This state university stands for the free exchange of ideas.
According to the course syllabus, English 250 at Iowa State is designed to help students “develop skills in written, oral, visual, and electronic communication.” They are required to submit papers and presentations on a variety of subjects.
But in this course, some subjects were off-limits. “Arguments against gay marriage, abortion, Black Lives Matter etc,” were, according to the syllabus, not allowed. In fact, and I quote here, “Any instances of othering that you participate in intentionally (racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, sorophobia, transphobia, classism, mocking of mental health issues, body shaming, etc) are grounds for dismissal from the classroom.”
Thankfully, the Iowa State administration not only forced the professor to amend the syllabus and emphasize the university’s commitment to the free exchange of ideas, but also agreed to provide faculty members with “guidance on First Amendment protections for student expression in the classroom.”
Good for Iowa State.
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Publication date: August 27, 2020
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Monkey Business Images
BreakPoint is a program of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. BreakPoint commentaries offer incisive content people can't find anywhere else; content that cuts through the fog of relativism and the news cycle with truth and compassion. Founded by Chuck Colson (1931 – 2012) in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends. Today, you can get it in written and a variety of audio formats: on the web, the radio, or your favorite podcast app on the go.
John Stonestreet is President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and radio host of BreakPoint, a daily national radio program providing thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.