Academia's Top Abuses of 2008

Cadets at West Point, the nation’s foremost military academy, must maintain disciplined, selfless behavior — a precursor to the standards graduates are expected to uphold and reinforce once commissioned as military officers. So how does leftist instructor Judy Rosenstein of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership encourage cadets to appreciate the military’s code of conduct? By hosting a transgendered speaker in class, of course.

“Allyson” Robinson, a West Point grad him-, er, herself, switched genders after leaving the Army. Upon returning to West Point as a guest speaker, “Mrs.” Robinson found it “worrisome” that the student composition seemed more socially conservative than when “she” was a student. Nonetheless, “Mrs.” Robinson was pleased, in “her” words, to “expos[e] cadets to the diverse face of America as it is, rather than allowing them to exist in a cocoon” as they “wish it was.”

Anyone recall the purpose of Corporal Klinger’s escapades during the TV series “M*A*S*H?” Perhaps West Point’s leadership should invite speakers who emphasize, not undermine, what the military expects? “Mrs.” Robinson’s visit back to West Point does, however, explain why academia is in a mess these days: political correctness running amok. Too many school officials worship leftist orthodoxy first and act as responsible teachers second, if at all.

In that vein, Young America’s Foundation has once again compiled the “best of the worst” academic abuses for 2008. And we’d like to share it with HUMAN EVENTS readers.

When English Class Turns Gay

Heads turned when Deerfield High School in Deerfield, Ill., required this book as part of an Advanced Placement English literature course: Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes. The book is laced with graphic sexual content, much of it too inflammatory to print here — although there are “milder” exchanges fit to report, such as one character pleading with his sexual partner to “infect” and “make [him] bleed.” Supporters of Angels in America say the book is useful because it depicts “forgiveness, kindness, and compassion,” as if HIV-positive sodomy is the best way to promote empathy to minors.

Conservatives Need Not Apply

Administrators at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minn. — the nation’s largest Catholic women’s college — unexpectedly blocked young conservatives on campus from hosting Bay Buchanan, a popular conservative commentator and U.S. Treasurer under President Reagan. College officials deemed Ms. Buchanan’s remarks on “Feminism and the 2008 Election” too politically charged, citing concerns about the school’s tax status. Those same “concerns,” mind you, didn’t prohibit the school from sponsoring programs that push for universal healthcare and minimum wage increases or from hosting anti-war radical Frank Kroncke, who’s still reliving the Vietnam days. But Bay Buchanan? Well, she’s partisan, according to St. Catherine’s administration.

You Can’t Pray Here

The First Amendment: is it a bestowed right given from above and protected by our government or a meaningless, antiquated concept to be disposed of? If you’re the folks at the College of Alameda in California, you’d pick the latter.

How else do you explain their threatening to expel a student who prayed on campus? It all started when a student, Kandy Kyriacou, visited her professor to give her a Christmas gift. But when Kandy saw that her teacher was ill, she offered to pray for her. The professor agreed. That’s when Derek Piazza, another professor, walked in and flipped out that a prayer — gasp, a prayer — was occurring on college premises. “You can’t be doing that in here,” Piazza purportedly barked. Kandy received a retroactive “intent to suspend” letter from the administration, claiming that she was guilty of “disruptive or insulting behavior” and “persistent abuse of” college employees. Further infractions would result in expulsion, the letter read.

Ho, Ho, Fuggetaboudit

Who’s offended by Christmas decorations? All the white liberals who celebrate Kwanza? Must be. Florida Gulf Coast University’s president, Wilson Bradshaw, sent holiday festivities packing because he didn’t know “how best to observe the season in ways that honor and respect all traditions.” Holiday décor wasn’t the only thing to go under Bradshaw. The school’s greeting card contest got tossed as well. Cheer up, says the president — Christmas merriment was replaced with an “ugly sweater competition.” Mr. Bradshaw ultimately had a change of heart, after his embarrassing attempt at censorship became public.

The other five examples on Young America’s Foundation’s report, “PC Campus: Academia’s Top 10 Abuses of 2008,” are accessible through, if you can handle more illustrations of school officials abusing their power to advance a leftist agenda.