An Ol’ Broad’s Ramblings

May 7, 2007


Filed under: Moonbats & Other Animals — olbroad @ 9:30

Professor on Brink of Being Fired for E-Mailing George Washington’s Thanksgiving Address

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) has placed a professor on forced administrative leave and has recommended that he be terminated for e-mailing a Thanksgiving message to his colleagues last November. On the day before Thanksgiving, Professor Walter Kehowski sent out the text of George Washington’s “Thanksgiving Day Proclamation of 1789” and a link to the webpage where he’d found it—on Pat Buchanan’s web log. After several recipients complained of being offended by the e-mail, MCCCD found Kehowski guilty of violating the district’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policy and technology usage standards. Kehowski then contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help.

“It simply boggles the mind that a professor could find himself facing termination simply for e-mailing the Thanksgiving address of our first president,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “This situation is an embarrassment to MCCCD and would be laughable if a professor’s most basic rights and very livelihood weren’t on the line.”

Offended by George Washington’s ‘Proclamation’? Then I suggest they find a different line of work. These are suppose to be educators, not whining wieners.

On November 22, 2006, tenured mathematics professor Walter Kehowski at Glendale Community College—part of the MCCCD system—sent an e-mail containing Washington’s “Thanksgiving Day Proclamation of 1789” to all MCCCD employees using a district-wide listserv designated for “announcements.” Within weeks, five MCCCD employees filed harassment charges against Kehowski, claiming his message was “hostile” and “derogatory” because it contained a link to Buchanan’s website, where the conservative Buchanan had also posted his criticisms of immigration policies.

Letting people know where you got something is just a common courtesy in emails. What is their problem?

FIRE wrote to Chancellor Glasper on April 25 to protest the actions against Kehowski, stressing that e-mailing a proclamation from George Washington or including a link to Pat Buchanan’s website does not constitute punishable harassment. FIRE reminded Glasper that the U.S. Supreme Court has held that for workplace expression to be considered “harassment,” it must be “severe or pervasive enough to create an objectively hostile or abusive work environment.” Sending a link to a website, which readers can either visit or simply ignore, does not fit this exacting standard. FIRE further wrote that even if the Thanksgiving e-mail was unsolicited, numerous other employees had sent unsolicited, non-work-related announcements over the same listserv. Chancellor Glasper responded with a letter on April 30, but failed to address any of FIRE’s concerns.

I’m not surprised the chancellor didn’t address the problem. As Bill O’Reilly would call it….”hiding under his desk”.

“It is dark day for free speech and common sense in Arizona. If the MCCCD believes at all in the importance of the right to free expression, or even just in basic fairness, it will undo its illiberal actions and exonerate Professor Kehowski immediately,” Lukianoff said.

Oh yeah! Common sense has definitely flown out the window in Maricopa County’s community colleges.

H/T: of Bullets and Bibles



  1. We are trying to get as far away as possible, from anything good, particularly if the God of the bible is mentioned.

    I checked the GCC student newspaper, nothing there on this yet…

    Thanks for the hat tip!

    Comment by JR — May 8, 2007 @ 5:46

  2. If the student paper has faculty advisers, I’d say, odds are, ya aren’t going to see it until it makes PMSNBC or some such outlet.

    And, yer welcome. 🙂

    Comment by olbroad — May 8, 2007 @ 8:46


    I just heard a reporter on the radio condemning Governor Palin for indulging in dirty politics. To bring out background information on a man we are considering as our next President and Commander-in Chief which exposes him as having a background of befriending and working with a convicted terrorist, of sitting in a church for some twenty years listening to a pastor who expressed open hatred of America, of Jews, of white people and of blacks who may not agree with him was the duty of Governor Palin.

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    Comment by Jack Morris — October 6, 2008 @ 7:49

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