William Paterson University: Punishment on Harassment Charges for Response to Mass E-Mail
A Muslim student-employee at William Paterson University (WPU) has been cleared of baseless sexual harassment charges. WPU's shameful attack on 63-year-old Jihad Daniel's rights began after he privately replied to an unsolicited March 7 mass e-mail from Professor Arlene Holpp Scala that promoted a viewing and discussion of a film described as "a lesbian relationship story." Daniel's e-mail to Professor Scala requested that he not be sent "any mail about ‘Connie and Sally' and ‘Adam and Steve.'" FIRE first wrote in protest to the WPU president, only to receive a reply from the New Jersey Attorney General's Office which asserted that "Clearly speech which violates a non-discrimination policy is not protected." After FIRE took the case public, Daniel was vindicated in a November 2005 ruling when the hearing officer had determined that the sexual harassment charge was "not supported" and that the letter would be removed from his personal file. Moreover, the hearing officer clearly stated that Daniel's one-time expression of a personal religious belief was not "harassment."
- "Victory for Free Speech and Religious Liberty at William Paterson University," December 7, 2005: A Muslim student employee at William Paterson University in New Jersey has finally been cleared of baseless sexual harassment charges. With FIRE's help, Jihad Daniel forced the public university to officially revoke the punishment it inflicted on him after he expressed his religious opinion of homosexuality in a private e-mail to a professor.
- "William Paterson University Disciplinary Hearing Report for Jihad Daniel, December 5, 2005," December 7, 2005
- "The Media Discover William Paterson University Student's Plight," August 3, 2005: FIRE’s efforts to defend William Paterson University master’s student Jihad Daniel, who has been unjustly punished for “harassment” and “discrimination” for privately replying to a professor’s mass e-mail stating his religious objections to its content, have drawn well-deserved public attention. Wendy McElroy of Fox News commented on the case in “On Campus, Only Some Speech Protected,” while Joyce Howard Price reported on the case for the Washington Times. New York’s Newsday ran the Associated Press story on the controversy, while William Paterson’s home state of New Jersey featured news articles in the Star-Ledger (Newark) and the North Jersey Herald News as well as an opinion column criticizing WPU’s actions in the Bergen Record. Stay tuned for further developments in this case.
- "William Paterson University Tramples Student's Constitutional Rights," July 20, 2005: William Paterson University in New Jersey has convicted a student employee of “discrimination” and “harassment”—without due process—for describing homosexuality as a “perversion” in a private response to a professor’s unsolicited announcement of a university event that promoted a positive view of lesbian relationships.
- "Letter from New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey to FIRE Regarding Jihad Daniel, July 15, 2005," July 15, 2005
- "FIRE Letter to William Paterson University President Arnold Speert, July 5, 2005," July 5, 2005
- "Response from William Paterson University President Arnold Speert to Jihad Daniel’s Appeal, June 24, 2005," June 24, 2005
- "E-mail Appeal from Jihad Daniel to William Paterson University President Arnold Speert, June 23, 2005," June 23, 2005
- "Letter of Reprimand from William Paterson University President Arnold Speert to Jihad Daniel, June 15, 2005," June 15, 2005
- "E-mail Complaint from Professor Arlene Scala Against Jihad Daniel, March 8, 2005," March 8, 2005
- "E-mail from Jihad Daniel to Professor Arlene Scala, March 8, 2005," March 8, 2005
- "E-mail Announcement from Professor Arlene Scala, March 7, 2005," March 7, 2005
- "Fighting Against Political Correctness on Campus,"
by Dave Eberhart, NewsMax, March 1, 2006
- "University Clears Worker Punished for Stating Objections to Homosexuality,"
by Jim Brown, Agape Press, December 13, 2005
- "University Drops Charges Against Student for Opposition to Homosexuality,"
by Nathan Burchfiel, Cybercast News Service, December 12, 2005
- "Keep 'Adam and Steve' Out of His In-Box. Is That So Hateful?,"
by Peter Applebome, The New York Times, December 11, 2005
- " Let's score another one for the First Amendment,"
by Jeffrey Page, The Record (Bergen, N.J.), December 8, 2005
- "Muslim college worker wins appeal to have personnel reprimand erased,"
by Kelly Heyboer, The Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.), December 8, 2005
- "'Harassment' reprimand dropped against college worker,"
by Wayne Parry, Associated Press, December 7, 2005
- "Media Cover E-mail Issue,"
by Tara Septynski, Pioneer Times (William Paterson Univ.), September 14, 2005
- "Playing a Dangerous Game,"
by Greg Lukianoff and Azhar Majeed, Inside Higher Ed, September 2, 2005
- "Group Defends Campus Free-Speech Rights,"
by JoAnn Loviglio, Associated Press, August 27, 2005
- "Will Colleges Respect Your Child's Rights?,"
by Wendy McElroy, Fox News, August 24, 2005
- "New Jersey University Student Punished for Voicing Opposition to Homosexuality in Email,"
LifeSite, August 12, 2005
- "Cyber Complaint,"
Chicago Free Press, August 5, 2005
- "University rebukes employee for e-mail decrying lesbianism,"
by Joyce Howard Price, The Washington Times, July 31, 2005
- "University Student Disciplined For Objecting to Lesbianism,"
by Josh Montez, Family.org, July 29, 2005
- "WPU Censures Student-Employee for Expressing Biblical Beliefs Against Homosexuality,"
by Jim Brown and Jenni Parker, Agape Press, July 29, 2005
- "Free speech under fire at New Jersey university,"
The Daily Cougar (University of Houston), July 28, 2005
- "Insanity at WPU: Mr. Daniel's censure,"
by Jeffrey Page, The Record (Bergen, N.J.), July 27, 2005
- "On Campus, Only Some Free Speech Protected,"
by Wendy McElroy, Fox News, July 26, 2005
- "Intolerance Police Strike in NJ,"
by Joseph Farah, WorldNetDaily, July 25, 2005
- "Letter to the Editor,"
by Robert Shibley, The Record (Bergen, N.J.), July 25, 2005
- "Taking a policy too far,"
The Record (Bergen, N.J.), July 22, 2005
- "School Worker Fights Lesbian Insult Reprimand,"
1010 WINS, July 22, 2005
- "Worker fights college over homesexual stand,"
Daily Record (Morristown, NJ), July 21, 2005
- "Reprimanded college worker has an ally,"
by Kelly Heyboer, The Star-Ledger (N.J.), July 21, 2005
- "Worker's censure ignites debate,"
by Robert Ratish, NorthJersey.com, July 21, 2005
- "School employee fights reprimand after insulting lesbians,"
by Associated Press, Newsday, July 21, 2005
- "Anti-gay message sparks WPU debate,"
by Maya Kremen, Herald News, July 21, 2005