Iowa State Professor Threatens to ‘Dismiss’ Students With Conservative Views

Iowa State Professor Threatens to ‘Dismiss’ Students With Conservative Views

A professor at Iowa State University has come under fire for threatening to discipline students who submit projects or papers opposing abortion, the Black Lives Matter movement or same-sex marriage.

On the first day of fall semester, Professor Chloe Clark presented her English 250 class with the course syllabus.

It read: “GIANT WARNING: any instances of othering [to view persons or groups as intrinsically different than oneself] that you participate in intentionally (racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, sorophobia, transphobia, classism, mocking of mental health issues, body shaming, etc.) in class are grounds for dismissal from the classroom.

“The same goes for any papers/projects: you cannot choose any topic that takes at its base that one side doesn’t deserve the same basic human rights as you do (i.e.: no arguments against gay marriage, abortion, Black Lives Matter, etc.). I take this seriously.”

A student anonymously sent the syllabus to the Young America’s Foundation (YAF), a conservative youth organization, through the organization’s “Campus Bias Tip Line.”

YAF then wrote an article about the situation, calling Clark’s stipulations a “gross abuse of power.”

The article was quickly picked up by mainstream media outlets, prompting the university to address the controversy.

“The syllabus statement as written was inconsistent with the university’s standards and its commitment to the First Amendment rights of students,” school officials said in a statement. “After reviewing this issue with the faculty member, the syllabus has been corrected to ensure it is consistent with university policy. Moreover, the faculty member is being provided additional information regarding the First Amendment policies of the university.

“Iowa State is firmly committed to protecting the First Amendment rights of its students, faculty and staff,” they added. “With respect to student expression in the classroom, including the completion of assignments, the university does not take disciplinary action against students based on the content or viewpoints expressed in their speech.”

Spencer Brown, a spokesman for YAF, said his group was pleased the university sided with free speech.

“It is hopeful news to see a university take the side of the First Amendment and the free expression rights of its students—still, it is shameful that a faculty member ran so far afoul of basic educational practice and the Constitution that such a retraining of this kind is necessary,” Brown said.

“Based on what we at YAF see and hear from our student activists, many administrators and professors could use a refresher on the First Amendment as the fall semester begins,” he added.

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