AAUP accuses Collin School of ‘egregious’ educational freedom violations — science weblog

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Dive Transient:

  • Collin School dedicated “egregious violations” of educational freedoms when it dismissed three professors who publicly criticized the Texas establishment, in line with the American Affiliation of College Professors.
  • The college group accused Collin, a group school district, of treading on school rights in a report launched Monday. All three professors referenced in AAUP’s report had sued the establishment, alleging free speech violations, and two of them have settled.
  • Nonetheless, a university spokesperson stated in an emailed assertion that Collin acknowledges AAUP’s advocacy, however doesn’t adhere to its requirements. It’s disappointing AAUP frequently refuses “to acknowledge the inherent duty of an establishment to uphold each a set of educational duties and educational rights, in line with its personal specified insurance policies,” the spokesperson stated.

Dive Perception:

The establishment, identified formally because the Collin County Neighborhood School District, drew nationwide consideration in 2020 when one among its professors, Lora Burnett, tweeted that former Vice President Mike Pence ought to “shut his little demon mouth.”

This led to a firestorm of conservative criticism, which culminated in Collin officers not renewing Burnett’s contract. She sued in 2021, alleging infringement on her constitutional rights, and settled for $70,000 plus legal professional charges. 

Final yr, Collin settled a second lawsuit from one other professor, Suzanne Jones, who alleged the school retaliated and fired her over her public critiques of its dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic. Jones returned to the school final yr and is being paid an annual $230,000 wage for 2 years underneath the settlement. She’s going to resign in 2025, in line with the deal.

A 3rd, related lawsuit from a former professor, Michael Phillips, is ongoing.

AAUP documented the circumstances behind these professors’ dismissals. It stated in an emailed assertion that “situations for shared governance and educational freedom at Collin School are ‘grossly insufficient.’”

The report’s findings may lead the college group to censure Collin. This doesn’t include formal penalties however is meant to broadcast that an establishment doesn’t assist educational freedom and thus shouldn’t be welcoming for educators.

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