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More Campus Craziness

January 13, 2020 Frontpage No Comments

By DEACON MIKE MANNO, JD

And so here we go again. Anyone who thought the New Year would be free from educational idiocy needs to think again.
Campus Reform is reporting that at Rutgers University-New Brunswick a student was told not to use Scripture in an academic paper. The student was given the assignment to write an autobiographical paper in his “Intro to Gender, Race, and Sexuality” class last semester. In the paper, the student cited a close friend who struggled with his own sexual identity whose mother continued to cite Bible verses to her son about the dangers of homosexual activity.
The student supported his friend and in response to the mother’s use of Scripture quoted John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Receiving a B+ for the assignment by Professor Kathe Sandler, the student noted that there were only two critical comments made on the paper, and one was: “Avoid quoting scripture in academic papers unless you are commenting on scripture.”
Asking for an explanation, Sandler reminded the student of the “separation of church and state” and said that the Bible “may not be for everyone.” When he asked if Sandler found the use of Scripture offensive, she replied, “I think for instance this wouldn’t work for a Muslim or Jewish person.”
She continued by asking, “Do you need the scriptures? Do you really need the scripture? I think you could work without the scripture.” Kind of interesting since the student was using Scripture to defend his friend’s sexual discomfort from biblical based attacks. Well, I guess that is becoming par for the course in academia these days.
But, rest assured, this is only the tip of the lunacy iceberg found on college campuses today. A few years ago a professor at the Art Institute of Chicago, Adam Greteman, argued in favor of using art education to help “kids turn out queer.” The professor, who lists himself as a “queer scholar,” wrote in an article published in the Journal of Studies in Art Education, “This article explores the possibilities of queer theory in art education, and I playfully, perhaps provocatively, ask how art education can help kids turn out queer,” he wrote.
He listed several ways this could be accomplished: implementing queer art lessons, embracing a queer agenda, and using queer affirmation strategies to help LGBTQ students feel more included. Campus Reform noted that in his faculty biography, Greteman wrote, “My work is influenced by an eclectic array of modes of inquiry, including queer, feminist, and trans theories, pragmatism, Marxism, and post-structural ethics.” Whatever that means.
Had enough? Whoa, Cowboy, not so fast.
Again, a few years back, a University of Texas professor has called for the “queering of higher education itself” by making teachers incorporate “gay role models” into their curricula. Professor Frank Dykes, with educator John Delport, wrote that the lack of “gay role models” sends the “message that heterosexuality is the only normal sexuality” which results in subjecting students to “heterosexual norms.” They also suggested using children’s books to include examples of homosexual and lesbian families to prepare (indoctrinate?) future teachers of young children.
They then argued that educators should be careful about promoting religious freedom in schools since it “is often a tool used to exclude and avoid talking about LGBTQ issues.”
And, an education professor at the University of Iowa, Jodi Linley, has committed her classes to deconstructing whiteness, arguing that not to do so would make her complicit in perpetuating white supremacy. “As a white assistant professor of mostly white graduate students who will become higher education leaders, I work to dismantle whiteness in my curriculum, assignments, and pedagogy,” she wrote.
So, what does all this mean to today’s college students? Observe:
Last year Swarthmore College offered a course, “Queering God.” In it the Bible was viewed by both a feminist and a queer perspective which sought to find God’s gender identity. Themes of the course, taught by Professor Gwynn Kessler, included: “Stretches the limits of gendering and sexing the divine.” The college has a companion course, “Queering the Bible,” focusing on the Bible itself.
The University of Kentucky offered a course, “Angry White Male Studies,” which focuses on the role of “dominant and subordinate masculinities.” Apparently the course satisfies the university’s humanities requirements and is somehow connected to feminism, racism, homosexuality, and transgenderism, or so says the course description.
South Carolina has a state requirement that colleges offer a course on the U.S. Constitution. Again, according to Campus Reform, “The former USC president claims that the students already learned enough about the constitution through voluntary courses offered, so the required course is ‘archaic’ and need not be offered.” Yet, courses such as Beginning Belly Dancing, Tailgating 101, and anime writing are offered.
Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, told Campus Reform: “The University of South Carolina offers a fair number of intellectually frivolous courses, some of them meant to appeal to students who do not take academic life very seriously. That is a shame for them, their parents, and the taxpayers who subsidize the university.”
Stetson University Law School offers “The Mueller Investigation and Beyond,” which examines the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel, his investigation and results. It is taught by a professor, Ellen Podgor, who doesn’t believe Donald Trump legally won the 2016 election. I wonder if a book of MSNBC commentaries is used as the text.
But the lunacy isn’t limited to just the classroom, as shown below, and everyone on campus must be smoking the same thing.
The College Fix reports that a UCLA assistant professor of urban planning, Kian Goh, says that California is doomed — the culprit: home ownership. “If we want to keep cities safe in the face of climate change, we need to seriously question the ideal of private homeownership,” says Goh. Since the Homestead Act of 1862 and government-backed mortgages, these policies have benefited the white middle class and “became synonymous with freedom and self-sufficiency” even though they represented “[e]xpansionist, individualist, and exclusionary patterns of housing.”
At Holy Cross, Manhattan Institute fellow and author Heather Mac Donald was interrupted by unruly students protesting her talk on the deteriorating state of higher education. The protesters arrived at the venue early and took up as many seats in the lecture hall as possible. About 15 minutes into her presentation, they stood up and started yelling “my oppression is not a delusion,” “your racism is not welcome,” and “you are not welcome.”
When Mac Donald raised the issue in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, headlined “Why Are College Students So Afraid of Me?,” Holy Cross’ dean of students, Michele Murray, responded by actually defending the protesters. “I would suggest to Ms. Mac Donald that the students who interrupted her talk for all of three minutes weren’t afraid of her, they just disagreed. [Their] education requires them to wrestle with a wide range of ideas which sometimes means engaging speakers with controversial messages, as with Ms. Mac Donald. And sometimes, it means making use of their own free speech to combat objectionable ideas.”
Nice example of the free exchange of ideas, Dean.
One more quick example before I turn off the light, but this is not from college but about more impressionable students.
In Des Moines, Iowa, a middle-school class was celebrating its good behavior and academic performance with a holiday pizza party given by its teacher at the end of the semester. The kids had been excitedly looking forward to the party. However, Principal Thomas Hoffman put an end to the party and confiscated the pizzas, saying that it was unfair to the students in other classrooms whose teachers did not offer a party to their students. Fairness, he said, “applies to everything from the chances they have to learn in the classroom to rewards and recognitions by our teachers and staff.”
And we wonder why we call them “professional” educators. It reminds me of the old saying: The Titanic was built by professionals, the Ark by amateurs. Think maybe we need more amateurs calling the shots in our schools?
You can reach Mike at: DeaconMike@q.com.

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