weird law

Friday, March 25th, 2005

Here’s something from the Independent Florida Alligator via Discourse

Republicans on the House Choice and Innovation Committee voted along party lines Tuesday to pass a bill that aims to stamp out leftist totalitarianism by dictator professors in the classrooms of Floridas universities.

The Academic Freedom Bill of Rights, sponsored by Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, passed 8-to-2 despite strenuous objections from the only two Democrats on the committee.

The bill has two more committees to pass before it can be considered by the full House.

While promoting the bill Tuesday, Baxley said a university education should be more than one biased view by the professor, who as a dictator controls the classroom, as part of a misuse of their platform to indoctrinate the next generation with their own views.

Bad law is often discussed on this site but this bill is a nice example of Composition’s concentration at this point of the semester on cause and effect analysis. What would happen given the passage of such a law?

Here’s more

According to a legislative staff analysis of the bill, the law would give students who think their beliefs are not being respected legal standing to sue professors and universities.

Students who believe their professor is singling them out for public ridicule  for instance, when professors use the Socratic method to force students to explain their theories in class  would also be given the right to sue.

Some professors say, Evolution is a fact. I dont want to hear about Intelligent Design (a creationist theory), and if you dont like it, theres the door, Baxley said, citing one example when he thought a student should sue.

Questions:

How would a court establish degrees here? A student might always say, “You don’t respect enough.” This is classic irony. Students in general aren’t typically as up as the teacher is on the subject. How would they know, therefore, what the alternative arguments are–hence, what would form the basis of a lawsuit? “The professor didn’t want to talk about trig. He wanted to talk calc.”

In the latter example, I don’t know of any scientist who would argue that Evo is a “fact.” That reflects a misunderstanding again of method; and it’s not the issue. And why would the scientist enter into a discussion over ID given that there’s really nothing evidenciary to relate the idea to. Such a subject, perfectly fine for religion class and British Literature, would be misconduct in the biology classroom.

Dare I say that I question the competence of such lawmakers. Such a law would be totalitarian in and of itself because it doesn’t conduct freedom. It inhibits it in the spirit of cynicism. Blake would roll in his grave.


One response to “weird law”

  1. Adam Szychowski says:

    ” ‘The critics ridicule me for daring to stand up for students and faculty,’ he said, adding that he was called a McCarthyist.

    “Baxley later said he had a list of students who were discriminated against by professors, but refused to reveal names because he felt they would be persecuted. ”

    The irony is borderline-horrific.