Political Correctness and Academics Don’t Mix

by Azreel | April 26th, 2007

This is a clear example of why political correctness has no place in the academic setting. Open discussion is usually NOT PC. It is common knowledge that both political and popular reaction to extreme events is over the top, emotional, and extreme, instead of being reasoned and well thought out. So too is the reaction of the University here.

An adjunct professor was fired after leading a classroom discussion about the Virginia Tech shootings in which he pointed a marker at some students and said “pow.”

“A classroom is supposed to be a place for academic exploration,” Winset, who taught financial accounting, told the Boston Herald.

He said administrators had asked the faculty to engage students on the issue. But on Friday, he got a letter saying he was fired and ordering him to stay off campus.

The college issued a statement saying: “Emmanuel College has clear standards of classroom and campus conduct, and does not in any way condone the use of discriminatory or obscene language.”

Student Junny Lee, 19, told The Boston Globe that most students didn’t appear to find Winset’s demonstration offensive.

What is not clear is what exactly the administration wanted to have addressed by the faculty. It seems obvious that their actions will have, as Winset stated, a “chilling effect” on open debate and discussion by faculty on campus.

There’s a reason I have not posted on this subject yet. For the first 48 hours after the shooting, there was little more than rumours and (mostly inaccurate) speculation. Next, people started screaming for legislation. Gun Control was the answer. Better health care, and even tougher immigration standards were cited as possible solutions. But the problem is that tensions were high, and people were freaking out.

We’re obviously still seeing the societal and political ramifications of this. Some things are (apparently) not ok to talk about yet.

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