According to the Supreme Cout, our education system is extremely significant, and objectivism is key to our society. In the landmark 1957 case Sweezy v. New Hampshire, the court said the following “Teachers and students must always remain free to inquire …otherwise, our civilization will stagnate and die.” This statement is extremely significant, as freedom of expression and diversity of thought are no longer encouraged or supported in colleges throughout the country.
This investigative piece will analyze the current climate on our colleges and universities to determine if there is a correlation between bias educating and close-mindedness in the classroom. The goal is to ultimately help provide a clearer picture of how students react to diverse patterns of thought and challenging viewpoints.
Putting ourselves in the shoes of students who hold different perspectives to the status-quo, we see a clear trend. The Association of American Colleges & Universities conducted a large-scale study of unpopular beliefs on campus. The study found that a mere 30 percent of college seniors could openly “strongly Agree” with the question of “Is it safe to hold unpopular positions on this campus?”.
While this was disheartening, the confidence level of students to hold unpopular belief was shown to have a decline towards their senior year. The trend suggests some kind of shift in the students perspective that leads them to silence any dissent and hold beliefs that conform to an agenda.
If students shift from being open to diverse thought, to entirely closed off by their senior year, there may be a correlation with education bias. Scott Jaschik with Inside Higher-Ed analyzed recent trends from UCLA research on political ideology from 2007-2011. The study showed that 66.7 percent of full-time professors aligned themselves as liberal or far left. Supporting the claim that left-wing educating has entered lecture halls across the nation.
So we see the data, now let’s take a look at a perspective from those who are dealing with it. According to the Foundation For Individual rights In Education (FIRE), universities in America are “…under continuous threat at many of America’s campuses, pushed aside in favor of politics, comfort, or simply a desire to avoid controversy.” FIRE works to protect students rights on campus, but the fact that they openly state that universities many times take comfort over controversy backs up the statistics we’ve found.
Students face academic repercussions for holding opinions or pushing the boundaries of campus “Speech Codes”. Colleges are creating an environment that allows only certain perspectives, and forces students to conform to an indoctrinating PC Culture. This is seen clearly as conservative perspectives are shunned on campus and many times faced with an onslaught of criticism, harassment, physical attacks, and first amendment censorship.
Think you have the right to religious freedom on campus? Think again. Prager-U highlighted this in one of its educational videos stating that “an increasing number of schools are trying to drive religious students off campus.” They state that Vanderbilt University has enacted a policy that forbids faith-based student groups from selecting members and leaders based on . . . their faith. This explicit religious liberty censorship has resulted in 14 Christian groups being derecognized by the university.
Progressives wish to create an environment that supports “diversity”, but in actuality are creating a place that marginalizes anyone who disagrees with their agenda. Diversity in the terms of an American university is defined by liberalism and ideology that is not consistent with the ideals of this country. The fundamental roots of education have decayed to a point where diversity of thought is not a core principle in education, and conservatives are the new counter-culture. Universities have become a microcosm of a social system that is fundamentally archaic and regressive. Progressives are not progressive if they can’t handle opposition and different perspectives.
If the statistics, eyewitness accounts and research is not enough, one professor at the University of Missouri attacked a journalist for reporting on a campus protest. If Dr. Melissa Click holds any bearing on what is happening on our campuses, political neutrality among faculty is definitely nonexistent.
Among other incidences, a more local turn of events has occurred in which a professor utilized her authority to enforce a university speech code that was so ambiguous that administrators didn’t even fully understand it. Professor Margot Lovett destroyed over 270 dollars worth of student property which was intended to remember the events of 9/11 and various other terror attacks. The postings were placed in violation of a board policy that prevents postings outside of a designated free speech area. Lovett reacted to the posters referencing a “Stamping Policy” that is not even in existence. It should be noted that this particular professor has yet to face any type of reprimand as she was acting to enforce a district policy.
The students at Young Americans For Freedom created this memorial event which highlighted various attacks and utilized images of events that may have been uncomfortable for some people. While the images may cause discomfort, nothing within these could be defined as obscene. The problem with this is that whether one agrees with the students perspective or not, the actions of Lovett further support the statistics and analysis made by FIRE in regards to students rights.
In conclusion, there is reasonable evidence to support a claim that universities throughout the country have shifted their ideology to a politically partisan and biased education system. Professors at public universities create curriculums that form partisan aligning perspectives in their students. This is a topic which may not be covered by the mainstream media or others who do not see this as an issue since their ideology aligns with professors.
“To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.”
– Teddy Roosvelet
The words of the 26th US president are still as heavy and relevant today as they were in 1901. A human rights issue should always be covered, and it is imperative that journalists show the situation that is happening in our colleges and universities. Our ability to question and object in education is one of the most important aspects of growing a successful society. Without speech, we are much more likely to conform, and thus a nation crumbles.
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