Professor allowed to re-hang controvrsal posters at UW-Stout

October 4, 2011

The University of Wisconsin-Stout says it will allow a professor to hang two, controversal, posters outside his office, if he chooses to.

According to a recent report, that surfaced earlier this month, a professor put up posters, outside his office. One with a quote from a move that read:  “You don’t know me, son, so let me explain this to you once: If I ever kill you, you’ll be awake. You’ll be facing me. And you’ll be armed”- Firefly. 

The blog goes on to say, the campus police were called in to take the poster down.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the university said the incident has raised First Amendment concerns, both on campus and across the country.

The school says it is important to note that the posters were not removed to censor the professor in question. Rather, they were removed out of legitimate concern for the violent messages contained in each poster and the belief that the posters ran counter to its primary mission to offer a campus that is welcoming, safe and secure.

A school spokesperson said, in retrospect, it is clear that the removal of the posters, although done with the best intent, did have the effect of casting doubt on UW-Stout’s dedication to the principles embodied in the First Amendment, especially the ability to express oneself freely. As many people have pointed out in the days since this issue surfaced, a public university must take the utmost care to protect this right.

UW-Stout said it has reconsidered its decision to remove the two posters from outside the professor’s office, meaning he can display them if he so chooses.

The administration also said it is reviewing its procedures for handling these kinds of cases, and a new protocol is being developed in the hopes that a similar situation can be avoided in the future.

Schools: University of Wisconsin – Stout Cases: University of Wisconsin – Stout: Censorship, Referral to Threat Assessment Team, and Threat of Criminal Charges after Professor Puts Posters Outside Office Door