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A First Amendment Scholar Overwhelmed by Free-Speech Fights

Mr. Lukianoff's Foundation for Individual Rights in Education wrote in September to Mr.Bellinger and the president of Teachers College, a graduate school that is run independently of Columbia, complaining about a Teachers College policy termed "an ideological loyalty oath.

The school's "conceptual framework" says its teacher training emphasizes" our strong commitment to education for social justice and ads that "all educators need to believe that schools can be sites for social transformation even though they may currently serve to maintain social inequities."

It is said that neither Columbia nor Teachers College answered the complaint until after the group took the matter public.  In a letter dated October 11, the president of Teachers College, Susan H. Fuhrman, said that there was no ideology imposed on students.  "We teach a concern for social justice, but do not legislate a vision of what social justice is," she wrote.

Mr. Bollinger said that he feels comfortable with the handling of each of these issues.  He said he believes strongly that his scholarly temperament and his commitment to responding to issues in ''all their complexity'' serve him and Columbia well.

This article appeared in the October 23, 2006 edition of the New York Times.(



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