Excerpted from a press release from The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education [FIRE]:

Laurie Sheck, who is white, teaches a graduate course on "radical questioning" in writing. The course includes works by prominent African-American writers that examine racial discrimination, and Sheck prefaces her course with a warning that active engagement with literature involves a sense of unease and unsettlement.

In her graduate seminar, classroom discussion involved Baldwin's statement, "I am not your nigger," and Sheck noted how the title of an Oscar-nominated 2016 documentary, "I Am Not Your Negro," alters Baldwin's words. She asked her students what this change may reveal about Americans' ability to reckon with what Baldwin identified as "the darker forces of history."

Months later, a white student filed a discrimination complaint about Sheck's use of the Baldwin quote. Sheck was summoned to a mandatory meeting with The New School's director of labor relations without first being provided with any details about her allegedly
discriminatory conduct.

"We increasingly live in a culture of intimidation, name-calling, and a disrespect for and misunderstanding of genuine intellectual curiosity and striving," Sheck said. "On this 100th anniversary of its founding, it is chilling to see The New School lean in this direction rather
than stand bravely and with great integrity against it."

... Sheck's quotation of Baldwin does not violate the university's racial discrimination policy. Further, The New School's policies make clear it will not punish speech protected by the First Amendment and basic tenets of academic freedom.

"The New School's misguided investigation warns faculty and students that good-faith engagement with difficult political, social, and academic questions will result in investigation
and possible discipline..." said Will Creeley, FIRE's senior vice president of legal and public advocacy... "To be true to The New School's history and founding purpose on its centennial anniversary, university leadership must honor Professor Sheck's right to academic freedom and immediately end this investigation."

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