Thursday, December 08, 2005

Scary Information

I heard about United States vs. Deborah Davis during NaNo and didn't have time to post about it. Here's the highlights, but go to the site and read the whole story for yourself.

One morning in late September 2005, Deb was riding the public bus to work. She was minding her own business, reading a book and planning for work, when a security guard got on this public bus and demanded that every passenger show their ID. Deb, having done nothing wrong, declined. The guard called in federal cops, and she was arrested and charged with federal criminal misdemeanors after refusing to show ID on demand.

On the 9th of December 2005, Deborah Davis will be arraigned in U.S. District Court in a case that will determine whether Deb and the rest of us live in a free society, or in a country where we must show "papers" whenever a cop demands them.

The next came from Every Day Editor who picked up a Milwaukee Journal article about a Marquette student.

A dental student at Marquette University has been suspended for the rest of the academic year and ordered to repeat a semester after a committee of professors, administrators and students determined that he violated professional conduct codes when he posted negative comments about unnamed students and professors on a blog.


In addition to informing the student of his suspension and his need to repeat his fall semester, which costs $14,000 in tuition, [Denis] Lynch [the dental school's associate dean for academic affairs] threatened the student with expulsion if he continued to post material on "any blog sites that contain crude, demeaning and unprofessional remarks."


The student admits that some of the entries were "imprudent, immature or crude," Taylor said, but he denies that they constitute misconduct.


What bothers [Scott] Taylor [the unnamed student's lawyer] and others is what they call vagueness of Marquette's codes of conduct and the decision to apply them in this case. The dental school's code requires students "to conduct interactions with each other, with patients and with others in a manner that promotes understanding and trust" and condemns "actions, which in any way discriminate against or favor any group or are harassing in nature."

To read the whole article, avoid registration by using A password and registration name is given so you don't have more junk mail.

Shock and outrage are not strong enough words to express what I feel. Thank God these violations of basic rights are being reported, not only by newspapers, but by bloggers. I really hope that the Marquette student gets some air time on one of the local news stations.

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