Cyber Complaint

August 5, 2005

AP reports that an employee with William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J., who was reprimanded for using a private email to describe gays as “perversions” says his rights were violated. Jihad Daniel, 68, of Hackensack, N.J. , made his comments in March in response to an email he received that had been sent university-wide by professor Arlene Holpp Scala. That message invited people to a film about lesbian relationships titled “Ruthie and Connie: Every Room in the House.” Daniel, who works repairing the university’s computer networks, responded in an email to Scala that he did not want to receive messages about “Ruthie and Connie.” “These are perversions,” he wrote as part of his one-paragraph response. Daniel went on to write that “the absence of God in higher education brings on confusion. That is why in these classes the Creator of the heavens and the earth is never mentioned.” Scala sent the email to a university office responsible for handling discrimination complaints, saying she thought it was threatening and also went against the school’s anti-discrimination policy. Then the university reprimanded Daniel, saying his comments were derogatory and demeaning. And Daniel, backed by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, challenged the criticism.

Schools: William Paterson University Cases: William Paterson University: Punishment on Harassment Charges for Response to Mass E-Mail