Class Is for Making Political Speeches

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Not for learning, apparently. Student Sues, Says Prof Called Him a “Fascist Bastard” reports on a student, Jonathan Lopez, who claims his professor, John Matteson, called him a “fascist bastard” and refused to let him finish his speech against gay marriage during a public speaking class.

Why, how dare the teacher not let him finish his speech! How dare he not be allowed to, er, “express his faith” in class. Why, why, it’s a violation of the student’s civil liberties! He should use the power of the fascist state and the state’s fascist laws against the teacher, who has not initiated aggression against him, because he was, um, called a fascist …

I don’t know what kind of worthless degrees these sniveling Gen-Y punks are pursuing nowadays, but I am certain that when I was studying electrical engineering there wasn’t time for this nonsense.Update: I’ve gotten a few comments and objections already. One said that given that it was a public speaking class, “there is no legitimate reason he should have been prevented from finishing his speech.” The reason is that this is the rule laid down by the teacher. The classroom is not the place for trying to proselytize; it’s boorish to do this to a captive audience.

Another comment: since this was a state school, it “should have no right to determine what kind of political stands the student can take in a speech.” Be this as it may, it still doesn’t justify the student’s wasting his and the teacher’s time and money on the lawsuit stunt. You know, most of the serious students I knew in college didn’t have time to run around filing lawsuits against their teachers to “vindicate their rights.” Further, given that it is a state school, the student is a welfare-recipient parasite on the taxpayer who should have no right to set the rules for what is done in class either.

In addition, let me be clear: my comment has nothing to do with whether I agree or not with what the kid was saying.

Another comment was that the student had the right to have and express that opinion, since he was not violating anyone’s rights. But the teacher didn’t either. Why should this student sic the ravenous dogs of the state on this innocent man? Shouldn’t he be studying instead? Isn’t it bad enough this kid is soaking the taxpayer already–does he have to do it again by using the tax-funded court system to harass and damage this poor teacher?

(BTW, it’s also quite possible the teacher felt that allowing the student’s religious screed could be an excuse for others to whine that they were subjected to hate speech etc.–so this is what teaching has become, juggling litigation risk? Leave the poor teacher alone.)

11:04 pm on February 17, 2009