My Photo

I am a Third Order Franciscan of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Perhaps if they called it "expulsion" instead of "excommunication" things would be different

FIRE - Student Dismissed for Personal Beliefs Files Multimillion-Dollar Lawsuit Against Le Moyne College

I am a big advocate of the principle of academic freedom both for faculty as well as students - especially at Catholic institutions. Now by academic freedom, I don't mean that the school has a responsibility to support speach it finds contrary to its mission, but it also shouldn't go out of its way to suppress it. If Catholicism is truly the search for the truth, then by hindering the quest for academic truth we are in fact acting counter to our Catholicism. I seek not students who agree with me, but students who are able to come to coherent, defensible positions - even if they are contrary to my own. Because, if I have a student who simply repeats the positions of their professors, who knows whether they will or will be able to defend those positions outside of the institution.

Now, I would really expect that position to be upheld at a Jesuit institution like Le Moyne but apparently the Jesuit desire to have freedom to disagree with the Pope as evident in the cases of Roger Haight, Jacques Dupuis and Thomas Reese comes to an end when if it means have contrary opinions in the students educated by their universities.

This is definitely the case at Le Moyne where a student was expelled after writing a paper defending corporal punishment in the classroom. The student received an A- for this paper and a 3.78 GPA, but apparently this wasn't good enough for the LeMoyne Graduate Education department who expelled the student. Now LeMoyne is not just seen as an institution apparently exercising censorship and poor judgement but is also facing a four million dollar lawsuit from the former student. Perhaps legal action will get Le Moyne to finally do the right thing.


Post a Comment

<< Home