Well, I would hope that anyone who read this article would be able to spot the blatant attempt to spin vandalism into free speech, but there are other things in the article that I’d like to point out, in addition to the double-standard being used by Northern Kentucky University professor Sally Jacobson.
According to the Lexington Herald-Leader article, the group that this professor belongs to was hosting a brown-bag luncheon about issues related to abortion law. If this was an open discussion and debate about abortion and other issues related to it, then that totally belongs on a college campus, where (in the words of one of the protesters) "ideas are supposed to be exchanged." Instead, this discussion was to, "inform students and faculty about abortion laws and alternatives, such as contraception."
Excuse me, but why is contraception the first "alternative" to abortion that is mentioned? Not only is adoption a truly valid alternative that should be mentioned, but contraception is not really an alternative to abortion.
Continuing on, in the interest of the "free exchange of ideas", this professor decided that someone contributing to the discussion by presenting an alternate view (without violence or slander or any other form of coersion) was not acceptable, so she not only vandalized a valid display of protest, but she also incited others to do so (otherwise known in legal-speak as "inciting a riot" or "conspiracy"). She has also continued to incite students to something just shy of obstructing justice by emailing her students to "make it hard" for investigators. (Hat tip to Birth Story and LifeNews for this info.)
Katie Walker got it precisely right: "the dismantling of the display was about stifling free speech, not exercising it."
Of course, suspension from duties is not enough of a punishment for this teacher (obviously a teacher of intolerance, more than anything else), since she will be retiring next month. It is telling, however, that this woman is retiring from a teaching position, while students are the ones correcting her thoughts and actions. It bodes well for the pro-life movement that the youth understand life issues and free speech much better than these left-overs from the burning bra era. The youth are willing to do this, not for power or position (like in a college faculty), but because it is right. This is why they are willing to take "a few congratulations [and] a few middle fingers as well."
The NKU administration is to be praised for handling this issue immediately with discipline and making sure that people understand this to be terrible behavior:
[University President James] Votruba said competing ideas should be exchanged on campus, through debate and displays if necessary. He said the university will approve as many displays as are deemed appropriate.
"Universities are not designed to create comfortable conformity," Votruba said. "Unfortunately, this one case has generated more heat than light."
Let us hope that NKU will be one of the next stops for the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform‘s "Genocide Awareness Project". The have wonderful displays that prompt debate on many college campuses. It should be very interesting to see what Ms. Jacobson’s actions have wrought.