Missouri State settles lawsuit with Emily Brooker

  1. Date: November 8, 2006
    Contact: John Black, (417) 836-8507
    Dr. Michael T. Nietzel, (417) 836-8500

    SPRINGFIELD-Missouri State University today signed an out-of-court agreement with the Alliance Defense Fund, thus ending the lawsuit filed against the university by Emily Brooker.
    On Oct. 30, the Alliance Defense Fund posted on its website a news release with a link to a lawsuit filed by Brooker. In the lawsuit, Brooker claimed that before she graduated from Missouri State in May 2006 with her undergraduate degree in social work, her free speech and religious rights had been violated in two social work classes. Missouri State University officials have spent the past several days investigating the allegations and discussing the case with the Alliance Defense Fund.

    I was very glad :spin: to see that this young woman had the gumption to stand up for her beliefs, however un-modern. I know it's a little old but I just came across it recently.

    This raises the age-old and irresolvable, IMHO, issue of how do we reconcile our personal beliefs with the needs and wishes of our patients?

  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   herring_RN
    The link didn't work so I found one that does:
    Missouri school sued by student who refused to support gay adoptions - USATODAY.com

    Now I know what the case was about.

    I don't think a student should be denied graduation because of an opinion on a controversial topic.

    I do know wonderful gay parents.
    I'm vicariously proud of a woman whose parents are gay. I gave her a violin when she was 11. Now she is an attorney doing good work.
  4. by   Not_A_Hat_Person
    I support gay rights, but the assignment in question was extremely inappropriate. If a class wants to support a cause like legalizing gay adoption, fine. However, an instructor has no business requiring students to write letters supporting a certain cause.

    At my first college, a class about the Holocaust included opinion pieces. Normally, students would pass if their arguments were coherent and logical. Howver, the professor would flunk students if they didn't share her opinion. A bunch of students went to the the department chair about it. I don't know how the case turned out.
  5. by   mama_d
    The only class I did poorly in in nursing school was the peds rotation. I was getting A's until the instructor tried to say that any kind of spanking at all was abuse and kids should be removed. I dared to argue that in certain situations I felt it was appropriate...not a whipping, but a crack on the butt once with an open hand. Suddenly my grades dropped to the point that my passing was in jeopardy.

    There is nothing wrong with intelligent debate, but to penalize a student for having different moral/ethical values is abuse of power IMO.
  6. by   azhiker96
    I think the professor was wrong when he required the letters be signed and sent to the legislature.

    I studied debate in HS. There I learned to research and find support for both sides of an argument. Doing that really makes you think deeply about a subject. It would have been better if the professor had just required a composition about the benefits of gay adoption which would have stimulated thought in the class, and maybe softened some hard attitudes.