VIDEO: Professor tells Yale Law students to 'grow up' as they disrupt free speech event
Yale Law school students were told by a professor to 'grow up' after they heckled an event focused on the importance of free speech.
Yale Law School is ranked first in the nation and boasts three current Supreme Court justices as alumni.
Students at Yale Law School disrupted a bipartisan event on freedom of speech with signs and raucous protesting. Their actions led one professor to tell them to “grow up.”
The former is a liberal atheist and the latter is a conservative Christian. One member of the Federalist Society told Washington Free Beacon that the panel was meant to show that both individuals could find common ground on protecting the First Amendment.
However, video obtained by the Washington Free Beacon showed over 100 student protesters standing up as Yale Law professor Kate Stith introduced Waggoner. The students brandished signs and shouted obscenities. One protester told a member of the Federalist Society that she would "literally fight you, b*tch.”
The video shows Stith telling the students that Yale's free speech policies bar any protest that "interferes with speakers' ability to be heard and of community members to listen." In response, protesters, several of whom gave Stith the middle finger, began to heckle her.
Stith then told them to "grow up,” and later told the students that if the noise continued, she would "have to ask [them] to leave, or help [them] leave."
Stith told Campus Reform that she stands by her assertion made to the students.
Protesters left the room to gather outside in the hallway, but continued to make noise as they stomped, shouted, clapped, sang, and "pounded the walls" to make it difficult to hear the panel, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
Chants including "protect trans kids" and "shame, shame" were echoed, as well.
Waggoner and Miller were provided with a police escort at the conclusion of the event.
In a statement provided to Campus Reform, Waggoner said that while Law schools used to be places where students learned "critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, and civility," these were not the principles she saw displayed during her visit to Yale.
"Unfortunately, that was not my experience at Yale this week where insults, bullying, and physical intimidation replaced civil discourse, logic, and persuasion," she said. "Two litigators from both sides of the ideological spectrum who believe in free speech- Alliance Defending Freedom and the American Humanist Association-- were taunted and shouted down in what should have been an uncontroversial discussion about and 8-1 Supreme Court decision."
Waggoner continued, addressing the protester's behavior:
"Instead, a mob created such a volatile situation that campus security had to escort us from the building. Rather than condemn this behavior, Yale now seems to be misrepresenting what happened. Not only have multiple witnesses confirmed an ongoing disruption and volatile environment exists, but audio from the event demonstrates this as well."
To conclude, Waggoner stated that "Yale must recommit to promoting a culture of free speech and civil dialogue instead of allowing mob rule on their campus."
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education Senior Program Officer of the Individual Rights Defense Program Zachary Greenberg told Campus Reform that FIRE is investigating the "potential heckler's veto of the recent Yale Federalist Society event." All students "with firsthand information about the event" are encouraged to contact the organization.
According to one poll from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, alongside RealClearEducation and College Pulse, over 80% of students at institutions like Wesleyan University and the University of California-Berkeley believe that shouting down a guest speaker is acceptable to some degree.
The poll also found that more than 80% of college students “report self-censoring their viewpoints at their colleges at least some of the time, with 21% saying they censor themselves often.”
In the aftermath of the protest, an open letter was penned 417 objectors, 390 of which are current students — a majority of the student body — that condemned the administration for allowing police presence at the event.
“We write as a coalition of queer students and allies deeply concerned with the presence of armed police at a peaceful protest of law students on campus this past Thursday,” the letter reads. “An organic student protest emerged, and, instead of listening to student concerns, faculty told peaceful student protesters to ‘grow up,’ and the speaker from ADF told students that our protest did not reflect the ‘civility’ of the legal profession — a profession that has historically sidelined LGBTQ attorneys.”
Previous reporting from Campus Reform shows that censorship is lauded at many of America’s college campuses.
Campus Reform reached out to Yale Law School, Yale Federalist Society, American Humanist Association, Alliance Defending Freedom, Kate Stith, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.