So a student disagreed with an instructor's views on a polarizing issue. The instructor silenced the student. McAdams blogged about the incident, and after his blog post gained regional and national attention, Marquette silenced him too.Narrowly viewed, tenure is a protection for professors to investigate, and to properly present, contested ideas. The fundamental principle of scholarly inquiry is "no final say," no matter how many claims a scholar or a publicist says "definitive."
The fact that the university would revoke tenure from McAdams has sent shock waves through academia. Tenure is a treasured tenet of higher education, and revoking tenure usually is reserved for the most egregious of offenses.
The fact that certain opinions are being suppressed means that somewhere, someone gets to decide what is socially and culturally acceptable and what is not. When does free speech cross the line to hate speech, and who makes that call? Instead of allowing our different views to compete in a marketplace of ideas, some entity — be it a university administrator, a government official or a powerbroker — is calling the shots on whose voice gets heard and who gets shut up.That's a point A. J. Ledesma misses in taking issue with Ms Rickert.
"Popular views do not need protection," McAdams wrote in a letter to Marquette. He's right.
We need to reject this cultural shift, and that's why the McAdams case matters so much. Every new idea, every major social movement, starts out as a minority opinion. If the majority of people gets to decide which ideas or opinions are acceptable and the consequences of speaking out are too painful, we may someday reach a point in which no minority opinion exists.
The author of this article, Diana Sroka Rickert, then wrote, “Regardless of how you feel about gay marriage, this isn’t the way an instructor should treat a student.”Without any irony, note how "keep their bigoted, unsolicited opinions" precedes "bullied." There are ways for a teacher to capture the essential elements of a controversy while steering clear of the more contested turf, and there are tactful ways of doing so. But the current legal and religious status of marriage is by no means settled. Mr Ledesma ought seek no powers he would not like a Wahhabi or Shia holy man wielding.
I disagree. This is a classic response from people who feel entitled to share their disagreement with gay marriage. They can’t stand it when people tell them to keep their bigoted, unsolicited opinions to themselves. The instructor did not ask for feedback. This student was out of place. This student wanted to engage in a debate about gay marriage. The professor who had the decency to prevent it was publicly bullied for doing the right thing. Bullied by colleague.