallas by a teacher, Resa Woodward, 38, who was fired because of her prior work in the adult film industry almost two decades ago. We have previously discussed such cases, which I find troubling because these are people who worked in a lawful industry. It is even more concerning when, as here, the individual claims that she was forced into the industry as a form of “sex slavery.”
Students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have demanded that African-American students be given free tuition and housing because blacks were denied access to college educations for much of our history. They also opposed the use of standardized test scores as a barrier to black students.
We recently discussed the courageous stand of the University of Chicago in favor of free speech (a position followed by schools like Purdue). Free speech is being rapidly diminished on our campuses as an ever-widening scope of speech has been declared hate speech or part of the ill-defined “microaggression.” Now Berkeley has shown the world exactly what this intolerance looks like as protesters attacked people, burned property, and rioted to stop other people from hearing the views of a conservative speaker. As on so many campuses, they succeeded. The speech by Milo Yiannopoulos was cancelled. A triumph of anti-speech protesters. Berkeley now must face a defining moment. The only appropriate response for the school is to immediately reschedule the speaker and stand in defiance of those who want to deny the right to speak (and to hear and associate) to others. Moreover, it is liberals who should be on the forefront in denouncing these protests and the effort to stop this event. Otherwise, it can follow the lead of schools like DePaul and cast aside free speech in yielding to the mob.
It appears that teachers are having a difficult time keeping their political views out of classroom. Recently, an Alabama teacher was put on suspension for projecting an image of Obama with “You’re fired” after the election. Now, on the other side of the political spectrum, a Texas high school art teacher has been placed on administrative leave after video surfaced showing her “shooting” the image of President Donald Trump in a classroom while screaming, “Die!”
Northwestern University is facing an interesting controversy that captures the new reality for schools in dealing with alternative gender identifications. A freshman at the school was born a female but now identifies as a male. Adam Davies wants to participate in Greek life but is not ready to join a fraternity. So Davies has asked to join a sorority as a male with a female body. He insists that his interest “transcends the gender binary” but some have objected to leaving such choices to the individual’s determination on gender.
The event at my university for candidates for DNC Chair has caused a bit of a ruckus after various candidates lashed out at white consultants and white people in answering questions. The George Washington event was aired on C-Span and the most controversial comments came from the executive director of Idaho’s Democratic Party, Sally Boynton Brown. I woke up this morning to find emails from GW students on some of the racially charged comments at the forum. Brown said that white people working with the party had to be taught to “shut their mouths.” Other candidates lashed out at “white consultants” as part of the systemic problem at the DNC. The result is a debate on campus that only highlights the school and our wonderful location in Washington.