Marquette Warrior: Dental School Blogger Fiasco Continues to Resonate

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Dental School Blogger Fiasco Continues to Resonate

Checking our hit counter a few minutes ago, we noticed a lot of hits from the site

Checking out the link that was sending us all the traffic, we found that it was a post on a discussion board, and that a poster on the board had just discovered our post from over a year ago about the Marquette Dental School’s harsh punishment of a student blogger.

The person who posted the link was not favorably impressed with what Marquette did. He said:
Man after reading this . . . I am glad I chose not to go to Marquette. Talk about being anal!! Suspending the student for calling somebody a cockmaster of a professor, that’s hilarious!
Another poster had about the same opinion.
WOW. . . What happened to that thing we used to have in this country?? I believe it was called freedom of speech?? I remember some important document being signed by a bunch of important political figures mentioned something about that. . . . . lol [laughing out loud]. . I think they took the blogs of that student and made it into a personal vendetta. . . They used him as an example. . That’s why they imposed such a harsh sentence on that guy.. Imagine that, to work hard to get your way into dental school, make it through your first year to have it thrown away over a stupid blog. . . .
This poster is a bit naïve, since the First Amendment protects people from government, not from employers or private schools that might want to shut up members of their organizations.

Still . . . naïveté or not, it’s a key element of American culture that people should be able to speak freely. Private sector organizations that have a legal right to punish people for speech should exercise that right sparingly -- and be well-prepared to defend their actions if they do so.

Given the strong cultural presumption that people should be able to speak freely, any private organization that punishes people for speaking needs needs a really compelling and convincingly articulated reason.

If not, they may find themselves with a public relations problem that lasts and lasts.


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