Two professors at the University of Northern Colorado were investigated after students complained that they were forced to hear opposing viewpoints.
The complaints were made to Northern Colorado’s “Bias Response Team,” an Orwellian office on campus that asks students to report their peers and professors for anything that upsets or offends them. When the news outlet Heat Street made an open records request for some of the complaints, it discovered that two students had become so upset about having to hear an opinion they disagreed with they filed reports with school administrators.
And rather than telling the students to buck up because they might hear those opinions outside of college or on the news or in the media, the schools told the professors to stop teaching that there’s an alternate viewpoint.
One professor instructed his students to read an article from the Atlantic written by Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s president Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt titled “The Coddling of the American Mind.” The article explains that allowing students to hide from controversial and upsetting ideas (like through the use of “safe spaces” or “trigger warnings”) actually harms those students by not allowing them to confront those opinions.
After reading the article, the professor asked his students to address controversial topics such as abortion, gay marriage, global warming and transgenderism. The professor made no indication as to what his opinion on the matters was, but one student, who identifies as transgender, was upset that the professor even referenced the opinion that “transgender is not a real thing, and no one can truly feel like they are born in the wrong body.”
Instead of learning how to confront this opinion and be able to adequately teach someone how they are wrong to believe that, the student felt they shouldn’t have had to hear it in the first place.
“I would just like the professor to be educated about what trans is and how what he said is not okay because as someone who truly identifies as a transwomen [sic] I was very offended and hurt by this,” the student wrote in their complaint.
Never mind that the professor wasn’t even expressing his own opinion — this student just wanted the discussion shut down. And the school obliged.