From Brian and stoptheaclu.com.
“A University of Maine student alleges her former professor offered extra credit to class members if they burned the American flag or the U.S. Constitution or were arrested defending free speech.
On the first day of class, associate professor Paul Grosswiler offered the credit to members of his History of Mass Communications class, according to sophomore Rebekah McDade. Disturbed by the comment, McDade dropped the class and intends to take the course again next semester with a different professor.
“I was offended,” McDade said Friday. “I come from a family of military men and women, and the flag and Constitution are really important symbols to me because of my family background.”
In an e-mail responding to a request for comment from the Bangor Daily News on Friday, Grosswiler said he thought McDade misunderstood the class discussion, which was intended to elicit thought about the First Amendment. He said he has held this same discussion for years without incident.
“I don’t intend for students to burn either the Constitution or the flag, and over the years hundreds of students have understood that,” Grosswiler wrote.
He says he doesn’t intend for students to burn either but, reading further, it’s clear that he’s planting the idea in their heads:
When Grosswiler listed the extra-credit opportunities, McDade said the class of approximately 50 students grew very quiet, and some questioned whether he was serious.
At first, student Kathleen Dame said she thought Grosswiler was joking, but then he went on to explain to the class that burning the flag was not illegal. While Grosswiler approached the topic in a serious manner, Dame said she felt he used it as a tool to educate the class on the First Amendment.
So he offers extra credit to those who go out and burn the flag or whatever, and he doesn’t expect them to take it seriously? Right.
But wait, it gets even better:
When asked whether the university would pursue disciplinary action, Carr replied, “No.”
He said Grosswiler has worked at the University of Maine since 1991, is one of the more veteran professors in the department of communication and journalism, and is a “well-respected member of the faculty.”
In his e-mail Friday, Grosswiler, who is a former BDN employee, explained that he refers to provocative examples, such as flag burning, to demonstrate the courage necessary to support free expression.
“If they don’t tolerate thought that they hate, they don’t believe in the First Amendment,” he wrote.
“I applaud the student’s exercise of free expression. If she had stayed in the class, I would have given her extra credit for publicizing her opinions.”
Typical c.y.a. statement, in other words. Yes, kids should be taught that sometimes free speech means having to listen to or witness things that you don’t like and don’t agree with, but that doesn’t mean you send them out to engage in that sort of behavior.
Isn’t it nice to know what your kids are learning at college? But yeah, there’s no liberal bias at these institutions, and there’s certainly no attempt to indoctrinate them into liberal nutland. Puh-lease.
Exit question: Don’t you just love it when liberals like this guys protest America by burning the flag, yet when they get called on it they immediately hide behind everything that flag represents?”