Avoid Whatever Offends You

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Arizona Senate panel -- following complaint over "The Ice Storm" -- votes to give students right to demand alternative books.

When faculty leaders talk about the various versions of the Academic Bill of Rights circulating among state legislators, many single out a bill in Arizona as the worst of all.

The legislation there would require public colleges to provide students with “alternative coursework” if a student finds the assigned material “personally offensive,” which is defined as something that “conflicts with the student’s beliefs or practices in sex, morality or religion.” On Wednesday, the bill starting moving, with the Senate Committee on Higher Education approving the measure — much to the dismay of professors in the state.

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Joan E Crow-Epps - 2/18/2006

It sounds like the aim of this is to ensure that students who come to college with preconceived ideas about the truth are never exposed to any facts that might upset their world view. Why go to college at all if your mind is already closed?

The diploma is a credential that should show that you've studied a wide range of ideas and know the commonly agreed upon facts, but this plan certainly forecloses that. Alternate courses will make it possible to exit college without having learned anything new at all.

I wouldn't think an employer would be too thrilled having hired someone with a Bachelor's in Biology if they discover the new hire studied 'alternate' biology.