It’s safe to read again at Indiana University

May 1, 2008

Remember Keith Sampson, the janitor at Indiana UniversityPurdue University in Indianapolis (IUPUI) who was accused of racially harassing his co-workers by reading a scholarly book about the Ku Klux Klan? When I last discussed the case, IUPUI's Affirmative Action Office had backed off its initial chargenot because Sampson has a First Amendment right to read whatever books he wants at a state-run university but because the office could not determine exactly what he had been thinking while reading the book about the Klan. The implication was that if he ever read another book that a co-worker considered offensive, he could be investigated again and might be subject to disciplinary action if he displayed clearer signs of racial insensitivity than he did the first time around. But in a recent