Sunday, January 20, 2008

College smokes out student with an opinion

The NY Times reports this about an unnamed university that requires its students to write anonymous evaluations of their professors:
On one evaluation, a student made derogatory comments about a professor’s sexual orientation. The university hired a handwriting expert to confirm the identity of the culprit so punishment could be administered. The university claims the student broke the code of conduct, ...

The handwriting expert confirmed the identity of the student, who was given a formal reprimand and was required to write an essay on how his remarks can affect the gay community, to write a letter of apology to the professor and to meet with a dean of students to discuss enrolling in a program meant to teach tolerance.
I think that the university has a problem tolerating anonymous comments. I have received inappropriate anonymous comments, but it never occurred to me that a university might track down the student and punish him for expressing his opinion.

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