A Nebraska state senator is calling on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to fire a professor who “berated and intimidated” a conservative student for her right-leaning politics.
In a Campus Reform story published Thursday, professor Amanda Gailey led a cohort of her colleagues to protest a Turning Point USA recruiting event by chanting things like “fuck (TPUSA founder) Charlie Kirk.” The group called TPUSA members “Nazis” during the heated protest, and directed their anger towards TPUSA chapter president Kaitlyn Mullen.
The publication reports that one of the protesters, Courtney Lawton, was reassigned to non-teaching duties following the outburst, but Gailey maintains her position as an associate professor in the school’s Department of English.
Writing for the Star Herald Friday, Erdman referred to statements made by NU Regent, Hal Daub, who described the protest as being a “premeditated and organized effort to intimidate and shut down Kaitlyn Mullen.”
“According to Daub, this is not a free speech issue; it is a conduct issue, and I agree,” wrote Erdman.
“Unless Amanda Gailey is fired, a double standard will exist at the University of Nebraska between students and staff and between liberals and conservatives,” he said. Citing the school’s core values and commitment to civil conduct, Erdman maintained that Amanda Gailey broke these tenets in her confrontation with TPUSA.
Erdman also referenced Lawton, who he said “called Kaitlyn Mullen a neo-fascist on her protest sign and verbally assaulted her as a ‘Becky.’”
“The conduct of these two individuals has had a debilitating effect on the student body at UNL,” he said, recounting an instance where a father whose daughter attended the school expressed her worry about encountering activist-professors like Gailey.
“These conservative students no longer feel protected by the university,” he added.
“The bottom line is that we can no longer tolerate this kind of extremist behavior from our esteemed faculty at the University of Nebraska,” the senator concluded. “To the contrary, the University of Nebraska must become a place which welcomes the free flow of ideas from both liberals and conservatives. Tolerance is a value which must protect students, staff, and faculty on both sides of the political aisle.”
Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.