|Back to March Ed Reporter|
|NUMBER 266||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||MARCH 2008|
|Brandeis Threatens Professor; He Defends Free Speech|
According to Brandeis provost Mary Kraus, the students suffered "significant emotional trauma" over the term "wetback." Kraus praised the students for the courage it took to "speak out against discrimination" even though they made their complaints anonymously.
Professor Hindley first learned of the complaints against him when he received two letters from the university accusing him of racial harassment and discrimination. The letters required Hindley to attend sensitivity training, and threatened to fire him. The administration also posted a monitor in Hindley's classroom to watch for further indiscretions.
Hindley took recourse to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a legal group that frequently defends students and professors when university administrators try to curtail their exercise of First Amendment rights. Hindley hired a lawyer to defend him against Brandeis's actions, and the university backed down.
Unfortunately, litigation over free speech restrictions on our nation's campuses has become commonplace, as universities attempt to silence speech that some find offensive or disagreeable. (Boston Herald, 1-27-08)