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Can’t Stop The Signal – UW-Stout Caves

Can’t Stop The Signal – UW-Stout Caves

Facing legal action and Internet backlash, University of Wisconsin-Stout has decided to retract their decision to force a professor to take down controversial Firefly and anti-fascism posters:

 In retrospect, however, it is clear that the removal of the posters – although done with the best intent – did have the effect of casting doubt on UW-Stout’s dedication to the principles embodied in the First Amendment, especially the ability to express oneself freely. As many people have pointed out in the days since this issue surfaced, a public university must take the utmost care to protect this right.

Therefore, UW-Stout has reconsidered its decision to remove the two posters from outside the professor’s office, meaning he can display them if he so chooses.

The administration also is reviewing its procedures for handling these kinds of cases, and a new protocol is being developed in the hopes that a similar situation can be avoided in the future. Furthermore, the UW-Stout Center for Applied Ethics will schedule workshops and/or forums during this academic year on First Amendment rights and responsibilities in higher education.

Another 1st Amendment victory for FIRE and Internet activism.

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Comments

“…. it is clear that the removal of the posters – although done with the best intent (NOT)– did have the effect of casting doubt (justifiably so) on UW-Stout’s dedication to the principles embodied in the First Amendment, especially the ability to express oneself freely.

Bold comments are mine.

Weaselly words said by weasels caught being weaselly hoping that no one noticed them being weaselly. HAH!

This is a rare statement in these days of lockstep leftist ideology. Keep up the good work FIRE. Perhaps by the time my children are old enough to go to college it will be worth sending them.

Well, it only took them two or three tries but they finally got to the right point. Frankly, I suspect they got to the right place for the wrong reasons though…

That non-apology they posted has about a 97% Weasel content. (Actual apology contents may have settled during shipping)

I would be willing to bet cash, if the University required a student to apologize for something they did, and the student turned in something like this, it would be rejected out of hand.

Grade: D-

What about the “new protocol” being developed? That was artfully inserted. I’d be willing to bet it will be strict rules about what you may and may not post on your office door!

    What about the “new protocol” being developed?

    Exactly. The Administration was obviously shamed into backing away from their juvenile reaction of arbitrarily tearing down the posters and threatening the professor with criminal sanctions!

    They no doubt sought and received legal advice pointing out that they were going to lose the issue in a way that would not only significantly embarrass them, but would also subject the institution to potential monetary loss.

    “Protocol” is an intriguing, and maybe even an odd or tricky choice of words, as it can refer to a variety of concepts in different contexts.

    For example, a clinical protocol refers to an accepted method or guideline for the proper pursuit of research.

    In the world of international politics, it can refer to either the etiquette of diplomacy, or legally, an international agreement itself — two significantly different concepts.

    In computer communications, protocols have come to stand for generally accepted communications procedures.

    My own sense is that in a “rights” context, the word might have an ambiguous meaning at best, and perhaps would be one that does not easily lend itself to clarity in rights analysis.

    Given the abject failure of the first effort by the UW-Stout school administration, I’d be inclined to ask why they feel there is any need at this point for them to begin formulating free speech “protocols” at all!

Shiny.

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