But don’t you dare question their ‘patriotism’.
ORONO, Maine – A University of Maine student alleges her former professor offered extra credit to class members if they burned the American flag or the U.S. Constitution or were arrested defending free speech.
On the first day of class, associate professor Paul Grosswiler offered the credit to members of his History of Mass Communications class, according to sophomore Rebekah McDade. Disturbed by the comment, McDade dropped the class and intends to take the course again next semester with a different professor.
“I was offended,” McDade said Friday. “I come from a family of military men and women, and the flag and Constitution are really important symbols to me because of my family background.”
In an e-mail responding to a request for comment from the Bangor Daily News on Friday, Grosswiler said he thought McDade misunderstood the class discussion, which was intended to elicit thought about the First Amendment.
“I don’t intend for students to burn either the Constitution or the flag, and over the years hundreds of students have understood that,” Grosswiler wrote.
The incident was made public recently when The Leadership Institute, a Virginia-based nonprofit organization, distributed a press release detailing the classroom discussion.
The Leadership Institute was founded in 1979 by Morton Blackwell and has a mission to identify, recruit, train and place conservatives in politics, government and the media, according to the organization’s Web site.
A field representative for the institute met McDade on Oct. 1 at UM, when she shared her experience and expressed an interest in spearheading a group “Students for Academic Freedom,” Blackwell said Friday.
The group’s initial goal would be to convince UM to enact a “Student Bill of Rights,” as other colleges have, which would protect students from professors who treat and grade students differently based on religious or political beliefs, McDade said. The institute has assisted McDade in the startup process, she said.
“When we heard the story, we said ‘Hey, this is probably worthwhile our doing a news release,’” Blackwell said. “When you expose leftist abuses, it invigorates conservatives. I am sure that the administration, like most administrations we deal with, is not happy when leftist abuses come to life. They far prefer to have students under their thumb and indoctrinated.”
McDade said Friday she was a little uncomfortable with the publicity and that it might have gotten out of hand. She said her intent was not to put the focus on Grosswiler, but to give students an opportunity to voice their concerns.
Get used to it sweetie. As long as you remain diametrically opposed to leftwing brainwashing via academic intelligentsia, you’ll have to fight that battle throughout your college career.
A journalism and political science double major, McDade said the first class of her fall semester at UM began with the typical syllabus introduction and class overview. Despite repeated “liberal” comments made by Grosswiler, McDade said, she was not uncomfortable in the classroom until the flag burning comment.
……While McDade said she would not be surprised if students followed through with the flag burning, Dame disagreed.
UM spokesman Joe Carr said Friday that Grosswiler’s classroom comments were not intended to be taken literally and that extra credit would not be granted for carrying out such activities.
When asked whether the university would pursue disciplinary action, Carr replied, “No.”
Of course not.
……In his e-mail Friday, Grosswiler, who is a former BDN employee, explained that he refers to provocative examples, such as flag burning, to demonstrate the courage necessary to support free expression.
“If they don’t tolerate thought that they hate, they don’t believe in the First Amendment,” he wrote.
“I applaud the student’s exercise of free expression. If she had stayed in the class, I would have given her extra credit for publicizing her opinions.”
I hate the thought of a communist asshat like Grosswiler being permitted to pollute the young minds of college students. That’s not ‘free speech’, that’s indoctrination, and I don’t tolerate radical agitprop charading as ‘education’.
Leftwingnut version of celebrating free speech: Engaging in obscene, bizzare, disrespectful behavior. The more outlandish, the better. Burn the flag, march on down to the National Archives, tear the 220 year old U.S. Constitution from its protective case and light it on fire. While you’re at it Grosswiler, torch every newspaper publishing business and television station you can.
Just do the New York Times and CNN first.
Gawd, ain’t free speech grand?