OU prof responds to FIRE: Speech in classroom is 'different than freedom of speech'

Ben Zeisloft
Campus Reform

Excerpt: A University of Oklahoma professor recently criticized the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for leaving instructors "vulnerable," while also arguing that there exists a distinction between free speech and academic freedom.
“Speech inside the classroom is different than freedom of speech,” Julie Ward told The Oklahoma Daily. “It isn’t suppressing someone’s free speech if they are being disruptive or making it impossible for other students to learn."

The Oklahoma Daily, the university’s student newspaper, covered the incident on July 7.  In that article, Ward also told the outlet that the effects of FIRE’s article "leave faculty members vulnerable.” She added, “It’s really important to note the instructors whose names and photographs have been plastered on national media and who have been receiving a deluge of hate mail are instructors who do not have tenure, so they’re the most vulnerable employees of the instructors.”