Ryerson University Cancels Free Speech Panel As A Threat To Public Safety

Ryerson_University_CrestI have previously written about how cities and universities are now cancelling conservative speakers in order to protect public safety. I recently discussed this rising rationale for barring speakers, a way for officials to claim that they are still being content neutral while achieving the same result of censoring speakers. The latest such example occurred in Canada at Ryerson University where the school canceled a free speech panel after some groups criticized the appearance of conservative speakers.   The school gave them what they demanded in the name of protecting public safety.

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New York Times Column Calls For End To “Color-Blind Logic” In Defense of Free Speech

Freedom_of_SpeechI have been writing for years about the rising wave of intolerance for free speech that has swept over Europe and is now reaching our own shores in the United States.  Attacks on free speech are increasing from the left which has cracked down on speech deemed offensive or intimidating to any group.  Thus far, the United States has been a bulwark against this trend, but an editorial in the New York Times this week is a chilling example of how voices against free speech are now becoming mainstream. The editorial was written by K-Sue Park is a housing attorney and the Critical Race Studies fellow at the U.C.L.A. School of Law.  Park criticizes the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for what she views as blind fealty to free speech and suggests that it is time to stop defending Nazis because sometimes standing on the wrong side of history in defense of a cause you think is right is still just standing on the wrong side of history.  Of course, many of us believe that the wrong side of history is the side where free speech depends on what you want to say — and whether people like Park agree with it.

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“Cafeteria Classism”: Florida Middle School Under Fire For Offering $100 Front Of The Line Food Passes

56-3688899-oliIt appears that the Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland, Fla. is teaching its students a bit about living as the one percent.  The middle school sent out a  fundraising form to parents stating that for a $100 donation a student would be granted a “front of the lunch line pass.”   According to ABC Action News, the PTSA promised that the “last name or company logo feature on the website, as well as PTSA events AND front of the lunch line pass.”  The ad should be “Name logo sponsorship: $100; PTSA promos: $100; Lording over the unwashed: priceless.”You can imagine the response from parents to what they called “cafeteria classism.”

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The New School Issues Guide On Microaggressions, Including Use Of Small Seats Or Sitting Away From Homeless People

imagesI have been a long critic of the erosion of free speech on college campuses and the use of the ill-defined concept of “micro aggressions” to sanction students and faculty alike.   Those concerns were magnified with the release of a guide by The New School, a university in New York City, on avoiding microaggressions.  There are now a variety of such aggressions from “microinsults” to “microassaults” to “microinvalidation.”  Microaggressions can now include having seats that are deemed too small or sitting too far from a homeless person on the subway.

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Oregon Schools Strip “Lynch” Name From Three Schools Because They Sound Like “Lynching”

cropped-Lynch-Logo-Empower2It appears that the Centennial School District is really appreciative to the Lynch family for their generous donation of land for the establishment of public schools.  However, it appears that their name is simply unacceptable because, when used as a noun, it brings up painful images of lynchings.  We have previously discussed the same lunacy in higher education with buildings named after a Lynch.  It appears that even if a school wants to name itself after Loretta Lynch, the first female African American Attorney General, she will have to change her name.  Ironically, the first word in the motto of the Lynch Elementary School is “learn” but the learning curve appears too steep in the view of the board.  Under the same logic, animal rights activists could object that the school symbol is calling for the lynching of lion cubs — a highly disturbing and traumatic image for young children.

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University of Georgia Professor Institutes A “Stress Reduction Policy” Where Student Can Pick Their Own Grades

CWP_5381_cropped_portrait_largeIt a fairly common joke among academics in discussing “campus life” policies that we should just let students pick their own grades.  University of Georgia professor Dr. Richard Watson appears to have taken such suggestions seriously with his new “stress reduction policy.”  Under that policy, students who “feel unduly stressed” can simply choose their own grades.   Continue reading

NPR Under Fire For Calling Woman A Rape “Survivor” Despite Settlement In Favor Of The Accused Columbia Student

NPRLogoWe recently discussed the case of Emma Sulkowicz who gained fame as the “Mattress Girl” for her protest about the handling of her alleged rape by another Columbia student. Columbia not only cleared the male student,Paul Nungesser, of charges but the police refused to bring criminal charges.  Columbia recently settled a civil action brought by the male student and reaffirmed that it found no evidence supporting discipline for sexual assault.  Now,  the Boston-based National Public Radio  station is under fire for a story byNPR correspondent Tovia Smith that continued to refer to Sulkowicz as a “survivor” despite the countervailing findings of the university under the lower “preponderance of the evidence” standard advocated by the Obama Administration. The reference also indicated that Nungesser had indeed raped her.  While the declination to punish Nungesser by the school or the declination to prosecute him does not mean that no rape occurred, it does show that there was insufficient evidence against Nungesser who has always maintained his innocence.

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