Latest News and Commentary: National

June 6, 2022
By Ilya Shapiro
Wall Street Journal

Excerpt: After a four-month investigation into a tweet, the Georgetown University Law Center reinstated me last Thursday. But after full consideration of the report I received later that afternoon from the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Affirmative Action, or IDEAA, and on consultation with counsel and trusted advisers, I concluded that remaining in my job was untenable.

June 6, 2022
By Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

Excerpt: Today, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education becomes the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression.

America’s leading defender of free speech, due process, and academic freedom in higher education is expanding its free speech mission beyond campus. The $75 million expansion initiative will focus on three main areas of programming: litigation, public education, and research.

June 5, 2022
By Lana Cohen
Portland Press Herald

Excerpt: About 50 people gathered in the fluorescent-lit basement of the Bible Believing Baptist Church late last month to hear a series of speakers warn about “the hyper-sexualization of school children” and “the left’s scorched-earth war against sacred sexuality.”

The nation’s culture wars are being fought in school board meetings and classrooms. And conservative attacks on teachers and lessons about race, gender identity and sexuality have become part of a Republican strategy that’s energizing voters frustrated with COVID protocols and fearful about what their children are being taught in school. Educators and students are caught in the crossfire.

June 3, 2022
By Mira Sydow
The Nation

Excerpt: The nearly 650 comments on the Young America’s Foundation’s April 6 tweet are laced with venom. The post is a video of Lukas Tucker, a first-year student at the University of North Carolina–Greensboro (UNCG) who filmed a peacekeeping message to the university community ahead of Ben Shapiro’s visit to campus. “This is an illness.” “Another fatherless child.” “Freak.”

Despite his call for civility, Tucker faces unrelenting online harassment for his identity—and he’s not alone.

June 3, 2022
By Marybeth Gasman

Excerpt: Ellen Schrecker has been writing about American higher education for decades and is an expert on McCarthyism. She is the author of important books such as No Ivory Tower: McCarthyism and the Universities as well as Many Are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Her newest book is The Lost Promise: American Universities in the 1960s (University of Chicago Press, 2021).

Although it may seem to readers that Schrecker’s book is perfectly timed for the decade we are living in, she began writing the book years ago, before the unrest, political upheaval, and threats to free speech on campuses that have happened recently.

June 3, 2022
By Jonah Wu
Stanford Review

Excerpt: For thirty-five years, the Review has documented the repression of students’ heterodox ideas. Recently, however, professors who challenge progressive ideology are now being increasingly targeted. They have fewer job prospects, often bear visible hostility, and even risk losing tenure. Students are not only less willing to accept instruction that does not conform with progressive orthodoxy — they feel psychologically threatened by it.

A recent Daily piece denouncing Stanford COMPLIT123 Professor Joan Resina for supposed discrimination in class is a prime example of this concerning phenomenon. The facts clearly show that Resina was not discriminatory. Despite this, the Stanford administration and the Division of Languages and Literatures refuse to defend Resina and remain embarrassingly docile to students’ demands.

June 3, 2022
By Samuel Abrams
RealClear Education

Excerpt: Ideally, American public schools are settings where young Americans develop into citizens and become socialized to particular ideas, values, and civic norms. Attitudes toward democracy and disagreement are forged in these spaces. In this context, the findings of the Knight Foundation’s just-released report on high schoolers’ attitudes toward free speech should worry us. The report, part of the Knight Foundation’s Future of the First Amendment project, finds that high school students censor themselves at levels currently seen on collegiate campuses.

There is some good news in the Knight report, however. The data powerfully illustrate that Gen Z high school students today are open to free speech and do not support cancel culture or the rampant censorship that threatens learning and viewpoint diversity.

June 2, 2022
By Albert Eisenberg
RealClear Politics

Excerpt: Just as the Black Lives Matter movement was gaining national prominence, a witch hunt-style cancellation of Harvard’s most prominent and promising black professor was taking place. Harvard’s suppression of Professor Roland Fryer, newly exposed in a 2022 film by documentarian Rob Montz and a score of articles from prominent thinkers such as Glenn Loury and Stuart Taylor (who wrote about this issue at RealClearEducation and appears in Montz’s documentary), is an egregious example of hypocrisy at work.

The story must be seen to be believed, because Fryer is exactly the type of academic whom elite institutions claim to champion. Abandoned by his mother shortly after birth and raised by his alcoholic father, his arrival and accomplishments at Harvard are an incredible success story.

June 2, 2022
By Joe Killian and Lynn Bonner
NC Policywatch

Excerpt: On Wednesday night, after the state Senate voted to approve House Bill 755, the “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” State Rep. Cecil Brockman sounded exhausted. “I can’t believe this is what we’re talking about right now in our short session,” said Brockman, a Guilford County Democrat and vice-chair of the house standing committee on K-12 education. “It shows the complete wrong priorities when it comes to education in North Carolina.”

Brockman, a Black Democat and one of only a handful of out LGBTQ state lawmakers, said Republicans see a rare opportunity to score with non-white voters.

June 2, 2022
By Lauren Lumpkin
The Washington Post

Excerpt: A Georgetown Law administrator who was placed on paid administrative leave this year for his tweets about President Biden’s promise to nominate a Black woman for the Supreme Court has been cleared after a months-long investigation, officials said Thursday.

School investigators found that Ilya Shapiro, who was set to lead the Center for the Constitution starting in February, was not “properly subject to discipline” for his January tweets because they were posted before his employment started, William M. Treanor, the law school’s dean, said in an email to the campus.