Sussex campaign students to fire a philosopher
University of Sussex ‘anonymous, unaffiliated group of queer, trans and non-binary students’ calls on school to fire philosophy professor Kathleen stock for her views and activism regarding trans women.
In their “manifestoStudents say Stock is one of Britain’s’ most prominent transphobes’ who ‘spent years campaigning for the exclusion of trans people from’ women’s spaces’, and against the law. trans and non-binary people to identify as any gender. ”They write,“ Our request is simple: fire Kathleen Stock. Until then you will see us around. They also placed leaflets on campus calling to the dismissal of Stock and engaged in protests.
According to The Guardian,
Adam Tickell, the institution’s vice-chancellor, said: “We are investigating an activity on our campus which appears to have been designed to attack Professor Kathleen Stock for exercising her academic freedoms. Disturbingly, this included pressure on the university to terminate her employment… Everyone at university has the right to be free from harassment and bullying. We cannot and will not tolerate threats to cherished academic freedoms and will take whatever steps are necessary to protect the rights of our community. action in response to this, which continues ”.
Clearly, academic freedom protects Professor Stock from dismissal because of his opinions, and there is no indication that this campaign is having an impact on anyone who is in a position to affect his employment status.
While it is unfortunate that students do not seem to appreciate the value of academic freedom, students themselves have, under UK law, the right to freedom of expression, including the right to demand (recklessly) firing one of their teachers, and doing so in writing, on social media, on flyers, and through in-person demonstrations. They also have the right to publicly condemn his views. It is not clear from the reports if the students did anything other than this.
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