Bellevue Community College (BCC) has dropped its proposed punishment of Professor Peter Ratener, who composed a math exam problem that featured a woman named Condoleezza dropping a watermelon off the roof of a federal building. Ratener wrote the problem in 2004, but came under intense scrutiny after the exam question was made public in March, 2006. For seven months, FIRE opposed BCC’s attempt to suspend Ratener for a week without pay before BCC finally announced that it would not suspend Ratener.
December 21, 2006
Controversy has surrounded Bellevue Community College (BCC) Professor Peter Ratener ever since his case hit the news last year. Ratener had produced a math exam question that involved someone named Condoleezza throwing a watermelon off of a building. Even though he apologized profusely for any offense that question caused, BCC suspended Ratener for a week with loss of pay. Ratener has filed a grievance to get the suspension lifted, and the case currently awaits arbitration. BCC has not budged since publicly castigating and suspending Ratener, and has even been lauded by the group Minority Access, Inc. as one of […]» Read More
November 6, 2006
Bellevue Community College (BCC) has once again come under public criticism over a violation of its students’ First Amendment rights. On October 26, five students attempted to attend a political rally for Democratic candidate Maria Cantwell, the incumbent Washington Senator. The students wore T-shirts supporting the campaign of Cantwell’s opponent, Republican Mike McGavick. Organizers of the event refused entry to the students, some of whom had been required by a professor to attend. In reaction to this violation of freedom of conscience the ACLU of Washington wrote a letter to BCC on October 27 challenging the constitutionality of its actions. […]» Read More