Maggie DeJong, in her third year of a master’s program for art therapy counseling at Southern Illinois University (SIU), was shocked recently to receive official emails from the school’s administration ordering her to have “no contact” with three other graduate students in her program, either on or off campus.
What was this Christian student guilty of? What would prompt the university to issue the educational equivalent of a restraining order against her?
According to her attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the only thing DeJong was told in emails from the university is that “upon information and belief that interactions between yourself [and the other students] would not be welcome or appropriate at this time.”
DeJong was given no prior notice of the complaints against her nor was she given an opportunity to defend herself against whatever accusations have been lodged against her.
In an interview with The Daily Citizen, Tyson Langhofer, ADF Senior Counsel and Director of the Center for Academic Freedom, told us that Maggie has been singled out at times by her professors and fellow students for criticism of her Christian beliefs, even telling her that her beliefs are wrong, insensitive and contrary to the values of the program in which she is enrolled.
…More importantly, the university’s action violates the First Amendment. Langhofer sent a letter to SIU’s Chancellor, Randy Pembrook, demanding an immediate retraction of the “no contact” orders.
…Langhofer says that this case provides a teachable moment for prospective students and their parents as they consider enrolling at a public educational institution in a day and age where Christian beliefs are more counter-cultural than ever. Read more»
Bruce Hausknecht | “University Orders Christian Grad Student to have ‘No Contact’ with Students Who Disagree with Her Viewpoint” | Feb 28, 2022 (HT: Aquila Report)
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