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Sunday, May 6. 2018
Usually I regret whenever I'm flipping through channels of the car radio and come across NPR's pretty consistent litany of liberal and leftist commentators. So, I was amazed when I stumbled upon this show just now on my local NPR station. I heard the words University of Nebraska and hesitated to move on because a good friend graduated from there, so I was curious.
An hour radio show traced in detail the gross attacks by a faculty member upon a conservative student and the outcome: the faculty member was banned from teaching, the attempted coverup emails by the admin at U of Nebraska was exposed, and the state legislature may pass a free speech bill over the protests of the usual opponents of free speech for anyone but themselves. Yes, this triumph for free speech and students' rights on campus is out of the ordinary on campuses and in states and media dominated by the liberal left, but it can be a portent if enough determined conservatives and others of good conscience act.
The lengthy article upon which the NPR story is based appeared in, again of all places, the liberal Chrinicle of Higher Education. It is a MUST read. Here it is: "How a tiny protest at the U of Nebraska turned into a proxy war for the future of campus politics: State Of Conflict"
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I just heard a few minutes at the end of the broadcast, and not surprisingly, it sounded like they were trying to make the bullying, liberal teacher into the victim.
I haven't listened to NPR since Baxter Black ("cowboy poet, philosopher and large animal veterinarian") was on. I thought he was one of the funniest story tellers I'd ever heard -- classic dry Western humor. Got banned here many years ago. For being politically incorrect, I would guess.
Courtney Lawton, the teaching assistant who berated the conservative student, chose to not speak at a legislative hearing. Instead, an associate read her written statement, while Courtney Lawton sat silent in the audience.
"Speaking truth to power?" Courtney Lawton had the "courage" to address an undergrad sitting solo at a table outside by shouting at her and giving her the finger.
"Speaking truth to power" by directly addressing members of the state legislature? Not so much.
Courtney Lawton, simply put, is a bully.
Do we want bullies teaching students?
The article pointed out that Courtney Lawton is 46 years old. A 46-years old woman was shouting at and giving the finger to someone a generation younger for having the effrontery to disagree with her politics. [I am reminded of the 50-something City Council woman at University Place in Houston who harassed teenage girls for wearing MAGA caps.]
Not someone we want teaching students.
This may have a negative effect on 46 year old Courtney Lawton being able to land a faculty position when and if she finally gets her doctorate.
I hope so.
Senate Bill 339 passed in Georgia, which protects speech on campuses from being interrupted by opposition groups or individuals. No Democrat voted for it.
Great. So now we pass laws temporarily allowing the rights affirmed by their vastly higher legal authority. This, of course, is a feedback loop and in it eventually all law will become a transient, politically-motivated series of cross-linked and countering competitions. First theirs, then yours, then theirs, and so on.
This is what comes of the right's feckless maintenance of its birthright, it's only job. It was given a nation and said instead, here, hold my beer.
The conservative leadership never found a way to conserve anything but now I have Trump and the conservatives just can not figure out why that happened. The progressives listened to the Marxist theorists who claimed that Americans would not revolt over class but should instead focus on race and gender theory. Campuses are filled with Marxist ideology and that's where we find the Angela Davises, the Bill Ayers, and now Ms Lawton. Nobody should be surprised by any of the warfare going on now...and its just started.
Conservative leadership? For the last hundred years why would they not reflect their constituency?
Rightist voters are to blame.
Was Lawton a 46-year old graduate student or a teacher? The story doesn't make it clear, but it owes this disclosure to the reader: The latter is an authority figure to students, especially so when 25 years senior to them. Presenting Lawton as a student is disingenuous if she was also instructing in classrooms regularly.
I find the story is written to be deeply sympathetic to Lawton. Freedom of Speech includes the right to be obnoxious, but that's not the same thing as having a right to be obnoxious without consequences; including the right of an employer to prefer not to have you working for them, because you're, well, an obnoxious bully.
The real shame is that Professor Gailey was penalized at all, since she appears to have been a model of forbearance and civility. I'm sure Mullen would've spoken up in her defense. In any case it's good to see that she was exonerated by the University and I'd be interested to hear what she had to say at the hearing.
She's a grad student who also teaches classes. Or at least she taught classes until she ranted and raved. UNL English: Courtney Lawton
Courtney Lawton is a Ph.D. candidate in American Literature who specializes in Willa Cather, modernism, and digital humanities. She has collaborated to produce both a digital map of Nebraska's literary heritage, and a digital edition of Cather's April Twilights. She received her B.A. in French and English from the University of New Mexico, and her M.A. from St. John's College-Santa Fe.Master's from St. Johns? No dummie. But still obnoxious.
She taught high school for 13 years in New Mexico. I wonder what she would have thought of teachers who gave the finger to her high school students.
The real shame is that Professor Gailey was penalized at all..
Professor Gailey's behavior was investigated, which was the right thing to do. She suffered no negative consequences.
Courtney Lawton is the 46 year old grad student. She’s a jerk.
Dear Mr. Kessler:
Thank you for posting this story. It gives a breath of hope. I am writing to ask if you, or anyone at MF, has access to "facial recognition" software? I recognize Courtney Lawton from somewhere--just can't make the connection. My intuition tells me she was somehow connected to the lesbian community that exists in NM, AZ, WY, and NV. That face has been out there before and it would be helpful to know where. Perhaps, she spent time in WA state? Best,
Search engines readily indicate that Courtney Lawton is from New Mexico.
While I do not believe that anyone should lose a job over their political beliefs, I do think that Ms. Lawton displayed an incredible lack of maturity and self-control in her interaction with Ms. Mullen. For that reason alone, I am not sure she should be teaching young people. I would say the same if it had been a conservative teacher having an over-the-top reaction to a liberal student setting up a table on the quad.
Let's see . . . she began her doctoral studies in 2012 in English Literature. I believe (could be mistaken) that she already has an Master's degree. Therefore, the time necessary to complete this "doctorate" should not take more than 4 years and could be done in three. That means she has already overstayed by 1 1/2 years or possibly 2. I see this as one more example of a "chosen female leader" being given a source of income in the academic community. Yes, I understand that a teaching assistant does not get much--but, they do get a heck of a lot more than some straight white male would get (because he would never be offered a TA in English!). Also, NEVER EVER FORGET that the accounting system for student loans is probably one of the most corrupt in this country. SOME students never get "billed". Would someone please, please, please get some one to do a thorough forensic accounting of the student loans in this country? Please, please, please.
I couldn't stand the local radio selection available on my car radio. Sirius XM radio the best entertainment investment out there!