Thursday, February 15, 2018

Nazi attitudes at the University of Maryland (UMD)

Professor Melissa Landa was fired from her teaching position at the University of Maryland (UMD) due to her vocal pro-Israel views and fighting BDS.

 The University of Maryland needs to be held accountable for the injustice it has inflicted.

For ten years, Dr. Melissa Landa was an Assistant Clinical Professor in the College of Education. She won awards for her teaching and research and created some of the most popular courses in the College. Students described her as "one of the best professors at this institution," and colleagues praised her as an "honest, fair, and collaborative professional."

In Spring 2016, Melissa appeared in the national press for her leadership in confronting anti-Semitism and BDS at Oberlin College, her alma mater. She joined the Academic Engagement Network, a faculty organization that opposes BDS; she became an affiliate professor at Haifa University; and she planned to begin a research partnership with a college in Tel Aviv. Weeks later, Melissa began to face discriminatory treatment and a hostile work environment from the Chair and Associate Chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership – Francine Hultgren and John O'Flahavan. They:

* Criticized Melissa for her efforts to confront anti-Semitism;
* Withdrew from a conference presentation with Melissa, who was discussing her research in Israel;
* Reprimanded Melissa on the first night of Passover when she was observing the holiday in Israel;
* Threatened to fire her for being "out of bounds of acceptability with regard to campus policy" for missing classes during Passover;
* Reassigned Melissa from a literacy course she had helped to create and taught for over ten years, preventing her from pursuing a partnership with her Israeli colleagues.
* Removed Melissa from the Elementary Education Program, stripping her of her central role in the College of Education.

Melissa filed a Faculty Grievance against Dr. Hultgren and Dr. O'Flahavan, and on June 5, the Grievance Board reported

"In the interest of the program, the Hearing Board hopes that a professional path for Dr. Landa can be found that harmonizes her teaching and scholarly interests with the needs of the Department…"

Three days later, Francine Hultgren emailed Melissa in Israel and informed her that her contract was not being renewed. Melissa was the only Clinical Professor to be terminated.

We are deeply disturbed by Dr. O'Flahavan's and Dr. Hultgren's discriminatory and retaliatory conduct, and by Dean Jennifer Rice's defense of their actions. They have destroyed Melissa Landa's academic career and disgraced the University of Maryland.

Via email

The Education Department Says It Won't Act On Transgender Student Bathroom Access

Do transgender boys or girls have the right to use the restroom at school that corresponds with their gender identity? The U.S. Education Department said Monday that it won't hear complaints about or take action on this question.

Almost one year ago, the department under Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made national headlines by rolling back Obama-era steps on transgender student protections. While the Trump administration rescinded that guidance, the department never made clear how it would handle future discrimination cases filed by transgender students.

Last month, the Huffington Post reported that the Education Department had recently dismissed several such cases.

And on Monday, BuzzFeed reported and department spokeswoman Liz Hill confirmed to NPR that the department is taking that rollback a step further.

"Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, not gender identity," Hill stated. (The Obama-era guidance declared the opposite, stating that the civil rights law covered student gender identity as well as sex.)

Hill went on to say that complaints about harassing, bullying or punishing transgender or gender nonconforming students would fall under Title IX: "Where students, including transgender students, are penalized or harassed for failing to conform to sex-based stereotypes, that is sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX."

But, she said, access to accommodations such as restrooms, or presumably locker rooms, would not: "In the case of bathrooms, however, long-standing regulations provide that separating facilities on the basis of sex is not a form of discrimination prohibited by Title IX."

"The facts now on the table are devastating, though by now unsurprising," Eliza Byard, executive director of GLSEN, an organization that supports LGBTQ students, said in a statement. She added that the "cruel new policy flies in the face of the highest court rulings on this issue, which found unequivocally that denying transgender students appropriate bathroom access is a violation of Title IX. "


School's Powderpuff Football Game Stirs PC Controversy
Powderpuff football games are a longstanding tradition in many high schools across the fruited plain. It’s a gender-swap of sorts — the girls wear helmets and jerseys and the guys dress up like cheerleaders.

Students at Chaffey High School in Ontario, California, made the powderpuff football game a part of their annual “Backwards Day” celebration. It’s a tradition that dates back decades.

But now Chaffey’s fun-filled tradition is at the center of a bizarre controversy.

The Chaffey Joint Union High School District banned the boys pep squad from dressing up as cheerleaders over fears that it might give the impression the boys were mocking cross-dressers.

“Some felt the activity was hurtful and offensive to some students,” Supt. Mat Holton told the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. "There was some who felt this made more of a mockery of those who cross-dress.“

Girls will still be permitted to wear jerseys and helmets, but the boys will not be allowed to wear short skirts.

"I think our principal is doing this because it’s to protect certain students,” parent Patricia Luna told television station KABC.

The school district said its decision to ban boys from dressing like cheerleaders is a “thoughtful compromise in response to the sensitivities that have been raised by a number of students and staff.”

“While this activity has been a campus tradition, we understand, too, that there are sensitivities on all sides of the issue,” the district said in a prepared statement.
In other words, folks who promote tolerance and diversity were triggered by a bunch of boys dressing up like cheerleaders.

As you might imagine, students, parents and alumni are befuddled by the school district’s decision.

“It’s a gender-swap activity. That’s the whole point,” senior Stevie Mendoza told the local newspaper. “Girls play football, and boys dress up as cheerleaders. It’s just a fun time.”

“I think it is silly,” parent Diane Ramirez told KABC. “They did that when I was in high school and it’s all in just good fun. It’s not trying to be offensive to anybody, it’s just having fun.”

But as we know all too well, liberals have taken all the fun out of extracurricular activities.

“I think it’s a major disappointment for the whole school. It’s been a tradition for so long,” said another student.

But the school district seems to believe that some things are more important than tradition. “We will always be sensitive to the feelings of our students,” the superintendent told the newspaper.

So another beloved high school tradition goes down in flames for the sake of protecting the perpetually offended. Political correctness is nothing to shake your pom-poms at, America.


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