University of Chicago President resigns after failing to 'dumb down' curriculum. President Hugo Sonnenschein attempted to alter the university's strict undergraduate core curriculum standards in order to increase enrollment and market the school to a wider, less academically-inclined audience. The American Council of Trustees and Alumni coordinated a protest of Sonnenschein's efforts with friends and alumnae of the college, including Nobel Laureate Saul Bellow, and students and faculty members. The protestors pronounced Sonnenschein's resignation "a victory for the university's educational integrity."
Beauty pageant winners promote abstinence education. The new Miss Wisconsin, Mary Louise Kurey, stood on an abstinence education platform throughout the competition, despite warnings from pageant officials not to do so. At least 19 other beauty pageant contestants, including three young women competing for the title of Miss Illinois, promoted sexual abstinence as the best lifestyle choice for young people until marriage.
Colleges across the country are offering "porn studies" courses. Class-es featuring pornographic movies are being offered at New York University, Northwestern, and Columbia, among others. Porn stars and promoters, including Larry Flynt, lecture on college campuses. Writing in the American Family Association Journal, July 1999, Chuck Colson of Prison Fellowship Ministries says the reason for this development "lies with the postmodernist assumption that the purpose of art is to subvert social and moral norms." Colson suggests that "if we live in a universe without God, then nature is all there is, and morality is reduced to whatever culture constructs it to be."
Louisiana passes law requiring students to address teachers as "ma'am" or "sir." Students may also use the titles of Mr., Miss, Mrs., or Ms. No punishment is included in the law, and school districts may decide how to enforce it. Louisiana is the first state to pass a statute requiring respect and politeness in the public schools.