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Professor Who Called Students ‘Vectors of Disease’ in Video Is Suspended
01-22-2022, 05:38 PM (This post was last modified: 01-22-2022 07:08 PM by David Lockmiller.)
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RE: Professor Who Called Students ‘Vectors of Disease’ in Video Is Suspended
(01-21-2022 07:55 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.


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 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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RE: Professor Who Called Students ‘Vectors of Disease’ in Video Is Suspended - David Lockmiller - 01-22-2022 05:38 PM

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