In short, English professor Samuel Joeckel’s job is being threatened by the administration of Palm Beach Atlantic University — a place he has taught for over 20 years — because of a lesson he teaches on racial justice and history. The administrators visited his classroom with the message that his contract had been held up (I have had this experience) while his lesson was being evaluated. He had taught this lesson for at least a decade prior to this year. Perhaps not coincidentally, Gov. Ron DeSantis visited PBAU that day.
A sympathetic alum started a petition which now has over 1,300 signatures. I invite readers to go sign it. You don’t need to be affiliated with PBA to sign it; you just need care about academic freedom.
Alums Call on PBAU to Guarantee Academic Freedom
A related letter has been started by the same alum just for the PBAU community. This letter is directed toward the president of the school Debra Schwinn to uphold standards of academic freedom.
The letter also calls on the president and administration to address three demands.
First, to issue a public statement on behalf of PBAU, assuming accountability for the mishandling of these events, and publicly apologizing to Dr. Joeckel for withholding due process.
Second, to publicly commit PBAU to protect academic freedom, the open exchange of ideas, and diversity in political and religious beliefs among its faculty, staff, and students without hostility.
Third, to take actions to pursue protections for faculty members that include assurances for due process in disciplinary matters.
Although more urgent, this effort is similar to an initiative by Grove City College alum Natalie Kahler and recently documented by GCC alum Jessica Wills on the FIRE website.
One action Natalie believes the administration could take to encourage the practice of free speech in the community would be to adopt the Chicago Statement, or a similarly strong commitment to free speech and academic freedom like the one adopted by King University, another Christian liberal arts college. (The Chicago Statement is a model free speech policy statement that over 90 universities have adopted, affirming their commitment to free expression.) She believes this kind of free speech protection would encourage the Grove City community to recognize “the value of having all voices in the conversation, even when it makes us uncomfortable.”
Sometimes a Twitter thread comes along that possesses a level of nuttiness that requires it be preserved. In addition, these threads capture the spirit of the times in such a way that few other expressions do. Here is such a thread.
The author is Josh Daws, host of the Great Awokening Podcast.
The entire thread can be read below by clicking the tweet. I will pull out a few of the 23 tweets for illustration. In short, Daws says teachers are using Critical Race Theory to make white kids feel guilty, then using Queer Theory to make them want to identify as gay or trans. Thus, teachers are really out to create revolutionaries and take kids away from parents; not to abuse them, but to make them into liberals, or something.
CRT instills in these students a negative self-identity as they're taught to believe they're recipients of enormous privilege that was stolen from others and that they are complicit in historic and ongoing injustice. In child terms, they're taught to believe they're bad. 5/23
And it goes on from there. Read the rest if you want to know what the Frightened Right is sharing with each other these days. It really is sad. I can’t imagine being that distrustful and scared of my fellow citizens who are trying to follow their calling as teachers.
Well, actually, I can imagine it. I never had the vivid imagination of Mr. Daws, but once upon a time in my 20s and 30s, I believed the public school was a temple to secular humanism. However, through a variety of circumstances, I faced facts. In our case, anyway, the public school was the moral and quality alternative to the local Christian school. I found teachers who were incredibly dedicated to helping my children achieve their potential.
Of course, there are a few bad actors. However, the current reformers who are scaring Christians into a frenzy want us to believe there is a conspiracy among public educators to steal our children and grandchildren. This is insanity.
For the most part, teachers are our family, neighbors and friends. They need the support of citizens in a good faith partnership for the good of children.
Roys traveled the same road I did in 2017 and found much the same thing. The school isn’t accredited by a state or federally recognized accrediting body and isn’t licensed as a university by the state of Florida. In Florida, religious schools can become exempt from the requirement to be licensed if they file an affidavit with the state that their degrees are only religious in nature. St. Thomas was out of compliance when I researched in 2017 and they remain out of compliance today according to Roys.
Over at the Broken Twig blog, news of resignations and a retirement has been posted via an email about the senior leadership of Moody Bible Institute. The email from the student development office also has been posted several places around the web by now, and I have it here below. In short, the Moody Board of Trustees has accepted the resignations of president Paul Nyquist and chief operating officer, Steve Mogck; and the retirement of provost Junias Venugopal.
This news follows the firing on Monday of Moody radio personality Julie Roys after she after she raised concerns about various financial and personnel issues at the Bible college.
From: stdevel <[email protected]>
Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 6:49 PM
Subject: Statement from Moody Board of Trustees
To: students <[email protected]>
Dear Moody Family,
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, let me thank you for your service to Christ, your dedication to Moody Bible Institute, and commitment to be in prayer for the ministry at this time. We often refer to the Moody family, which is how we see all of you.
We apologize for coming to you so late in the day, but given the nature of the news we are sharing, we felt it best to communicate with you as soon as possible.
As you know, the Board of Trustees has been discussing issues related to widespread concerns over the direction of Moody. Today, we accepted the resignations of President, Dr. Paul Nyquist; Chief Operating Officer, Steve Mogck; and the retirement of Provost, Dr. Junias Venugopal.
Let there be no mistake that the Board of Trustees holds these three men in high regard for their ethical, moral, and spiritual leadership. They are godly, honorable men to whom we entrust to the Lord and offer our deep gratitude for their years of faithful service to Christ and to Moody. However, we are unanimous in our decision that it is time for a new season of leadership. I ask that you be in prayer for them and their families.
While we begin to develop plans for a nationwide search and prayerfully seek the Lord’s direction for these important positions, we are encouraged that the Lord has provided a strong leadership team to step into these roles in the interim.
Greg Thornton, Senior Vice President of Media, will serve as Interim President during our search.
Mark Wagner, a member of our Board, who is former president of, and now a consultant to, Walgreen’s, will serve as Interim Chief Operating Officer.
In addition, Dr. John Jelinek, Vice President and Dean of Moody Theological Seminary, will serve as Interim Provost.
Understandably, there are many questions at this time. Please know that we are working diligently through everything, and will stay in regular contact with you first, our Moody family, and with our many partners and friends as well.
I ask for your prayers for the Board, our interim leadership team, and the entire Moody community during this next season. God has been faithful to Moody since 1886, and we continue to seek His favor as we move forward.
Chair, Board of Trustees
This looks like a lawsuit. If this is what it looks like in the video below, I hope Deyshia Hargrave gets some of that long overdue pay raise in a financial settlement.
According to many news services (source), Kaplan, LA middle school teacher Deyshia Hargrave questioned why her superintendent got a raise when teachers in the district had gone without a permanent raise for 10 years. Ms. Hargrave, after spending all day putting up with middle school kids, wasn’t having any of that nonsense, so she said her feelings.
That didn’t work out, as the video below shows.
The most complete report I have seen of this incident and the aftermath of it is at Heavy.com. She was booked but then released. The prosecutor does not plan a case against her and the teacher’s union and ACLU have issued statements and are following the matter. The school board president Anthony Fontana is defiant and thinks she got what was coming to her. Amazing.
The board president and superintendent seem to like their position, but they don’t have many supporters according to the Heavy.com report. There is a petition with nearly 3000 signers at present who stand in support of Hargrave and she is considering a lawsuit.
As a son of a school administrator, my initial reaction is that this duo is out of touch with their constituents. I cannot imagine giving the superintendent a raise while the teachers have gone without one for a decade. That action does communicate that the board doesn’t care about the staff. I hope this teacher’s stand will lead to some positive action for her, her colleagues and the students in the district.