[Marxism] Adjunct loses job over antiwar email controversy

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Nov 23 08:10:01 MST 2005


http://insidehighered.com/news/2005/11/23/adjunct
Adjunct in E-Mail Uproar Quits

John Daly — an adjunct at Warren County Community College whose e-mail 
message to a student set off a national controversy — resigned on Tuesday.

The New Jersey college’s board was due to discuss Daly and his 
controversial e-mail Tuesday evening. But the institution’s president, 
William Austin, issued a statement saying that Daly had quit late in the 
day, and that the board had accepted his resignation. Austin also said that 
“tolerance training” would be provided for faculty members.

The controversy over Daly arose from an e-mail message he sent to a student 
who was organizing a pro-war lecture. Daly’s e-mail said that “real freedom 
will come when soldiers in Iraq turn their guns on their superiors and 
fight for just causes and for people’s needs.” He also wrote to the 
student, head of the campus chapter of Young America’s Foundation, that “I 
will continue to expose your right-wing, anti-people politics until groups 
like yours won’t dare show their face on a college campus.”

In interviews conducted as conservative groups organized a campaign to have 
him fired, Daly stood by the substance of his e-mail. But he also said that 
he thought he was sending the e-mail to an organizer for Young America’s 
Foundation, and that he did not realize that he was sending the e-mail to a 
student.

The student, Rebecca Beach, had sent e-mail messages to faculty members 
about her lecture. But Daly said that since she had sent her e-mail from a 
personal account, and he had replied from a personal account, there was no 
reason for the college to be involved. He also said in an interview on 
Sunday that he was not advocating a literal revolt by soldiers, and that he 
would have replied with a different tone had he realized he was 
communicating with a student.

Daly did not respond to phone or e-mail messages last night seeking comment 
on his resignation. Previously, he said that his critics were trying to 
silence his anti-war views.

In his statement announcing Daly’s resignation, Austin called the First 
Amendment “the most precious freedom all Americans share,” and said that he 
was “committed to working unceasingly” to protect the freedom of speech of 
students and faculty members at the college. But he said that he also had 
an obligation to enforce state laws and college policies “to ensure that 
all members of our college are free and encouraged to exercise their right 
to free speech without fear of intimidation or retaliation.”

Austin went on to say that “the recent dispute between two members of our 
college community — adjunct instructor John Daly and a student representing 
a new student club — speaks clearly to the complexity of addressing these 
issues in these difficult and controversial times.”

— Scott Jaschik

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