Friday, April 14, 2006

Free Speech Okay If She Agrees With Speakers

From The Enquirer:
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS - A professor at Northern Kentucky University said she invited students in one of her classes to destroy an anti-abortion display on campus Wednesday evening.

NKU police are investigating the incident, in which 400 crosses were removed from the ground near University Center and thrown in trash cans. The crosses, meant to represent a cemetery for aborted fetuses, had been temporarily erected last weekend by a student Right to Life group with permission from NKU officials.

Public universities cannot ban such displays because they are a type of symbolic speech that has been protected by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sally Jacobsen, a longtime professor in NKU's literature and language department, said the display was dismantled by about nine students in one of her graduate-level classes.

"I did, outside of class during the break, invite students to express their freedom-of-speech rights to destroy the display if they wished to," Jacobsen said.
Jacobsen went on to compare the crosses to Nazi swastikas, an odd twist of reasoning to say the least.

The Northern Kentucky University administration seems to be taking the incident seriously. President James Votruba said that if Jacobsen participated, even if only as an instigator (which she appears to have already admitted), that it could have consequences for her employment, beyond possible vandalism charges.

The vandalism was against the Bill of Rights. An appropriate punishment would be for Jacobsen and her brown shirts to replace the display, under the supervision of the group that originally conceived and created it.