ACADEMIC FREEDOM IS JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE
Sexual orientation discrimination in the classroom may involve the professor making comments or actions or allow unchallenged comments or actions by students that single out or ignore lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) issues or people. This kind of often inadvertent behavior may discourage LGBT students from feeling safe in the classroom or reaching their full academic potential.
As Steve correctly points out, the use of the word “ignore” is troublesome and could have all manner of interpretations. And it would certainly seem to violate the most basic tenets of academic freedom.
The details listed further in the code are less problematic, though still messy:
Examples of discrimination against LGBT people in general terms include the following:
* explicit use of derogatory terms or stereotypic generalizations;
* use of perceived ‘humorous’ images or statements that demean or trivialize LGBT people;
Depends on interpretation. If done as a pattern, I’d agree this would be unprofessional.
* reinforcement of stereotypes through subtle, often unintentional means, such as by using classroom examples in which LGBT people are portrayed in certain occupations;
Rather unclear. No florist or LPGA jokes?
* refusal to allow LGBT issues or people to be discussed;
Depends on context. If similar issues are discussed, then the exclusion of this topic is problematic–although it would make following the other guidelines simpler. But, surely, math professors wouldn’t be required to stop talking about differential equations so that a student could bring up LGBT issues?!
* continuous use of heterosexist terms
such as making the assumption that all people are heterosexual.
How would that work?
Such assumptions evoke images in students’ minds and effectively eliminate LGBT people as subjects of discourse even though the elimination may be unintentional
There’s the rub, no?
but it nonetheless renders LGBT people peripheral or invisible.
That sounds fun. Hasn’t everyone wanted to be invisible? Seriously, is the awareness that some people are homosexual missing from students admitted to the second most prestigious public university in California?
Examples of discrimination against LGBT people as individuals or part of the classroom group include:
* not challenging anti-LGBT statements or comments made by other in the classroom;
Likely a good policy, although I could see letting them stand as part of a vigorous debate where other students could be expected to weigh in.
* addressing the class as if no LGBT students were there;
Good morning, heterosexuals! I trust all of you still have the same sex organs you were born with? Ha. Ha. ?!
* treating LGBT students who continue to raise LGBT-related issues as makers
Makers of what?
The intent here seems reasonable enough. But this code will likely cause more problems than it solves.