University of Oklahoma: Use of Sexual Harassment Allegations to Suppress Protected Speech
At the University of Oklahoma David Deming, an associate professor of Geology and Geophysics, criticized an opinion column that stated: "Easy access to a handgun allows everyone in this country . . . to quickly and easily kill as many random people as they want." A citizen who holds protected beliefs about the Second Amendment, Deming responded with a letter that stated: "[Her] easy access to a vagina enables her to quickly and easily have sex with as many random people as she wants . . . and spread venereal diseases." In response, the Dean of the College of Geosciences, John T. Snow, sent a letter to Deming berating him for expressing himself, and for upsetting the president's office by occasioning a large number of phone calls from media and alumni. In an email a few days later, Snow informed Deming that it was "unclear" how the controversy would affect Deming's professional career at the school. While he was never brought up on charges there was definitely backlash, despite his protection under the First Amendment. Deming's colleagues continued to ostracize him, essentially forcing him out of the department for his controversial statements.
- "Letter from the Foundation for the Advancement of Sexual Equity to University of Oklahoma President David Boren, April 23, 2000," April 23, 2000
- "Oklahoma Professor's First Amendment Rights Still Under Threat," March 23, 2000: FIRE seeks an explanation from OU.
- "Professor's case exposes bias,"
by Robert Shibley, The Oklahoman, February 23, 2005
- "UI free speech policy disappoints,"
by Chad Kent, Iowa City Press-Citizen, January 12, 2005
- "Pro-Gun Professor Claims University Denied Him Free Speech,"
by Kathleen Rhodes, Cybercast News Service, December 13, 2004
- "The Man Without a Department,"
by Scott Smallwood, The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 27, 2004
- "Oklahoma U Crushes A Prof's Free Speech,"
by David Deming, FrontPage Magazine, February 2, 2004
- "U. of Oklahoma Won't Pursue Complaints Against Professor Who Compared Gun to Vagina,"
The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 8, 2000
- "The Orwellian Memory Hole: Vanishing Archives,"
by Wendy McElroy, LewRockwell.com, April 20, 2000