Duke Profs Reportedly Behind Student-Led Harassment of Guest Speaker

And we could expect no less from our fine, outstanding, bastions of higher education.

(AgapePress) – A conservative columnist is criticizing Duke University for taking no punitive action against three feminist professors who attempted to talk 20 students into stripping during the middle of a speech by conservative activist David Horowitz on campus.
Earlier this month, the group of students — led by professors Diane Nelson, Caroline Light, and Jocelyn Alcott — repeatedly interrupted one of the largest student-sponsored speeches in Duke history. The three professors originally urged a group of 20 male and female students to remove their shirts during the speech, but later decided the protesters would laugh repeatedly throughout the event and harangue the speaker.
The protest against David Horowitz, according to FrontPageMag.com writer Ben Johnson, violated Duke’s own faculty handbook, yet the university has only said it is investigating the matter. Johnson, who has written a column on the incident called “Red-Faced at Duke,” explains that the handbook instructs faculty to “protect the exercise of [academic freedom] from disruption or interference,” and states that “substitution of noise for speech and force for reason is a rejection and not an application of academic freedom.”
“If you want to have a speech of your own to counter that, that’s fine,” says the columnist. “But the answer to free speech is more speech. It’s not shouting down the speaker, which is what these three professors chose to do.” The faculty handbook specifies that staff members who violate the guidelines outlined in the faculty handbook could face possible termination of employment.
Johnson also addresses the original plans for the protest, pointing out the actions of one of the professors involved. “Diane Nelson had sent out an e-mail in advance that said what they wanted to do, at a certain time; they wanted to have the men wear nothing underneath these protest shirts,” he explains. According to Johnson, the shirts that were to be worn made reference to one of Horowitz’s books, titled The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America.
“[Nelson] … wanted to have the women wear bras underneath the tee shirts, and [then] at a certain point [in the speech] they would stand up and flash David Horowitz,” he adds.
Johnson says Duke’s willingness to allow the disruptive protest and its unwillingness to punish those involved indicates the school is no different than other prestigious universities he describes as “far to the left of the American mainstream.”

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