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Professor Who Called Students ‘Vectors of Disease’ in Video Is Suspended
01-20-2022, 12:14 PM
Post: #16
RE: Professor Who Called Students ‘Vectors of Disease’ in Video Is Suspended
(01-19-2022 04:48 PM)Rob Wick Wrote:  The main issue stems from this seemingly never-ending battle between people who take COVID seriously and the selfish people who don't. I am fully vaccinated and have my booster and I still wear masks and take every precaution I can. I understand why this guy is so angry. We're talking about his life. He has every right to express himself this way.

Best
Rob

I agree with this paragraph except for the last sentence.

The professor would not have received the world's attention, and most certainly, he would not have received a correct response from the college administrators who had already made the overriding decision that the right of those students not vaccinated to attend classes in person was more important than were the professor's concerns for his life and well being.

And, the Professor's video directed to his students would not have received the world's attention except for the Professor's EXTREME vulgarity utilized to convey personal outrage to his students and college administrators.

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
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01-20-2022, 03:01 PM
Post: #17
RE: Professor Who Called Students ‘Vectors of Disease’ in Video Is Suspended
I didn't realize I was on a forum with a bunch of prudes. It's a good thing that Lincoln never used earthy humor or naughty words to make a point! Please excuse me while I pour myself a lemonade, given that I'm sure hard liquor is not welcome here.

While you're sipping your sarsaparilla, read this from the website of Ferris State University.

Although Ferris State University values a tolerant and civil campus environment, we cannot limit speech to only the inoffensive and comfortable. Sometimes we will need to agree to disagree, even when other's opinions anger, sadden, frustrate, hurt, or offend us. As stated in San Francisco State University v. Reed, 523 F. Supp. 2d 1005 (2007), "Controversial expression...is the First Amendment's highest duty to protect. By political definition, popular views need no protection. It is the unpopular notions that are in the greatest peril - and it was primarily to protect their expression that the First Amendment was adopted." Sharing, arguing and dissecting varying opinions and ideas help people learn from one another and aid in the formulation and solidification of our own views.

Evidently, Professor Mehler has threatened a lawsuit if he isn't reinstated soon. I hope he wins.

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Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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01-20-2022, 08:24 PM
Post: #18
RE: Professor Who Called Students ‘Vectors of Disease’ in Video Is Suspended
(01-20-2022 03:01 PM)Rob Wick Wrote:  I didn't realize I was on a forum with a bunch of prudes.

Evidently, Professor Mehler has threatened a lawsuit if he isn't reinstated soon. I hope he wins.

Best
Rob

My Post #7 reads:

Professor Mehler's response was EXTREME in vulgarity, and I believe needlessly so.

But when one is given the "No Choice" choice by college administrators of teaching students not vaccinated or losing your employment permanently for refusing to do so at 74 years of age (and possibly in poor health), your options for complaint are few.




The words of extreme vulgarity were obviously directed to those students who decide they don’t care “whether Grandpa [or Professor Mehler] lives or dies."

Those students who agree with the Professor's justification for complaints and plan to attend classes online also have to hear those extremely vulgar words, although the criticism is not directed to themselves.

If your daughter or son was a freshman who signed up for Professor Mehler's class, would you want these particular words to be the proper introduction to college life?

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
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01-20-2022, 09:07 PM
Post: #19
RE: Professor Who Called Students ‘Vectors of Disease’ in Video Is Suspended
Quote:If your daughter or son was a freshman who signed up for Professor Mehler's class, would you want these particular words to be the proper introduction to college life?

My daughter or son would be well aware of those (and many other) words before heading to college. I wouldn't care.

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Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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01-21-2022, 06:20 AM
Post: #20
RE: Professor Who Called Students ‘Vectors of Disease’ in Video Is Suspended
Rob, I'm sure all (ok, most of them anyway) of our mothers would have had heard of those words. But I dont think we would have dared use them in their presence. We would be happy to hear a 7 year-old use such words? I wouldnt. The whole point of using words like that is their relative rarity and relevance. In the correct situation they serve a purpose. But over-use and for shock effect makes them near pointless or even counter-productive (we only remember the words but forget the context).

Its true that most of the young people listening to that old man would have been very familiar with the words. But perhaps 5% could have been genuinely shocked and even distressed (for example if they came from a religious background). Thats why TV and radio still maintain a bit of control over such words.

Finally, I'd suggest that anybody wanting to make a strong argument about something about which they care deeply must maintain control. Otherwise they appear foolish and fail.

“The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor,
Is king o' men for a' that” Robert Burns
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01-21-2022, 08:53 AM
Post: #21
RE: Professor Who Called Students ‘Vectors of Disease’ in Video Is Suspended
(01-20-2022 03:01 PM)Rob Wick Wrote:  I didn't realize I was on a forum with a bunch of prudes. It's a good thing that Lincoln never used earthy humor or naughty words to make a point! Please excuse me while I pour myself a lemonade, given that I'm sure hard liquor is not welcome here.

I get it now. We are at fault because we find someone's language offensive and inappropriate. In this case, a teacher. I am not going to apologize in this case for being a "prude", rather some of us have standards for appropriate behavior.
It seems the school spoke also. They didn't use the same language as Prof Mehler, but he didn't like what they had to say. Maybe you can offer him a refreshing glass of lemonade.

Sorry Rob, but I've seen this spin cycle before. Usually with a washing machine trying to clean dirty laundry
For those of us old enough to know better, to many times "agreeing to disagree" under the best of circumstances, leads to mediocrity

As for Lincoln's language, I understand he was a bit more selective of the circumstances and audience when and how he used it.

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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01-21-2022, 09:37 AM
Post: #22
RE: Professor Who Called Students ‘Vectors of Disease’ in Video Is Suspended
I don't see it as a question of fault, Gene. I just find it ironic that on a forum dedicated to a man who was well known for smutty stories and use of adult language, that people here would have such a problem. You are more than free to live your life according to your standards and to raise your family with those same standards, and I will support you 100 percent. However, you are not free to demand that I also follow those standards if I don't agree with them just as you don't have to accept mine. And in going further toward your argument that context is important, I couldn't agree more. A tenured professor teaching in a public university has both academic freedom AND a constitutionally-protected right to say whatever he wants without the prior restraint of government. What the university said that Mehler violated is an overly broad and constitutionally-dubious restriction on his right of free speech. To me the answer is clear. If you want to be sure that nothing is said that will offend you or your family, then you are free to send your children to a private, religious college. When you send them to a public school, you pretty much take what you get.

By the way, is smut OK in a tavern full of lawyers and not at an ice cream social?

Mike, let's be more generous and say that as many as 20 percent of the students might find it shocking. Why do their beliefs take precedence over the 80 percent who don't? You mention television and radio standards, but you must realize that as society has changed, so too have those standards. You may decry the change that society has made (and again, that is your right), but just because you don't agree with it, doesn't mean you, or anyone else, can tell society at large that it is wrong for everyone. Otherwise, freedom of speech is meaningless.

Gentleman, I hope both of you have a good day.

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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01-21-2022, 01:12 PM (This post was last modified: 01-21-2022 01:44 PM by David Lockmiller.)
Post: #23
RE: Professor Who Called Students ‘Vectors of Disease’ in Video Is Suspended
(01-21-2022 09:37 AM)Rob Wick Wrote:  What the university said that Mehler violated is an overly broad and constitutionally-dubious restriction on his right of free speech.

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Rob

When and where did the university make this statement?

You made the following post yesterday:

While you're sipping your sarsaparilla, read this from the website of Ferris State University.

Although Ferris State University values a tolerant and civil campus environment, we cannot limit speech to only the inoffensive and comfortable. Sometimes we will need to agree to disagree, even when other's opinions anger, sadden, frustrate, hurt, or offend us. As stated in San Francisco State University v. Reed, 523 F. Supp. 2d 1005 (2007), "Controversial expression...is the First Amendment's highest duty to protect. By political definition, popular views need no protection. It is the unpopular notions that are in the greatest peril - and it was primarily to protect their expression that the First Amendment was adopted." Sharing, arguing and dissecting varying opinions and ideas help people learn from one another and aid in the formulation and solidification of our own views.



Professor Mehler was given the "No Choice" choice by college administrators that he would be required to teach in person students not vaccinated, in accordance with the discretionary decision of the college administrators, or being terminated permanently for refusing to do so at 74 years of age and possibly in poor health.

If Professor Mehler makes the wrong "No Choice" choice and contracts covid-19 one month later, could not the college argue in court that Professor Mehler surrendered all of his legal rights for damages in a federal civil rights lawsuit against the college by his voluntary acceptance to teach classes in the manner mandated by the college administrators?

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
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01-21-2022, 06:55 PM
Post: #24
RE: Professor Who Called Students ‘Vectors of Disease’ in Video Is Suspended
The university said that Mehler violated its Employee Dignity/Harrassment/Discrimination policy. The Foundation of Individual Rights in Education hired a lawyer to defend Mehler and sent the president of Ferris State University a letter. Be warned that the letter contains some words that some might find objectionable.

Best
Rob

https://www.thefire.org/fire-letter-ferr...y-17-2022/

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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01-22-2022, 04:38 PM (This post was last modified: 01-22-2022 06:08 PM by David Lockmiller.)
Post: #25
RE: Professor Who Called Students ‘Vectors of Disease’ in Video Is Suspended
(01-21-2022 06:55 PM)Rob Wick Wrote:  The university said that Mehler violated its Employee Dignity/Harrassment/Discrimination policy. The Foundation of Individual Rights in Education hired a lawyer to defend Mehler and sent the president of Ferris State University a letter. Be warned that the letter contains some words that some might find objectionable.

Best
Rob

https://www.thefire.org/fire-letter-ferr...y-17-2022/

Constitutionally, I find this all rather interesting, assuming I understand the facts correctly.

From the website of Ferris State University:

Although Ferris State University values a tolerant and civil campus environment, we cannot limit speech to only the inoffensive and comfortable. Sometimes we will need to agree to disagree, even when other's opinions anger, sadden, frustrate, hurt, or offend us. As stated in San Francisco State University v. Reed, 523 F. Supp. 2d 1005 (2007), "Controversial expression...is the First Amendment's highest duty to protect. By political definition, popular views need no protection. It is the unpopular notions that are in the greatest peril - and it was primarily to protect their expression that the First Amendment was adopted." Sharing, arguing and dissecting varying opinions and ideas help people learn from one another and aid in the formulation and solidification of our own views.

This seems to be an admission by Ferris State University that Professor Mehler's January 9 video speech to the students in his five history classes was protected as a First Amendment right.

However, "[o]n January 11, Ferris State placed Mehler on administrative leave pending an investigation into allegations that Mehler's video violated the university's "Employee and Student Dignity Policy."

Thus, on the same set of facts, the University is making the argument that action by the University that is admittedly prohibited by provisions of the First Amendment
to the United States Constitution is permitted by enforcement of the university's "Employee and Student Dignity Policy."

The FIRE letter to the University notes on page 4:

"It has long been settled law that the First Amendment is binding on public universities like Ferris State. (Healy v. James, 408 U.S. 169, 180 (1972)) Accordingly, the decisions and actions of a public university - including the pursuit of disciplinary actions (Papish v Bd. of Curators of the Univ. of Mo. 410 U.S. 667-68, (1973)) - must be consistent with the First Amendment.

However, it would appear that the students of Professor Mehler may have made a First Amendment statement of their own.

Professor Mehler noted:

"On Tuesday morning I found most of the students in my class showed up despite the video . . . ."

Perhaps many of those students were expressing to Professor Mehler their displeasure with the unnecessary EXTREME vulgarity used by the Professor to express his complaints.

And, that action by the students is also a First Amendment right.

Good for them!!!!!!!

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
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01-22-2022, 07:25 PM
Post: #26
RE: Professor Who Called Students ‘Vectors of Disease’ in Video Is Suspended
Quote:Perhaps many of those students were expressing to Professor Mehler their displeasure with the unnecessary EXTREME vulgarity used by the Professor to express his complaints.

And, that action by the students is also a First Amendment right.

Good for them!!!!!!!

And, perhaps, they were also expressing their support for the professor. I'm not really sure what your point is here--no one would question that the students have a right to either protest or support the professor.

By the way, you certainly are free to call the professor's comments extreme, but to constantly put the word "extreme" in all caps only serves to make you appear foolish.

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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01-22-2022, 10:45 PM
Post: #27
RE: Professor Who Called Students ‘Vectors of Disease’ in Video Is Suspended
(01-22-2022 07:25 PM)Rob Wick Wrote:  
Quote:Perhaps many of those students were expressing to Professor Mehler their displeasure with the unnecessary EXTREME vulgarity used by the Professor to express his complaints.

And, that action by the students is also a First Amendment right.

Good for them!!!!!!!

And, perhaps, they were also expressing their support for the professor. I'm not really sure what your point is here--no one would question that the students have a right to either protest or support the professor.

By the way, you certainly are free to call the professor's comments extreme, but to constantly put the word "extreme" in all caps only serves to make you appear foolish.

Best
Rob

"On Tuesday morning I found most of the students in my class showed up despite the video . . . ."

How, in your bizarre way of thinking, are the students who attended the class on the first day "expressing their support for the professor" when he expressly requested that nobody attend in person that first class?

If you do not unquestionably support Professor Mehler by not attending class in person, you are the obscenely-descriptive type of person that Professor Mehler contends that you are . . . in Professor Mehler's way of thinking.

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
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01-22-2022, 10:55 PM
Post: #28
RE: Professor Who Called Students ‘Vectors of Disease’ in Video Is Suspended
In the first place David, I did not say they were. I said "perhaps, they were." I know that nuance often escapes you, so I will spell this out. My point is that for some strange reason you bring up that the students have a First Amendment right to protest, which is a point no one questioned or even suggested they didn't.

Sorry if you were confused.

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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01-23-2022, 07:15 AM
Post: #29
RE: Professor Who Called Students ‘Vectors of Disease’ in Video Is Suspended
With "rights" come responsibilities....... and consequences when those "rights" are not used in a responsible way.

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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01-23-2022, 08:24 AM
Post: #30
RE: Professor Who Called Students ‘Vectors of Disease’ in Video Is Suspended
(01-23-2022 07:15 AM)Gene C Wrote:  With "rights" come responsibilities....... and consequences when those "rights" are not used in a responsible way.

Who gets to determine what "responsible" means, though? You determine responsibility based on your interpretation of what makes actions right. I assume that is based on your religious beliefs. Given that I don't share those beliefs why should I or anyone else be bound by that.

Gene, this whole question boils down to this. If you don't like profanity then don't use it. Don't assume, however, that you or anyone else has the right to tell me that I can't. And don't forget what this was about in the first place. Cursing won't spread a life-threatening disease. Unvaccinated people can.

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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