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calendar   Tuesday - October 16, 2007

Thought Crimes In Academia

So its come to this.  If a student expresses his opinion and it doesn’t match up with the opinions of his betters, then he is immediately removed from the student population and remanded to a mental health “professional” for “evaluation” before being allowed to co-mingle with the rest of the sheep in the fold.

Unbelievable.

Hamline University Student Suspended After Advocating Concealed Carry for Students
School Orders Psychological Evaluation
October 10, 2007

FIRE Press Release

ST. PAUL, Minn., October 10, 2007—Hamline University has suspended a student after he sent an e-mail suggesting that the Virginia Tech massacre might have been stopped if students had been allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus. Student Troy Scheffler is now required to undergo a mandatory “mental health evaluation” before being allowed to return to school. Scheffler, who was suspended without due process just two days after sending the e-mail, has turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help.

“Hamline’s punishment of Troy Scheffler is severe, unfair, and apparently unwarranted,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “Peacefully advocating for students’ ability to carry a concealed weapon as a response to the Virginia Tech shootings may be controversial, but it simply does not justify ordering a mandatory psychological evaluation.”

On April 17, 2007, Hamline’s Vice President of Student Affairs, David Stern, sent an e-mail to the campus community offering extra counseling for Hamline students in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings. Later that day, Scheffler responded directly to Stern, arguing that Virginia Tech’s ban on concealed weapons was part of the problem and advocating that Hamline eliminate its similar policies. Scheffler also wrote that the university’s diversity programs may have angered some in the student body, himself included.

On April 19, 2007, Hamline University President Linda Hanson e-mailed the campus community again to address the tragedy at Virginia Tech. Scheffler responded directly to Hanson and again criticized the university’s concealed weapons ban, academic standards, financial policies, and the university’s efforts to promote diversity.

Hanson replied to Scheffler on Friday, April 20, offering him a chance to meet with university personnel to discuss his views the following week. Yet on Monday, April 23, before Scheffler was even able to respond to Hanson’s invitation, he received a hand-delivered letter from Dean of Students Alan Sickbert notifying him that his e-mails to Stern and Hanson were “deemed to be threatening and thus an alleged violation of the Hamline University Judicial Code.”

Sickbert’s letter also informed Scheffler that he was being placed on immediate “interim suspension” that could not be lifted unless he agreed to a “mental health evaluation” by a licensed mental health professional.

FIRE wrote to President Hanson on May 29, 2007, vehemently opposing the sanctions against Scheffler, since neither of Scheffler’s e-mails even came close to meeting the legal definition of a “threat.” FIRE also pointed out that Hamline maintains a “Freedom of Expression and Inquiry” policy that encourages the public expression of opinions and the freedom to examine and discuss all questions of interest. FIRE wrote that “it is difficult to reconcile these admirable commitments to freedom of expression with Hamline’s hasty actions against Scheffler.”

FIRE also informed Hamline administrators that subjecting Scheffler to a mandatory psychological evaluation poses a grave threat to liberty at Hamline. FIRE wrote, “A psychological evaluation, to be overseen by a Hamline administrator, is one of the most invasive and disturbing intrusions upon Scheffler’s individual right to private conscience imaginable. Because Scheffler has shown no proclivity toward violence and has made no threatening comments, this psychological evaluation seeks to assess his political opinions….”

H/T: SayUncle


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/16/2007 at 01:50 PM   
Filed Under: • Colleges-ProfessorsEducationOutrageousStoopid-People •  
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