March 31, 2020

DEANS ARE SUPPOSED TO STAND BEHIND THEIR FACULTY, NOT MAKE FOOLS OF THEMSELVES DENOUNCING THEM FOR TRIVIA: Law dean denounces professor for quoting Supreme Court decision that includes n-word.

At Wake Forest University School of Law, professors are not allowed to quote court cases in their classroom without being reprimanded before the entire community.

In a March 24 email to students, faculty and staff that was forwarded to The College Fix, the dean reprimanded Michael Curtis, professor in constitutional and public law, for quoting a footnote in a court case that used the n-word.

Dean Jane Aiken detailed the incident and apologized to students who heard Curtis say the word or heard about it from others.

Curtis was teaching his Constitutional Law I class about Brandenburg v. Ohio. As he was reading a footnote that contained racist statements from the Ku Klux Klan, Curtis used “the most offensive word in the American language — the n-word,” Aiken told the community.

Disgraceful. How are Wake Forest law students going to function in the real world, if they’re encouraged to be traumatized by a footnote?

And some advice to deans: When you throw a faculty member under the bus over a temporary PR kerfuffle, it tends to come back to bite you in the ass. Even the people who cheer you on in the moment will remember that if push comes to shove, you can’t be counted on.

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