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The “Tinker Test” and free speech on campus ? …

anonymous commented on the post “Do your Job” 19 June, 2017

Well, Falk has succeeded in placing Williams dead last in viewpoint diversity:


while the African-American student that Falk unceremoniously shut down, Zach Wood, testifies on Capitol Hill:

His will be a tough act to follow!

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Indeed! The testimony should be interesting.

“Neither students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District 393 U.S. 503 (1969)


The court’s 7–2 decision held that the First Amendment applied to public schools, and that administrators would have to demonstrate constitutionally valid reasons for any specific regulation of speech in the classroom. 


NB.  I just got a police warning  about Sunday parking in Portland so what do I know about the inclusion of the word ‘public’ in the Tinker judgement. I would think that support of the college from public/tax sources would meet the hopefully broad definition of the word.


Yet another poster note. The Daily Signal, the on-line publication of the Heritage Society cited in a comment below, has chosen a masthead name that has unfortunate echos:

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As an olde propagandist/brandguy, I am interested in the typeface used for the masthead of Signal:


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#1 Comment By JCD On June 21, 2017 @ 3:00 pm

I am in awe of Zach Wood. As more information comes out, I think people will be appalled at the degree to which students like Wood live in danger of being attacked by campus terrorists simply because they will not bend to the established leftist ideology. Places like Williams College are criminalizing being a Republican and a conservative. As I have said elsewhere, we have a dangerous mob mentality taking over places like Williams College. In the future, I’m confident the heroes we remember will be students like Zach Wood who had the great courage to stand up against repression, hostility, and threats of violence.

#2 Comment By Stacey Elin Rossi On June 22, 2017 @ 8:46 am


If you are reading this, I am trying to get in touch with you. In case you do not know who I am, I represent John Doe in John Doe v. Williams College. Could you please email me at berkshirelegal@gmail.com?

Many thanks,
Stacey Elin Rossi

#3 Comment By anonymous On June 23, 2017 @ 5:17 pm

Zach Wood sparkled at the Senate, impresses group of academics committed to viewpoint diversity:

It’s a shame when a student can speak more eloquently than the college president about the point of higher education.

#4 Comment By Dick Swart On June 23, 2017 @ 5:34 pm



Zach Wood was eloquent and forcefully stated his principles for free speech on a campus of those hoping to attain a liberal education and its’ values.

He stands as an outstanding member of this group.

#5 Comment By PTC On June 23, 2017 @ 8:34 pm

It should not be that hard. But Zach is very brave. One thing of note, is that speech is only protected by law at public colleges, not at private colleges.

I know you know this… but when I think about education today, I do draw a distinction because the power of administrations has become so prolific. Halloween costumes and such… things that students should work out amongst themselves. We give very little credit to young adults when we enter the fray in regards to such things that free speech protects.

You know… UNC Chapel Hill is a good school. There are a lot of public schools that can compete with places like HYP, Williams… etc.

David once asked the question if alums should worry about this development. I think you should. When the students are restricted by forces above them, in such a regard, it stifles learning for everyone.

And yes… the Zach Woods of this world are not being allowed to express the nuances of their nuanced methodology at places like Williams- because of restrictions placed on them by the administration.

Peer pressure is enough for intelligent conversation about a controversial speaker from the left or the right to stifle getting to the crux of these issues. We are beyond this- or perhaps not- which is all the more reason to not let it define our objectives as a matter of rules..

#6 Comment By PTC On June 23, 2017 @ 9:00 pm

and we have to ask… when was the last time a Williams Student spoke before congress?

Will we get any record of it, any acknowledgment of it? Anything from Williams? The Williams College record? The Berkshire Eagle? huh?

What, this is normal? It’s huge… but because we don’t agree with the message? What message? Free Speech? Good god.

What is this, the radio call to charge the hill and shut up because no response is required?

You know what is more of a concern than an controverial opinion that a student has the guts to speak about before the United States Congress… pretending it is irrelevant.


#7 Comment By anonymous On June 24, 2017 @ 9:17 am

In progressive echo chambers, free speech is synonymous with racism, and that is one of the worst things a president of a college could come out and enthusiastically support—even though the student is African-American who has the audacity to think for himself and not repeat the party line

#8 Comment By anonymous On June 24, 2017 @ 11:42 am

And Falk repeats the “free speech is important, but…” platitudes:

#9 Comment By CV On June 24, 2017 @ 7:19 pm

Falk is such a joke and an embarrassment. Pathetic for a college of such prestige to have such a leader.

#10 Comment By anonymous On June 24, 2017 @ 8:22 pm

At least Williams can be proud of the protagonist (another great interview):

#11 Comment By sigh On June 25, 2017 @ 3:04 pm

meanwhile, in actual consequences…right wing hate mail and threats have shut down Trinity College’s campus, have forced a black professor to cancel multiple lectures, led to a community college in NJ firing an adjunct professor over an interview on Fox News, etc.

see http://www.chronicle.com/article/Professors-Growing-Risk-/240424?cid=wcontentlist_hp_latest

oh, and heres some interesting research findings:

and this piece as well:

#12 Comment By anonymous On June 25, 2017 @ 9:03 pm

It’s a sad state of affairs: https://www.thefire.org/disturbing-trend-continues-trinity-college-professor-faces-threats/

It’s a shame that Williams ignores the challenges of free expression and viewpoint diversity.

#13 Comment By JCD On June 26, 2017 @ 1:08 am

I’m all for freedom of speech, but Trinity College associate professor Johnny Eric Williams – a sociologist like sigh – strikes me as a truly frightening fellow.

As a white person, I find his comments to be a threat to my life. If I was a white student in his classroom, I would not feel safe.

If anything happened to me, I would fear that he would, indeed, act on his evident hatred of whites and fail to make the necessary efforts needed to save my life.

Frankly, I don’t see how Trinity College can allow a person with so much hostility to whites to teach on their campus. Calling whites inhuman assholes,’ and saying ‘let them die’ if they need emergency assistance crosses a line with me.

Prof calls whites ‘inhuman assholes,’ says ‘let them die’