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There have been two “fired” professors in the news lately.  Both were dismissed from their teaching assignments because a student complained of being “offended” by the professors’ remarks on homosexuality.

In June 2007, June Sheldon adjunct professor at San Jose/Evergreen Community College District, made a statement in class regarding research of a well-known German scientist that found a correlation between maternal stress during pregnancy and later homosexual behavior in males.  When a student complained, the school launched an investigation and declared her comments “offensive and unscientific.”  Ms. Sheldon was later terminated.

This past spring, the University of Illinois fired Ken Howell an adjunct professor who taught courses on Catholicism was fired after a student accused him of engaging in hate speech because he discussed the Catholic teaching that homosexual sex is contrary to natural moral law.

The good news:  June Sheldon, with the help of Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) and Pacific Justice Institute, received a legal settlement of $100k from San Jose Community College and is currently teaching at another college.  Ken Howell is also receiving legal help from ADF; his case is still in process.

“Professors shouldn’t be fired simply for doing their jobs as educators. Professionally addressing both sides of an academic issue according to the class curriculum is not grounds for dismissal; it’s what a professor is supposed to do,” remarked ADF Litigation Staff Counsel David J. Hacker.

These two cases show the efforts underway on many college campuses to stifle alternative viewpoints.   The message to all academics?  “Be very, very careful what you say… and definitely speak only supportive words about homosexual behavior.”   Even though college administrators may eventually be forced to back down and have to pay out money for their blunder, the message is still sent.  The chilling effect on academic freedom has already occurred.

One last thought, how many conservative students are “offended” by their leftist professors remarks every single school day?  Somehow I doubt their “feelings” are going to get the same level of attention by the college administration as gay students or those who espouse liberal viewpoints.  Double  standard?  Boy, is that an understatement.

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