The battle at LSU is a battle that must be won for the country. A lawsuit now filed in this case against LSU could completely overturn Barack Obama’s unconstitutional guidance memo which violates Americans’ free speech rights in the view of many well-versed on the subject.
There is a chill on free speech for students and staff on our college campuses and that helps elevate the importance of this case.
Teresa Buchanan, a tenured education professor, was fired by LSU in June 2015, roughly a year after school officials claimed that unspecified “inappropriate comments” she had made in the classroom, violated the school’s sexual harassment policy.
The policy is based on Obama’s Department of Education’s guidance on sexual harassment which appears to violate the First Amendment with a broad and vague mandate.
If schools don’t follow the Obama rule, they are in danger of losing their federal funding.
Ms. Buchanan said she used sexual language and humor to prepare her students for student who use these words in the classroom. Words like “pussy” to imply cowardice and a private conversation with jokes that female students “shouldn’t expect their boyfriends to keep helping them out with their coursework after the sex gets stale,” as well as saying “fuck no” are what got her into trouble. Does this rise to the level of sexual harassment? Under Obama’s guidance memos it does but then the question is does it violate her free speech?
With the support of LSU’s Faculty Senate and the American Association of University Professors, she is suing for violations of her free speech and due process rights.
FIRE has taken her case. FIRE and other civil liberties advocates have warned this controversial language threatens the free speech and academic freedom rights of faculty and students. Buchanan’s lawsuit challenges the policy and its application to her case.
FIRE also found she was the victim of a witch hunt which is what Obama’s rule enables.
In April 2011 Russlynn Ali, then assistant education secretary for civil rights, issued a directive in which she threatened to withhold federal money from any educational institution that failed to take a hard enough line against sexual misconduct to ensure “that all students feel safe in their school.” The directive’s preamble declared: “The sexual harassment of students, including sexual violence, interferes with students’ rights to receive an education free from discrimination and, in the case of sexual violence, is a crime.”
“If a school knows or reasonably should know about student-on-student harassment that creates a hostile environment, Title IX [of a 1972 civil rights law] requires the school to take immediate action to eliminate the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects,” Ali wrote.
In 2011, a school district used this guidance to suspend a six-year old boy in Colorado, Hunter Yelton, for kissing a girl on her hand. The Superintendent said he was guilty of sexual harassment. Hunter and the little girl have ‘crushes’ on each other according to Hunter’s mother.
Hunter is a repeat offender according to the school officials who see him as a sexual offender.
The music teacher and other school officials were faithfully if ridiculously executing that command when they investigated the tip from the kids who tattled.
When a federal agency under the executive can alter the First Amendment, we no longer have a First Amendment.
This is a key fight in the battle to keep the First Amendment in tact.
Obama has been using guidance memos far more than executive orders as a means to circumvent Congress and the Constitution and infect the system with his leftist ideology.
Obama sent a guidance memo out in 2009 which resulted in the White House now having their hands all over FOIA requests. Anything that “might embarrass” the White House and the president must be reviewed by the executive agency receiving the request.
As a consequence of this “guidance” memo, which was allegedly meant to “clarify”, FOIA requests are delayed or ignored.