Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Messenger: MSU investigation should be handled quickly

Springfield News-Leader Editorial Page Editor Tony Messenger approves of the Missouri State University investigation into charges by former student Emily Brooker that Professor Frank G. Kauffman attempted to force her to go against her religious beliefs and write a letter to the state legislature supporting gay adoption rights:

But no student, in any class, of any political persuasion, should be forced to sign a letter to legislators that goes against his or her will. That's what Emily Brooker said Kauffman made her do.

Worse yet, she then allegedly had to explain her opposition — she's a Christian who doesn't believe gay couples should adopt — to a faculty ethics committee.

Brooker sued. Kauffman clammed up.

Ms. Brooker is suing Kauffman and the college.

The type of behavior Ms. Kauffman describes in her lawsuit can be found in professors across the nation. I vividly recall during my days at Missouri Southern, taking classes under a professor who made no bones about supporting the Democratic party. That was the professor's prerogative, but if you didn't share the professor's beliefs or at least pretend that you did, your grades were generally not as high as those who fell in line.
There is nothing wrong with exposing college students to different beliefs, but forcing them to adhere to those beliefs if they want to make the grade is an abuse of power.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can remember who I thought was a terrible Spanish instructor at MSSU and when complaining to him about the way we were treated his director (?) stood behind him because he said "he is the instructor". That still gives him no reason to be a jerk to all of us students. For what we pay to go to Southern you'd think everyone would be qualified and be a quality instructor but it just isn't so.