It’s part of the whole college experience. Eager young minds, animated in discussion, engaging in robust classroom debate.
It got lively, boisterous—even explosive at times—as bright pupils with great expectations shared, tested, and contested ideas about the world. This was the university, the crucible of learning, the engine of ideas.
How times have changed.
Today, that experience has turned heavy (the crucible cold and unyielding) in many colleges and universities, where discussions are dampened by theories like postmodernism, putting a chill on that wistful classroom experience.
Few know this better than those who’ve been silenced.
The schools themselves are doing the silencing.
Michiganite Maggie DeJong, 26, now graduated, studied art therapy counseling at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, where postmodernism was taught as part of its curriculum.
Because of her viewpoints on contentious issues facing America today, ones impacting the lives, livelihoods, rights, and security of countless individuals—such as abortion, defunding the police, and Black Lives Matter—the school took administrative steps to bring her bright mind to heel.
They slapped DeJong with a “no contact order,” the college’s equivalent of a restraining order, usually reserved for those threatening violence.
“There is a view that is becoming more prominent on campuses, that speech is ‘violence,’” DeJong’s attorney Gregg Walters told The Epoch Times. “You cannot issue an order saying your protected speech is a violation of some code of conduct.”
DeJong, along with the Alliance Defending Freedom, is now suing the school for violating her First Amendment rights to free speech and religious belief. Her Christian beliefs are part of what shape her worldview. DeJong is seeking a change in the school’s policy, vindication from the no contact order, and remediation for damages.
She was also denied due process.
“Even in the legal system, you get a chance to defend yourself,” added Walters. “She wasn’t given any type of hearing date to defend us, they were just issued.”
By Michael Wing