Sexuality and Freedom of Speech: Criticism of OCR Continues

Glenn Ricketts

The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights continues to get hammered – most deservedly - from all sides, as in this piece by Carlin Romano in today’s CHE.  It’s hard to recall a time when there’s been such unanimity among otherwise very distinct and frequently contentious academic ideological quarters. 

As we did here last week, Romano has no problem concluding that the First Amendment or an expanded approach to academic freedom doesn’t cover professors who go drinking with their students and lapse into vulgar familiarity about their sex lives and related topics.

But Romano seems to have been struck in particular by grateful comments from students in one of his philosophy courses that focused on themes of love and sexuality.  Apparently, they felt safe and comfortable discussing the material within the confines of his classroom, but not elsewhere on campus.

 That’s good to know.  But let’s see what happens if someone else in that class complains about feeling “uncomfortable” or “offended.”

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