Straight Up with Sherri

Thursday, April 21, 2005

CU Gives Ward Churchill Tenure, but Pro-Life Student Group TOO CONTROVERSIAL?

From Agape Press:


School Threatened with Suit for Hampering Pro-Life Group's Abortion Exhibit


By Jim Brown
April 21, 2005

(AgapePress) - The University of Colorado (CU) at Boulder is being accused of discriminating against and censoring the free speech of Justice For All, a pro-life student group on the Colorado campus.

On March 14, the registered student organization Justice For All (JFA) submitted a request to CU-Boulder officials, requesting the use of campus space to set up an outdoor pro-life exhibit that demonstrates some of the more gruesome and less well-known aspects of abortion. University officials were uncooperative, however; first they denied the student group's preferred event date, and then later, the group's preferred location.

The school officials called the display "controversial and potentially disruptive" and asked JFA to move it to a less-trafficked location on campus. But according to the student group, the CU-Boulder officials relegated the exhibit to a remote campus location -- one that is not only not large enough for the exhibit but also receives far less pedestrian traffic than the group's originally requested site.

Members of JFA consulted the
Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a legal organization that specializes in defending religious liberty through education, funding, strategy, and -- if necessary -- litigation. ADF sent a letter to the university explaining the student group's constitutional rights; but after CU responded with a rebuff, the legal alliance threatened to sue on behalf of the campus pro-life organization.

Jeremy Tedesco, an attorney with ADF, believes the school has violated the students' free-speech rights. "The bottom line is, government officials cannot restrict speech based on its controversial nature," he says.

Still, as Tedesco noted in his April 7 letter to CU-Boulder's legal representatives, "The university is discriminating against JFA because its event has been deemed 'controversial' and because of possible university community reaction to the exhibit." This discriminatory treatment, he contends, is a violation of the Constitution of the United States.

The ADF lawyer says CU-Boulder needs to reverse its unconstitutional actions and "treat everybody the same. Don't make decisions based on what they think will be a potentially disruptive exhibit on their campus." Instead, he suggests that CU should, "Trust the students will conduct themselves accordingly, which the JFA students always have; and if there is any kind of problem on campus, they have disruption policies in place [in order to] take care of any kind of problem."

Tedesco says CU is employing a terrible and unfair standard by choosing to discriminate against the pro-life students, while at the same time tolerating the speech of radical, anti-American Professor Ward Churchill. It is ironic, the attorney asserts, that the school that employs Churchill would place unnecessary barriers in the way of others' free speech.

8 Comments:

  • I believe that a student should be a ble to express themselves as long as they are not harming anybody.
    CS 4617

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:32 PM  

  • This group's display could have saved someone from having an abortion.
    CS 4617

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:33 PM  

  • I can understand where the school is concern about the more gruesome and/or graphic pictures that are displayed.
    CS 4617

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:34 PM  

  • It seems blogger ate my last comment or is it just taking an hour to post?

    By Blogger levi from queens, at 9:36 PM  

  • nope -- blogger just ate it. Curse you blogger -- that thought will now waft forever on the bits of cyberspace and never come to rest -- haunting blogger in his sleep.

    By Blogger levi from queens, at 9:38 PM  

  • The student do have a right to express themselves, but the school also has right to protect them. Giving them an off campus route is good, if they feel strong enough they will do what needs to be done..these these are not suppose to be easy all the time...maybe this was a test of endurance that will weed out the ones who are just on the boat and not committed to building a new ship.

    mm5521

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:07 PM  

  • levi

    LOL!!

    HAUNTING BLOGGER I HOPE!

    mm5521

    ahem, I htink you are missing the point! Free Speech is Free Speech. There has yet to be an amendment for freedom of being offended or getting grossed out....but who knows-- maybe Hillary, Boxer, Kerry and McCain are working on that right now...

    By Blogger Straight Up with Sherri, at 10:20 PM  

  • My dearest Sherri,

    Lest you think I'm unreliable, I must confess that my real-life job kept me from implementing my auto-posting script to your blog. But I promise I'll write it soon -- you'll know when it's active. Sorry for the delay -- LOL

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:28 AM  

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