Free speech angle in police escort story was misguided

by Beacon Staff • April 11, 2007

We wish to express concern about the tone and framing of the March 29 Beacon story concerning the actions of a student in Prof. Victoria LoCascio's OP 100 class and the subsequent involvement of campus police.

The Beacon's story treats this as an example of a student's free speech being curtailed.,Dear Editor,

We wish to express concern about the tone and framing of the March 29 Beacon story concerning the actions of a student in Prof. Victoria LoCascio's OP 100 class and the subsequent involvement of campus police.

The Beacon's story treats this as an example of a student's free speech being curtailed. However, individual "free speech" is never absolute; it must always be balanced against the greater good and the potential harm an individual's actions may do to others.

A professor has the right and the duty to manage a classroom in order to facilitate productive learning for all the students. In some cases, this may mean asking a disruptive student to change behavior or leave the class.

We recognize these are complex issues and we hope the entire campus community-faculty, students, and administration-can engage in discussions about appropriate responses to inappropriate conduct.

-Philip Glenn and Michael Weiler

Faculty

The Department of Organizational and Political Communication