Letter to the Editor

By on July 25, 2005

Regarding “Taking a policy too far” (Editorial, July 22), in which The Record criticized William Paterson University’s punishment of Jihad Daniel for sending an e-mail disapproving of homosexuality, I’d like to add a couple of points.

First, Daniel’s status as a graduate student prevails over his status as an employee. The e-mail to which he responded (which advertised a movie about a lesbian relationship) was related to the school curriculum, not his work duties. WPU’s attempt to make this an employment matter is a smokescreen. No student should ever be called in by government officials to be told that his religious beliefs are “offensive.”

Second, the professor who accused Daniel of discrimination is the chair of WPU’s Women’s Studies Department. Simply put, Daniel does not have the power to engage in workplace discrimination against a highly placed professor.

Finally, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which the editorial described as a “conservative group,” is non-partisan and has defended everyone from the College Republicans to PETA.

Robert L. Shibley

Philadelphia, July 25

The writer is program manager of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).

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Schools: William Paterson University