Le Moyne College: Dismissal of Student for Dissenting Views

Category: Freedom of Conscience
Schools: Le Moyne College

Graduate student Scott McConnell handed in an assignment in which he described his ideal classroom — environment which involved “strong discipline and hard work” and which included “corporal punishment.” Though he did well on the assignment, he was summarily dismissed two months later by the Education Department chair, despite his “excellent” evaluation for class work. She cited a “mismatch between [his] personal beliefs regarding teaching and learning and the Le Moyne College program goals.” FIRE wrote to the Le Moyne College president, urging him to honor the College’s commitments to academic freedom and due process. When Le Moyne declined to do so, FIRE went public with the case. McConnell filed suit, aided by the Center for Individual rights, and the case eventually went to the Supreme Court of New York’s Appellate Division, which found in favor of the student. Since McConnell fulfilled the standards laid out for him, the court said, McConnell was a fully matriculated student and Le Moyne was therefore wrong to dismiss him without due process.

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    May 11, 2005

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    March 17, 2005

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  • College Expels Student Who Advocated Corporal Punishment

    March 10, 2005

    Read the article at The New York Times website.

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  • Le Moyne College Dismisses Student for Personal Beliefs

    February 15, 2005

    SYRACUSE, N.Y., February 15, 2005—Administrators at New York’s Le Moyne College, which claims to protect academic freedom, have summarily dismissed an education student for writing a paper advocating strict discipline for students.  The chair of Le Moyne’s education department expelled master’s student Scott McConnell because of a “mismatch” between his personal beliefs and the goals of the college’s graduate education program. “Le Moyne College says it respects academic freedom, yet it has dismissed a student purely for expressing personal beliefs that are different from those espoused by administrators,” stated David French, president of FIRE.  “This shows a profound lack of […]

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