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College Prof to get axed for saying Indians aren't entitled to college's land?

Listen Jackass, were the one's, the only ones, who can tell those Comanches (sorry Indians, sorry Native Americans, sorry humanoids) that while their entitled to the land, we regretfully won't be giving them a f-cking dime. You stay in your silo and Shut the f-ck up. Got that?


Am I moving to fast for you? Now say you're sorry. Apologize to Chief Sitting Bull over there and go back to class.


Yes, my comments are offensive. That's why you read the Report you sick bastard. BTW, I'm convening a disciplinary hearing to review my inappropriate statements so I can receive a 12-day suspension when we go to Norway in August.


University of Washington Professor Sues School Over Alleged Free-Speech Violation


Stuart Reges faced disciplinary action for stating on syllabus that Native Americans have no historical claim to campus land


The land acknowledgment of the University of Washington in Seattle, which recognizes that the campus is built on land that originally belonged to the Coast Salish peoples, has drawn an opposing view from a professor.


PHOTO: JOVELLE TAMAYO FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

By Melissa Korn, WSJ

Updated July 13, 2022 3:40 pm ET


A University of Washington computer science professor is suing his school, claiming a violation of his First Amendment rights as he faces punishment for his take on a university statement that the campus is located on Native American land, the latest clash over speech rights for college faculty.


Stuart Reges, who has taught at the university since 2004, claims in the suit that administrators are discriminating against him because of his viewpoint challenging Native Americans’ historic ownership of the land, and are using an unconstitutionally broad speech policy to pursue disciplinary action against him.


The university in 2020 included on a list of best practices for diversity a suggestion that faculty add a “land acknowledgment” to their course syllabi and offered recommended language: “The University of Washington acknowledges the Coast Salish peoples of this land, the land which touches the shared waters of all tribes and bands within the Suquamish, Tulalip and Muckleshoot nations.”


Many colleges have adopted such land acknowledgments, at times under pressure from campus protesters. The aim is to recognize the prior presence of indigenous people on the land where the campuses now stand—and, in some cases, their violent removal centuries ago. Schools including Brown University, Emory University and the University of Connecticut have such statements.


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Skeptics of the policies say the statements amount to little more than virtue signaling—with some saying they are meaningless without actions to repair relations with local Native American communities. Some faculty members have pushed back against efforts to require the statements on websites and syllabi or ahead of public events.


At the University of Washington, Mr. Reges instead posted near the top of his syllabus for an introductory course over the winter: “I acknowledge that by the labor theory of property the Coast Salish people can claim historical ownership of almost none of the land currently occupied by the University of Washington.”


In other words, Mr. Reges says, citing philosopher John Locke’s theory that those who improve upon land own it, the Coast Salish people historically owned nearly none of the campus land.


An administrator asked Mr. Reges to remove the statement, saying in an email that it was “offensive” and created a “toxic environment,” then erased it from his online syllabus. The school also opened alternative class sections at the same time Mr. Reges’s course was scheduled, and notified him it would assemble a committee to consider disciplining him for violating a school speech policy.


The policy allows the school to discipline anyone whose speech or conduct it determines to be “unacceptable or inappropriate,” whether or not it is determined to rise to the level of unlawful discrimination or harassment.


Mr. Reges, who isn’t tenured, is represented by lawyers from the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, a group devoted to free-speech issues on campuses and beyond. FIRE calls Washington’s policy unconstitutionally broad and vague.


“The university’s conduct here runs on a collision course with the First Amendment,” said FIRE staff attorney Katlyn Patton.


The suit, filed in federal court in Seattle, seeks to have the University of Washington end any alleged retaliation against Mr. Reges, including potential discipline by the committee, and to eliminate its policy governing speech and conduct.


University spokeswoman Michelle Ma said Wednesday that the school is reviewing the complaint, and “continues to assert that it hasn’t violated Stuart Reges’ First Amendment rights.”


FIRE said the school invited such views by recommending the inclusion of land acknowledgments on syllabi in the first place, and that other faculty who deviated from the exact language the school suggested but kept to the overall message weren’t disciplined.


Victor Balta, a spokesman for the University of Washington, said in March that faculty aren’t required to post a land acknowledgment. He added, “Commonly utilized land acknowledgments are not politicized statements about land claims or ownership nor expressions of personal viewpoints about land ownership, but are rather statements of fact.”


Mr. Reges said he was told in April that the school would convene a disciplinary committee to determine his punishment for violating the school’s speech policy, which could include dismissal, a pay cut or suspension, according to the suit. Mr. Reges said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that according to the last update he received, in June, the committee was still being assembled.


“This specter of termination has a chilling effect on faculty speech,” according to the suit.


Write to Melissa Korn at melissa.korn@wsj.com

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