Missouri State University: Political Litmus Test in School of Social Work
Emily Brooker sued Missouri State University (MSU) after she was threatened with expulsion and charged with violating MSU’s “Standards of Essential Functioning” for refusing to lobby the Missouri legislature on behalf of homosexual adoption. The lawsuit was settled in her favor. An outside investigation of the School of Social Work found ideological coercion on the part of the faculty against dissenting students and noted the chilling effect of its actions and policies on the school’s intellectual atmosphere.
- "FIRE Releases New Short Documentary on Freedom of Conscience Case at Missouri State, Announces Student Video Contest Winners," June 9, 2009: FIRE is pleased to announce the release of a new video on DVD and online called "Threats, Coercion, and Bullying at Missouri State." The short documentary covers FIRE's case at Missouri State University (MSU), where social work student Emily Brooker was threatened with expulsion after she refused (as a matter of personal belief) to send a signed letter to the Missouri state legislature in favor of homosexual foster parenting and adoption. FIRE also is pleased to announce the winners of its "Freedom on Campus" student video contest. A grand prize of $5,000 and an invitation to the Campus Freedom Network's summer conference went to a group of students from Ohio University (OU) for their video, "That's What She Said." Robert Nyerges, Dan Ray, Evan Mitchell, and Aaron Karp produced and filmed a documentary on OU's sexual harassment policy, describing how the policy likely violates the First Amendment.
- "Threats, Coercion, and Bullying at Missouri State," June 9, 2009: This short documentary covers FIRE's case at Missouri State University, where social work student Emily Brooker was threatened with expulsion after she refused (as a matter of personal belief) to send a signed letter to the Missouri state legislature in favor of homosexual foster parenting and adoption. This violation resulted not only in a federal lawsuit (which the school settled) but also in an official report that found that a culture of intimidation rife in the school's School of Social Work. For instance, many students and faculty stated a fear of voicing differing opinions from the instructor or colleague, and bullying was used by both students and faculty to characterize specific faculty. The 12-minute documentary features interviews with Brooker, faculty at MSU involved in the case, and Missouri state legislator Jane Cunningham.
- "Missouri State University School of Social Work Site Visit Report," March 28, 2007
- "Joint Letter from FIRE, NAS and ACTA to Rear Admiral Denise Canton, March 14, 2007," March 14, 2007
- "Thought Reform and Ideological Screening on Campus in 2009," by Adam Kissel, December 31, 2009
- "FIRE DVD Distributed in Print Edition of ‘National Review’," by Luke Sheahan, September 30, 2009
- "FIRE's YouTube Channel Grows in Popularity," June 11, 2009
- "Binghamton Social Work Case Gets National Attention, Student Government Support," by Adam Kissel, November 14, 2008
- "Binghamton University Department of Social Work Declares War on Student for Posters Criticizing Department and Government Agency," by Adam Kissel, November 13, 2008
- "Another Emily Brooker?," by Adam Kissel, April 11, 2008
- "Missouri State Releases Report on Social Work Department," by Luke Sheahan, April 9, 2007
- "Missouri State Settles Freedom of Conscience Lawsuit," by Sean Clark, November 13, 2006
- "Social Work Injustice on Inside Higher Ed," by Robert Shibley, November 1, 2006
- "Missouri State Violates Freedom of Conscience," by Luke Sheahan, October 31, 2006