Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Kentucky Literature Prof Removed for Vandalizing Pro-life Display

The sequence of events is:
  1. A group of professors at Northern Kentucky University (NKU) formed a group calling itself "Educators for Reproductive Freedom." They gave a group of lectures on campus, lectures that presented the view that abortion ought to remain legal on demand and without apology.
  2. A number of dismayed students formed a group calling itself "Northern Right to Life." This group sought and obtained university approval as a student group.
  3. Northern Right to Life then sought and got approval to create a "cemetary for the innocents," consisting of 400 small white crosses on a campus lawn.
  4. Sally Jacobsen (presumably a PhD), Professor of Literature, saw the display from the window of a classroom where she was conducting a class. She called a break--I don't know whether this was a regularly scheduled break or not--and, during that break, encouraged her students to "express their freedom-of-speech rights to destroy the display." Indeed she did more than that. She joined them in the vandalism, to the extent of tearing down the sign describing the mock cemetary while her students were pulling up the crosses and throwing them into a nearby trash can. While they were doing this, a photographer from the campus newspaper, The Northerner, took a picture.
  5. University police, arriving on the scene, notified a dean. Somewhere in the process, someone notified Northern RTL. They came back to campus to retrieve and replant as many crosses as they could. They now plan a vigil--that is to say, a stakeout--to protect the display against any renewed attempt to destroy it.
  6. And now Sally Jacobsen has been placed on immediate administrative leave and been told to retire from the university.
The President of NKU has officially expressed his complete disapproval of Prof. Jacobsen's actions. Furthermore, Northern RTL is seeking to file charges against Prof. Jacobsen and those of her students who pulled up those crosses. This article in The Northerner gives further details.

Finally, when a conservative-themed display comes under attack, the campus cops, deans, and president react as they should. It's good to see.

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