AHA Issues Letter Defending AHA Member’s Right to Free SpeechHistorians in the News
tags: American Historical Association, free speech, academic freedom, LD Burnett, Campus Reform
The AHA recently wrote to the president of Collin College on behalf of AHA member Dr. Lora Burnett, requesting that the college respect “the right of historians to express their opinions as private citizens without fear of institutional discipline.”
Download the letter as a PDF.
October 13, 2020
Dear President Matkin:
The American Historical Association has become aware that one of its members, Dr. Lora Burnett, has been viciously harassed on social media for public statements made wholly outside of the context of her employment at Collin College. We are aware that you have been receiving, and will receive, communications requesting (probably even demanding) that the college take disciplinary action and hope that you will resist such pressure.
The AHA is the largest association of professional historians in the world. Our almost 11,500 members include college professors, secondary school teachers, advanced students, and public historians working in museums, national parks, and innumerable other venues. The professional standards we articulate and promote are cited frequently inside and outside the academy. Prominent among those standards is the right of historians to express their opinions as private citizens without fear of institutional discipline.
We trust that Collin College will respect and protect Dr. Burnett’s rights under the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
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