[Marxism] Response from Jim Craven

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Apr 14 15:46:39 MDT 2005

Stuart Lawrence wrote:

Believe me, cases like this do have legs as precedent (both throughout the
circuit and nationwide). It's entirely predictable for the facts of a case to
become heavily abstracted and schematized in order to support worse and worse
outcomes in the future. One thing you learn in law school is that facts get
systematically massaged and obscured to fit legal doctrines, and sympathetic
or innocuous facts can turn into the basis for horrible outcomes in later
cases. So getting into litigation like this to defend a termination decision
sets in motion consequences that the parties cannot control.

Response Jim C: First of all, I hope that at Stuart's law school they teach 
to get the facts straight first--all of them--before proceeding to any 
tortured legal contortions with them. For example, Stuart writes:

But this _wasn't_ a class field trip -- it was done with disclaimers of
college auspices, just as Jim Craven's statements on this list and elsewhere
are labeled as not the statements of Clark College, and Lou's list is
(somewhere, I suppose) labeled as not a project of Columbia University. Yes,
the teacher did initially want to take her whole class on a field trip, as was
suggested by several of her students, but when told not to, she agreed not to
oganize a trip under Clark's auspices.

After the fact, it seems that the Clark administration, through the Washington
attorney general, managed to persuade four US judges that it was a "de facto"
field trip, just because some students and the teacher traveled and attended
the protest together, with some planning beforehand as could be expected. This
was the linchpin of the case because categorizing it as such allowed the court
to bring the college's "student safety" and "pedagogical oversight" interests
into play.

Now Hudson was offered to be able to take-off and go to the conference with 
a replacement provided to conduct the regular class and to be paid for her 
absence. By the way, I should have not even been named in the lawsuit as I 
immediately recused myself and turned it over to the Division Chair and 
Vice-President of instruction at the time and was prepared to follow their 
orders whatever they determined on this matter. But for the record, this is 
not about First Amendment, this is not about what is or not to be taught 
content-wise or ideologically. This is what what was noted in the decision 
despite Stuart's framing and inability to read a court decision--and their 
reasoning in it: see pp. 4018 para 2 to pp 4020. Basically it had to do 
with violating and attempting to circumvent the conditions set by the VP of 
Instruction (no questions on final related to WTO protest, etc). Further, 
as was noted by the 9th Circuit, there were other factors involved and 
proved (that this person's contract would not have been renewed for reasons 
other than and/or in addition to the attendance of the WTO protest and 
attempting to circumvent the conditions under which she was allowed to 
attend during her assigned class time for which she was being paid (that is 
also an issue) but the court did not address the second issue as she did 
not prevail on the first.

So would it be a matter of "freedom of speech/association/religion" (First 
Amendment) If some teacher assigned, as a gradeable assignment, students 
going to and participating in (carrying signs and stickers) an 
anti-abortion rally as a class project? How about a class being assigned to 
attend a particular church service and being subject to exam questions on 
the content of the service? How about attending an anti-Gay/Lesbian or 
Gay/Lesbian-bashing rally as a gradeable class assignment? Those were the 
precedents about which I was most concerned--along with basic right and 
wrong. How about attending a porn show as a class assignment? We cannot 
give out gradeable class assignments that, by their nature, will exclude or 
can likely exclude a portion of a given class who have a right not to 
attend by virtue of the nature of the assignment itself.

The rest of this discussion, "from afar" is simply more dilettantism, 
know-it-all-ism and talking/writing while patently and provably not being 
in command of all the relevant facts of this case. Why not react to the 
actual facts of the case given in the decision rather than cherry-picking a 
few facts to frame a patently bogus notion of what this case is about or 
indeed about what real precedents might or might not be set?

By the way, the Attorney General's office that acted as legal 
representation, is the same one that ordered/still keeps an illegal secret 
file on me (4,900 pages for which I refuse to pay 10-cents per page or $490 
to get to see) and my own struggles for academic freedom and other rights 
at Clark are longstanding and well documented--and far more extensive and 
costly than Hudson's could ever be.

Jim Craven

James M. Craven
Blackfoot Name: Omahkohkiaayo-i'poyi
Professor/Consultant,Economics;Business Division Chair
Clark College, 1800 E. McLoughlin Blvd.
Vancouver, WA. USA 98663
Tel: (360) 992-2283; Fax: (360) 992-2863
"The people who cast the votes decide nothing.
The people who count the votes decide everything."
Josef Stalin

Employer has no association with private/protected opinion

Louis Proyect
Marxism list: www.marxmail.org 

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