Friday, April 20, 2007

Say what you want! (As long as it doesn't offend anyone)

So, I'm following this story about the Ozarks Technical Community College instructor who was fired because of his attempts to lighten up his class before a test.

His crime? Walking into the class with his briefcase in hand, slamming it down on a desk and saying, "I'm a suicide bomber." This upset some of the students so much that they then went and complained to campus officials.

Evidently, these students (who have been in his class since the middle of January) felt that their instructor had been abducted à la “Along Came a Spider,” with his kidnapper wearing a look-alike mask and assuming his identity. Why else would they feel distressed?

Did they not know that he truly was not a suicide bomber? Were they genuinely fearful, running out the door, jumping out of windows, or huddling under desks?

No. They were “offended," we can speculate, in light of recent events at VTU.

OTC director of public relations and communications Joel Doepker sums up the university’s take on free speech:

“In light of what happened Monday at Virginia Tech, people are just more serious about comments that are made," Doepker said.

"We are still reeling from that news. But even without the Virginia Tech situation, (the instructor's comments) still would have been cause for termination."

What happened to college campuses being a center for free speech, to be able to say what you want, regardless of how asinine, ridiculous, or distasteful it may be? We don’t always like what is taught/said. I, like many people, have had professors who were so left wing, Marx would have been like, “Whoa, slow down, Comrade.”

I guess OTC (of which I am a graduate) has decided that their campus is more like a day care for adults than a place where adults voice their concerns or opinions over an issue. What a nice milquetoast atmosphere.

This was a satellite campus, mind you, with a makeup of students than can best be classified as “non-traditional.” What you have is a classroom full of grown adults who have not the fortitude to speak up against something they found distasteful. Instead, the only recourse they can come up with is to get the guy fired. Way to go!

I'm sure the guy's wife and kids love that you're "feelings" have unemployed their father.

Bunch of lilywhite zealots. I hope you are enjoying your feeble-minded lives.

Here’s the News-Leader link:
Remark Gets Teacher Fired.

1 comment:

Mary Helen said...

Is OTC pressing charges? It's hard to believe anyone really thought this was a threat if no charges are being pressed.

When I was in college, not so long ago, it was an environment in which free and open speech and communication of ideas were encouraged. I would hate to think that we have lost that culture on our campuses because of the bad acts of one man in Virginia.

The OTC professor used some bad judgment and poor taste, but it hardly seem to have been an action that would warrant his dismissal.