Rights in the News: East Georgia College on the Hot Seat as FIRE’s Public Campaign Heats up

By September 18, 2009

If my musical education went back further than 1991 (other than some hair bands), I’d find a way to integrate a reference to any of the multitudinous Georgia-themed songs dotting the pop-cultural landscape as a way of giving a nod to the week FIRE has had at East Georgia College. Nonetheless, FIRE’s public efforts have heaped scorn on East Georgia College, which fired Professor Thomas Thibeault after he criticized the school’s sexual harassment policy. You can read more on the gathering media storm surrounding EGC in my previous entry, and learn more about this stunning case here.

Turning our attention north, FIRE joined the National Coalition Against Censorship and ten other academic and civil liberties organizations in signing an open letter to Yale University President Richard Levin and the members of the Yale Corporation, criticizing Yale’s recent decision to excise cartoon images of Mohammed from the forthcoming book The Cartoons That Shook the World. The Chronicle of Higher Education, which was on the scene shortly following the exposure of East Georgia’s injustices, was also quick to highlight the Yale letter, which also included the American Association of University Professors and the American Civil Liberties Union, among others.

Finally, check out Azhar’s letter published this week in the Temple News. Azhar was spurred to action earlier after a News article on Temple’s speech codes managed to overlook the Third Circuit’s decision in DeJohn v. Temple University, which threw out Temple’s sexual harassment policy on constitutional grounds. Fortunately, the News has given him a chance to correct the record.

Schools: East Georgia College