Well, if you don't like my beliefs, I can sue you

Florida is set out to squash "leftist totalitarianism" by introducing a bill that allows students to sue professors in universities for "not respecting the beliefs of the students".

To quote:

According to a legislative staff analysis of the bill, the law would give students who think their beliefs are not being respected legal standing to sue professors and universities.

Students who believe their professor is singling them out for “public ridicule” – for instance, when professors use the Socratic method to force students to explain their theories in class – would also be given the right to sue.

"Some professors say, 'Evolution is a fact. I don’t want to hear about Intelligent Design (a creationist theory), and if you don’t like it, there's the door,'" Baxley said, citing one example when he thought a student should sue.

Rep. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, warned of lawsuits from students enrolled in Holocaust history courses who believe the Holocaust never happened.

Similar suits could be filed by students who don’t believe astronauts landed on the moon, who believe teaching birth control is a sin or even by Shands medical students who refuse to perform blood transfusions and believe prayer is the only way to heal the body, Gelber added.

Hooray. We know all what happened in Russia when ideology became more important than facts... And what will happen when lawyers start running the universities? Not that they do already, but at the moment they've not been messing with curriculums.

Here's a direct link to the bill text. The bill is quite interesting, as it really does not sound very bad. In fact, principles and ideas embodied in it do sound very grand and liberal! However, what it really says is that students have a right to hear what they want, and should someone infringe on that, they could be sued. Since the bill does not define what is "controversial material", or "serious scholarly viewpoints", it becomes very difficult to determine what has to be included in the curriculum and what not - simply because seriousness and controversy are based on personal opinions.




Comments

curricul<i>a</i>, not "curriculums".

--130.230.55.93, 29-Mar-2005


This is an issue for the individual schools....not the government!!

I'm not yet familiar with this law but I could guess which political party is behind such rules.....Repuuuuublicanssss

--Phil, 29-Mar-2005


It's only a formalization of what is already fairly common. Teachers and schools get sued regularly for failing a student or teaching their fundy kid about darwinism. Teachers are afraid to fail kids and they don't stray far from the conservative course material. People shouldn't wonder why there are a lot of uneducated kids in America.

--193.166.2.27, 29-Mar-2005


Well, I rarely (if ever?) hear about a teacher getting sued for failing a child - although thanks to the Democrats "social promotion" plan, teachers are pressured my administrators to pass children no matter how lousy they perform.

And I believe this law is geared towards colleges and universities throughout the states - not too many 9th graders are debating political issues - so I doubt there's too many "uneducated kids" that could get accepted into a college/unversity.

And as I graduate of public education in the U.S., I would disagree about "conservative course material" - it was most definitely more left-wing than right-wing, especially since American teachers and administrators are notorious for being hardcore left-wingers. I was taught evolution, not creationism in schools. However, I went to school the west coast, maybe Alabamians (for instace) have a different cirriculum.

--Phil, 29-Mar-2005


Ah, those darned latin plurals.

However, The American Heritage Dictionary, 4th Ed lists both "curricula" and "curriculums" as acceptable. So nyah :)

--JanneJalkanen, 29-Mar-2005


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