Professor Punishes Students’ Freedom of Speech – What Would You Do?




Freedom of Speech

Another week, another freedom of speech related controversy.

The OC Register provides a summary of the event: 

“An Orange Coast College student who secretly videotaped his instructor making anti-Trump statements was suspended from school and told to write a letter of apology as well as a three-page essay about the incident.

The college suspended Caleb O’Neil for the current semester and the summer term, saying he violated a Coast Community College District policy prohibiting recording someone on district property without that person’s consent.”Again, a conservative has been silenced. Have you begun to recognize a pattern by now?

Meanwhile, a radical professor seems free to make claims such as “it is an act of terrorism” to have voted for one political candidate over the other.   And she argues as a result we are “back to being in a civil war”. She even went so far as to say those “leading the assault are among us”. This implies that voting for a particular political candidate makes one a terrorist. As of the time of this writing, she has not faced any consequences whatsoever.

Inappropriate Context

Keep in mind that this all happened during a course on “human sexuality”.  Speculating on what motivated this rant, during this class, is not my place.  Although, doing so might lead to very entertaining conclusions (dear writers at The Onion – here’s some prime material for you).

So what happened to this innocent student as a result of taping a portion of this bizarre lecture on “human sexuality”? As mentioned above, he was suspended for the entire semester and into the summer. He also has to write a letter of apology and a three-page essay.

Does the teacher have to apologize to conservatives in her class whom she might have horrified with her radical rant? It seems that’s not a consideration.

By the way, the student recorded the rant for the very reason that he was scared of what might happen if someone found out he was a conservative.

We have entered an era where a college student can’t help but wonder, “Is this crazy person going to lash out at me or bump my grade down if she finds out I don’t agree with her radical statements?”    

As a result, he recorded part of the lecture, not so he could post it online, but to bring it to the attention of the campus administration. Students posted the video online only after the administration failed to act:

“O’Neil took the video to leaders from the school’s College Republicans, who, joined by attorney Shawn Steel, complained to the campus administration. A week later, saying they were frustrated that the administration had not acted on their concerns of a teacher using her  classroom as a bully pulpit, the campus Republicans posted video clips online, where they quickly became national news.”

 Of course, no one on campus reacted to such statements. They agreed with the whole of the teacher’s rant, more than likely.

As a result, little recourse remains for a student placed in such a situation. He was faced with the choices to either make the video public or continue to be silenced and live in fear. William Becker, O’Neil’s attorney for this case, explained the situation quite well:

“This is an attack by leftists in academia to protect the expressive rights of their radical instructors at the expense of the expressive rights of conservative students on campus,” said Becker, president of Freedom X, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving religious and conservative freedom of expression. 

A host of recent instances similar to this one might fit the same statement. Take for example the raging protests against now former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos.

In addition, it speaks volumes that an organization such as “Freedom X” even needs to exist in the first place.

Constitution Under Continued Attack

We already have something dedicated to preserving religious rights and freedom of expression. It has existed for over two centuries.  The Constitution of the United States of America and the Bill of Rights serves this purpose.

Yet decades of social engineering and indoctrination have chipped-away at all aspects of the document that first made America great. Once a shining beacon of liberty and prosperity, America has now been reduced to a squabble of bickering children.

All this fighting only distracts us from bigger issues that affect us all. This fury ought to be directed, for example, at central bankers hell-bent on impoverishing nations through devaluation of central bank-issued fiat currencies. Or in the case of the European Union, impoverishing an entire continent at once by putting it under the control of a single central bank and currency.

Dangerous Ideas

We must do everything necessary to maintain what little freedoms we have left. Do not allow those who practice intolerance in the name of tolerance to silence you.

We must stop the association of populism with terrorism.  it’s already legal in America to imprison anyone suspected of terrorism without proof or trial.  Therefore, there can be few ideas more dangerous than this.

All in all, college campuses appear to be stifling freedom of speech more than nurturing it. True, filming a professor during a lecture is against the rules.  However, this professor was not lecturing at all. She was ranting – on an inappropriate topic, in a dangerous way. Outrageous assertions, like suggesting that an election was an act of terror, belong on a blog or social media site. Not in a college lecture regarding human sexuality.  One ought to be free to make such assertions, but not in a context where it threatens another’s expression.

It becomes difficult to discern who has the right to freedom of expression when one’s right silences another’s.

What do you think? Was the professor out of line?  What would you do in such a situation?

Should the student have been suspended? Should they both be tried for terrorism?

Leave your thoughts in a comment below.

 

 

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