Fighting Words 101

March 14, 2005

Colorado legislator Bob Hagedorn admits that when he proposed Senate Bill 85 in December, he was thinking of himself. In the wake of last fall's polarizing race for the White House, Hagedorn, a Democrat who is also a political-science professor at Metropolitan State College in Denver, grew more and more worried about saying the wrong thing as his students debated contentious issues like George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind initiative and the teaching of creationism in schools. Earlier in the year, students had filed bias complaints against a colleague who had criticized Republicans. "I'm thinking 'My God, we don't want to go there,'" he recalls. Yet at the same time, in the spirit of dialogue, he did want to. So he wrote a bill intended as a professorial-insurance policy, protecting his and his colleagues' right to challenge student views "when relevant to the chosen course of study...

Schools: University of Colorado at Boulder Metropolitan State University of Denver University of Wisconsin – Whitewater Utah Valley University Hamilton College