By now you’re likely well aware that University of Wisconsin-Stout (Stout) professor James Miller had been censored twice, reported to the university’s "threat assessment team," and threatened with criminal charges because of a satirical posting outside his office door depicting a quotation from actor Nathan Fillion’s character in the television series Firefly. After taking it down, the Stout Chief of Police threatened Miller with criminal charges for disorderly conduct if he posted similar content in the future. After Stout censored his second poster, which satirically stated, "Warning: Fascism," Miller came to FIRE for help.
Last Wednesday, we reported that the Stout chancellor declared that he would not defend faculty First Amendment rights from censorship, in an email sent to all Stout faculty and staff. Stout continued to claim that "the posters in question constituted an implied threat of violence. That is why they were removed."
We’re happy to report that after continued pressure from FIRE and national media, Stout has reversed its censorship of Miller’s poster. Here’s a look at some of the additional news outlets that have chimed in, and other FIRE issues that made the news this week:
- Big Hollywood: BREAKING: Wisconsin University Reverses Decision to Remove ‘Firefly’ Poster
- Big Hollywood: University Professor Censored Over… ‘Firefly’ Poster?
- The Daily Caller: ‘You can’t take the sky (or my poster) from me,’ says UW-Stout prof
- The Daily Caller: Browncoats-1, Alliance-0: College changes tune on censorship of ‘Firefly’ poster
- Stoutonia: First Amendment Challenged on Campus
- TMCnet.com: UW-Stout flip-flops on professor’s ‘violent’ posters, will allow them
- Wells Law Blog: A Wisconsin professor had best make peace with his dear and fluffy lord
- Eau Claire Leader-Telegram: UW-Stout flip-flops on professor’s ‘violent’ posters, will allow them
- The Advice Goddess: Being Too Dense To Understand The Context Isn’t Cause For Censorship
- Eau Claire Leader-Telegram: UW-Stout chills First Amendment
- The Dunn County News: Out of the ‘Firefly’ into the frying pan
- Shadowlocked: FIREFLY AND FREE SPEECH: THE WISCONSIN U. CONTROVERSY
- TheJournalTimes.com: UW-Stout poster ruling overreaching
- Hot Air: University of Wisconsin retreats from censorship
On the Sam Houston State University ‘Free Speech Wall’ vandalism:
On Boston University’s speech codes:
- The Daily Free Press: BU speech policy infringes on students’ rights, speaker says
On Professor Emeritus Elliot Cramer’s network access revocation at UNC-Chapel Hill:
- The Daily Tar Heel: UNC retaliated against Cramer’s free speech
On Kansas State University’s speech codes:
- Kansas State Collegian: K-State’s speech code unconstitutional