Commentary: University of Oklahoma instructor gets it wrong — again

Sabrina Conza
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

Excerpt: Last month, my colleague Daniel Burnett and I reported on an “Anti-Racist Rhetoric & Pedagogies” workshop at the University of Oklahoma, which taught instructors how to shut down disfavored topics and conversations in the classroom. Since then, FIRE has seen statements from some at OU disagreeing with our analysis.  Tellingly, however, none have seen fit to defend the actual words and statements that FIRE highlighted from the teacher training workshop.

Pyron Alvarez’s piece is titled “Why Boundaries for Classroom Speech Matter.” At FIRE, we agree that boundaries for classroom speech matter. Unfortunately, much of the criticism of FIRE’s reporting from the OU AAUP and others omits this understanding, falsely claiming that FIRE advocates for “an anything-goes approach in the classroom” or an “absolutist view of speech rights at the expense of other interests.”