Le Moyne College: Dismissal of Student for Dissenting Views
Graduate student Scott McConnell handed in an assignment in which he described his ideal classroom -- environment which involved "strong discipline and hard work" and which included "corporal punishment." Though he did well on the assignment, he was summarily dismissed two months later by the Education Department chair, despite his "excellent" evaluation for class work. She cited a "mismatch between [his] personal beliefs regarding teaching and learning and the Le Moyne College program goals." FIRE wrote to the Le Moyne College president, urging him to honor the College's commitments to academic freedom and due process. When Le Moyne declined to do so, FIRE went public with the case. McConnell filed suit, aided by the Center for Individual rights, and the case eventually went to the Supreme Court of New York's Appellate Division, which found in favor of the student. Since McConnell fulfilled the standards laid out for him, the court said, McConnell was a fully matriculated student and Le Moyne was therefore wrong to dismiss him without due process.
- "Court Rebukes Le Moyne College for Censorship," January 19, 2006: In an important victory for freedom and fundamental fairness, a New York appeals court has determined that Le Moyne College wrongly removed graduate student Scott McConnell from its education program for endorsing corporal punishment in class. FIRE first brought McConnell’s case to public attention last year.
- "New York Supreme Court Appellate Division Decision in McConnell v. Le Moyne College, January 18, 2006," January 18, 2006
- "Memorandum of Law In Support of Plaintiff's Motion for a Preliminary Injunction Immediately Reinstating Him as a Graduate Student at LeMoyne College," May 20, 2005
- "Student Dismissed for Personal Beliefs Files Multimillion-Dollar Lawsuit Against Le Moyne College," May 5, 2005: Today, former graduate student Scott McConnell filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, because it expelled him from its education master’s program based on his personal beliefs. FIRE took up McConnell’s case earlier this year, reminding Le Moyne that its actions breached its own promises to respect students’ academic freedom and due process. When Le Moyne refused to address these concerns, FIRE publicly exposed Le Moyne’s repressive actions.
- "Excerpt from Le Moyne College’s 2004–2005 Student Handbook," May 5, 2005
- "‘McConnell v. Le Moyne College et al.,’ May 5, 2005," May 5, 2005
- "Letter from Le Moyne College Academic Vice President John Smarrelli to Scott McConnell, March 30, 2005," March 30, 2005
- "Letter from Scott McConnell to Le Moyne College Academic Vice President John Smarelli, March 14, 2005," March 14, 2005
- "Le Moyne College Dismisses Student for Personal Beliefs," February 15, 2005: Administrators at New York’s Le Moyne College, which claims to protect academic freedom, have summarily dismissed an education student for writing a paper advocating strict discipline for students. The chair of Le Moyne’s education department expelled master’s student Scott McConnell because of a “mismatch” between his personal beliefs and the goals of the college’s graduate education program.
- "Letter from Le Moyne College Academic Vice President John Smarrelli, Jr., to FIRE, February 8, 2005," February 8, 2005
- "FIRE Letter to Le Moyne College President Charles Beirne, February 3, 2005," February 3, 2005
- "Letter of Dismissal from Le Moyne College to Scott McConnell, January 13, 2005," January 13, 2005
- "Campus Alert: Think like us--or else,"
New York Post, June 4, 2007
- "The Week,"
National Review, February 13, 2006
- "Judge Orders School to Reinstate Spanking Supporter,"
by Nathan Burchfiel, Cybercast News Service, January 23, 2006
- "'We Don't Need That Kind of Attitude',"
by Robin Wilson, The Chronicle of Higher Education, December 16, 2005
- "Teaching Student Expelled,"
by Scott Norvell, Fox News, May 11, 2005
- "Student Sues N.Y. College Over Dismissal,"
by Josh Gerstein, The New York Sun, May 6, 2005
- "False Promises Of Academic Freedom,"
by David Limbaugh, Creators Syndicate, May 5, 2005
- "Polly gaffes,"
by Mark Bergin, World Magazine, April 16, 2005
- "'Pollys' Spotlight Politically Correct Excesses On U.S. Campuses,"
by Jim Brown, Agape Press, April 14, 2005
- "2005 Campus Outrage Awards,"
by Collegiate Network, Campus Magazine, April 1, 2005
- "Free speech on campus,"
The Baltimore Sun, March 24, 2005
- "College in Flap over Corporal Punishment Essay,"
by Anthony Brooks, All Things Considered (NPR), March 21, 2005
- "To paddle or not to paddle? It's still not clear in US schools.,"
by Stacy Teicher, Christian Science Monitor, March 17, 2005
- "College Expels Student Who Advocated Corporal Punishment,"
by Patrick Healy, The New York Times, March 10, 2005
- "Free Speech Debate Spurs Lots of Words,"
by Glenn Coin, The Post-Standard, February 27, 2005
- "A Neo-Jesuit Education,"
by David Holman, The American Spectator, February 25, 2005
- "Student booted for 'personal beliefs',"
WorldNetDaily, February 16, 2005
- "National group faults Le Moyne,"
by John Mariani, The Post-Standard (Syracuse, N.Y.), February 16, 2005