FIRE Senior Vice President Robert Shibley’s latest piece for The Daily Caller highlights our recent case at Syracuse University’s School of Education, which effectively expelled graduate student Matthew Werenczak from its teaching program after he posted on Facebook about a racially charged comment made in his presence by a community leader.
Thankfully, just hours after FIRE took the case public on January 18, Syracuse readmitted Werenczak, but blamed its actions on the standards of its accreditor, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
About this latest blow to free speech at Syracuse, Robert writes:
We’ve been hearing about runaway political correctness since the 1980s, and it’s tempting to think that we might be past the worst of it. Matthew Werenczak knows better now, and his hard-earned lesson should be a warning to us all. College students across America are learning to keep their heads down and keep their opinions to themselves. Schools like Syracuse promise freedom of speech – the school’s Student Handbook states that "[s]tudents have the right to express themselves freely on any subject" and that "Syracuse University … welcomes and encourages the expression of dissent." Werenczak trusted in that promise – and found out what it was worth.
You can read Robert’s entire piece at The Daily Caller.