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 external review, which found that a culture of intimidation was rife in the school's School of Social Work. For instance, many students and faculty stated a fear of voicing opinions that differed from those of their instructors or colleagues, 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.
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What is FIRE?
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is a nonprofit organization that unites leaders, faculty, and students to defend and sustain civil liberties on college campuses in the United States. FIRE protects and promotes individual rights including the rights to freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of association, academic freedom, legal equality, due process, religious liberty, and sanctity of conscience—essential qualities of individual liberty and dignity.