I had to. Because I like writing letters to famous people who can hurt me in oh so amny ways if they only cared to. Dennis Baxley is the man who created the bill in my last column and I couldn't let this pass by without a thoughtful note to him. So far, I have received a personal response from only one "famous" person that I have written to. It was not Baxley or anyone I have referred to so far on my blog. But here's hoping:
I'm not from your state. I live on the other shore. And I don't expect or even presume to have any say in how you and your fellow politicians run your state. But I was alarmed to read that you wish to impinge on academia's freedom of speech, as it concerns teaching. If i read correctly, you think that students should have the right to sue their teachers if they feel their beliefs are being held in disregard. Do you mean to say that students have the right to sue for their tuition being repaid or at least a portion to cover said class? Or do you believe that any student can sue a teacher for emotional damages and compensation, because the student feels their voice is not being heard in a manner they see fit?If a teacher is talking about evolution in the Darwinian sense and a student wants to argue in favor of Creationism, do you want the student to have the right to sue if the teacher tells that student that Creationism is not what the class is about? Or not what the class is about at that given time? Do you want the student to have the power to shut the course down, because he or she feels they are being dismissed?Having read the text of your proposed bill I can't help but wonder if you are not in favor of the latter. Remember, please, that you are dealing with education and imprinting your moral values on such will only lead to chaos and disfavor. This is the sort of issue that most likely will haunt you in later years. I know that you would say nerts to politicking for future votes. Most politicians would claim that. But you should take the time to think this over in a sober manner and decide slowly whether or not you should proceed further. Shutting down college teachers, because you think they discriminate against those of your philisophical ilk is an open invitation to anyone who has or will curry a grudge against a teacher. You think you will be able to control this if it's passed, but you don't consider the legal system thoroughly. Just as your party claims to hate tort lawyers, so you will open the floodgates for them.Think before you push this bill. Those who complain the loudest in the halls of learning are usually those who have no wish to excel.