“Let Them. F**king Die:” Trinity College Professor Flees State After Backlash To Facebook Postings

 

hc-trinity-campus-closed-threats-20170621-003There is a new controversy involving an investigation of a professor for statements made on social media.  Trinity College Professor Johnny Williams has fled Connecticut after receiving death threats over his postings, including an inflammatory reference to people considered bigots and how we should “Let Them. F**king Die.”  Williams teaches classes on race and racism and clearly wanted to get others to read this hateful screed.

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Turkey De-Evolves: Erdogan Government Bars Teaching of Evolution As Unproven and Controversial

Yale Sacks Dean Over “Classist” and “Insensitive” Yelp Reviews

yelp200px-Yale_University_Shield_1.svgWe recently discussed the controversy surrounding postings by June Chu, dean of the school’s Pierson College, on Yelp.  She was called classist for such comments as “This establishment is definitely not authentic by any stretch of any imagination and perfect for those low class folks who believe this is a real night out.” Chu has now been fired by the university in a move that makes many academics feel uncomfortable over the monitoring of their statements outside of school in social media.

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High School Cut Student President’s Mike When He Calls For Greater Student Rights At Graduation

Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 9.49.06 PMWe have previously discussed the erosion of free speech rights in high schools as well as the expansion of discipline for students for discussions and postings outside of school.  That conflict was vividly shown in Pennsylvania where Peter Butera was speaking to the graduating class of his high school when he criticized the lack of power in student government.  The response from Principal Jon Pollard was swift.  Butera’s mike was cut off and he was escorted stage.

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Student Disqualified As Class President After Campaign Speech With Trump References

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Washington Post: Sen. Harris Being Called “Hysterical” For A Style That Won Her Praise As A Prosecutor

440px-Kamala_Harris_Official_Attorney_General_PhotoThere is an interested article in the Washington Post entitled “As A Prosecutor, Kamala Harris’s Doggedness Was Praised. As a Senator, She’s Deemed ‘Hysterical.'”  The Los Angeles Times also described Harris’ style as prosecutorial in nature and referenced her skills in court examination.  The articles raise a common comparison between court and congressional hearings in terms of questioning.  When I served as lead counsel in the last impeachment, I constantly spared with Senators over the failure to follow basic rules of evidence or practice.  The Senators would respond that such rules do not apply to them — which is technically correct though good practices are not always required practices.

Former Trump aide Jason Miller was confronted by USA Today columnist over his description of Harris as “hysterical” in the hearing. Her point is a valid one but the Washington Post suggests that this type of questioning would be considered praise worthy in a prosecutor.  The comparison between actual litigation and congressional examinations is an interesting one.  I have great respect for Sen. Harris and her experience. However, while her questioning began well, it quickly fell into improper questioning if viewed from a litigation viewpoint.  As a criminal defense attorney, I can say that it would not only be viewed as improper but judges would immediately sustain objections to such badgering of a witnesses. Indeed, I was surprised watching the hearing as Democratic senators pummeled Sessions with questions and demanded rapid answers.  Sessions had just been attacked for failing to fully and truthfully answer an earlier (and rather unclear) question from Sen. Al Franken.  Now however they were giving him rapid questions and cutting off his answers. Harris was the most extreme in that respect.

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Cambridge Faculty Told Not To Use “Genius” and “Brilliance” Because Of Sexist Connotations

Jimmy_Neutron_Boy_Genius_filmI guess Jimmy Neutron will have to live with “Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius .  Cambridge University examiners are being told to avoid the words “flair”, “brilliance” and “genius” in the review of student work because these terms are sexist and “carry assumptions of gender inequality.”  It appears Madam Curie was just a really solid researcher.

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