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The New York Post reports:

A furor over what the Topeka school district considers an honor has erupted after plans were announced for Obama to address a combined graduation ceremony for five area high schools next month an 8,000-seat arena. For some, it was the prospect of a tight limit on the number of seats allotted to each graduate. For others, it was the notion that Obama’s speech, tied to the 60th anniversary of the US Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education outlawing segregation in schools, would overshadow the student’s big day.

“I’m a single mother who has raised him for 18 years by myself,” said Tina Hernandez, parent of Topeka High School senior Dauby Knight. “I’ve told him education is the only way out. This is one of the biggest days of their lives. They’ve taken the glory and shine from the children and put on Mrs. Obama. She doesn’t know our kids.”

More than 1200 have signed the petition protesting the First Lady’s appearance at the graduation.

Read the full story at The New York Post.

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Conservative author Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute was scheduled to speak this week at Asuza Pacific University. But the talk was canceled at the last minute, Murray says, because concerns were raised about his political views and past scholarship. He described the events in a open letter to the students of APU:

I was scheduled to speak to you tomorrow. I was going to talk about my new book, “The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead,” and was looking forward to it. But it has been “postponed.” Why? An email from your president, Jon Wallace, to my employer, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), said “Given the lateness of the semester and the full record of Dr. Murray’s scholarship, I realized we needed more time to prepare for a visit and postponed Wednesday’s conversation.” This, about an appearance that has been planned for months. I also understand from another faculty member that he and the provost were afraid of “hurting our faculty and students of color.”

You’re at college, right? Being at college is supposed to mean thinking for yourselves, right? Okay, then do it. Don’t be satisfied with links to websites that specialize in libeling people. Lose the secondary sources. Explore for yourself the “full range” of my scholarship and find out what it is that I’ve written or said that would hurt your faculty or students of color. It’s not hard. In fact, you can do it without moving from your chair if you’re in front of your computer.

You don’t have to buy my books. Instead, go to my web page at AEI. There you will find the full texts of dozens of articles I’ve written for the last quarter-century. Browse through them. Will you find anything that is controversial? That people disagree with? Yes, because (hang on to your hats) scholarship usually means writing about things on which people disagree…

Read Murray’s full letter to the students of APU.

Why is it that so many universities view the free exchange of ideas as a threat? Isn’t that what a university is supposed to be for?

(Image: NoFreeSpeech.FLICKR)

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Sometimes you find a story so ridiculous that you just can’t believe it:

Administrators at Bergen Community College in New Jersey placed Professor Francis Schmidt on leave this past January, requiring him to meet with a psychiatrist before returning to campus—just for posting a picture of his daughter in a T-shirt quoting the popular HBO television show Game of Thrones.

Schmidt, an art and animation professor, was required to meet with Jim Miller, an executive director at the college, as well as two other administrators prior to being put on leave because Miller believed he received a “threatening email” from Schmidt.

There are many problems with this accusation. First, the email was not sent from Schmidt. Jim Miller is a contact of Schmidt’s on Google+, so Miller automatically received an email from Google when Schmidt posted on Google+. Second, the “threatening” material was a picture of Schmidt’s young daughter doing yoga in a Game of Thrones T-shirt with the quote, “I will take what is mine with fire & blood…”

Because there’s nothing so threatening as a little girl in a Game of Thrones t-shirt.

Read the full story at FIRE

(Image: davecobb.Flickr)

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CNN reports:

A whistle-blower whose research on athletes’ literacy caused a firestorm of controversy at the University of North Carolina is leaving, she told CNN on Monday.

Mary Willingham said it’s her choice. She said she hasn’t yet turned in a final letter of resignation but simply informed her boss that she plans to leave before the end of the semester.

“It’s been a hostile work environment the entire year,” Willingham told CNN. “I stuck it out because I wanted to make good on promises to my students, but it has not been fun.”

Read the full story.

 

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Robby Soave of The Daily Caller reports that no longer are college debates simply college debates, because of, well – apparently racism or white privilege or some such nonsense.

Some college debaters are going on random tangents that have nothing to do with the subject at hand:

The most recent example came from the March 24th Cross Examination Debate Association, where two Towson University students — identified as black females by The Atlantic – won the championship. The students were challenged to debate presidential war powers. Instead, they insisted on discussing the supposed war on black communities being waged by the U.S. government.

In the final round, the Towson students faced another black team, from the University of Oklahoma. The teams used rap, hip-hop and spoken-word poetry to argue about such scholarly concepts as “nigga authenticity” for four hours. Not to be deterred by the clock, which keeps strict time for debate participants, one of the Oklahoma students yelled, “F*ck the time!” when his time ran out, and continued talking.

According to The Atlantic, a similar thing happened last year, in 2013. The winning team — two black men from Emporia State University — quickly went off topic and instead chose to discuss how college debate tournaments promote the interest of straight, white, rich people.

Read the full article.

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The Washington Times reports:

This year’s Democratic commencement speakers outnumber their Republicans counterparts by more than 2 to 1, according to a survey by Campus Reform.

In what critics describe as another example of liberal bias on campus, 56 Democratic officeholders, appointees and operatives are slated to speak this spring at university graduation ceremonies.

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