Prof at public college under investigation for allegedly forcing students to wear gay rights ribbons
A professor at a public college in Tennessee is being investigated by school administrators for allegedly forcing her students to wear ribbons in support of gay rights and express verbal support for the LGBT community.
Amy Spears-Boyd, spokesperson for Columbia State Community College, confirmed to Campus Reform on Wednesday the school had launched the investigation into psychology professor Linda Brunton’s conduct.
“When the allegations were brought to the attention of college officials, Columbia State Community College began an investigation, which is currently ongoing and congruent with Board policy and applicable laws,” said Spears-Boyd in an email to Campus Reform.
According to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a non-profit legal organization that is currently representing a group of students from the class, professor Brunton forced her students to wear the ribbons for at least one day and then write a paper about how they had faced discrimination as part of a class assignment.
When several students objected to being forced to support conduct that violated their convictions, Brunton allegedly described their views as “ignorant and uneducated,” according to a press release issued by ADF.
“The Constitution does not allow any government official to force another person to adopt or advocate a particular moral or political view,” said ADF attorney Travis Barham. “But this professor did just that with this assignment and thus clearly violated freedoms protected by the First Amendment.”
According to Brunton’s faculty page, she is a member of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Educators Network.
Brunton was not available for comment to Campus Reform by the time of publication.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @oliverdarcy