Target: Dr. T. Alan Hurwitz, President of Gallaudet University
Goal: Reinstate campus chief diversity officer after unjust firing
On a small Washington, D.C, campus known for its open-minded culture, a controversy is disturbing the structure of daily academia. A campus administrator from Gallaudet University, a federally funded university geared toward the education of the deaf and hard of hearing, has been put on leave after signing a petition that would put Maryland’s already existing gay-marriage law back on the ballot. Angela McCaskill, Gallaudet’s chief diversity officer believes that she is being punished for acting within her rights described by the First Amendment.
Back in March of this year, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed a bill into law that would allow gay marriage in the state; but the law was later put on hold pending a foreseen referendum. According to reports, McCaskill signed a petition that would seek to place the measure back on the ballot after listening to a sermon about marriage at her church.
McCaskill has declined to comment on how she would vote should the law go to voters, but in the past McCaskill maintains that she is not anti-gay. A colleague of hers also stated, “My belief is that she’s not against homosexuality.”
But for McCaskill, this has been a greatly harmful decision. After her dismissal was made public she said, “I’m dismayed that Gallaudet University is still a university of intolerance, a university that manages by intimidation, a university that allows bullying among faculty, staff and students.”
At a campus that prides itself on equality and acceptance, this controversy is not likely to settle down any time soon. Regardless of her intention, McCaskill should not have been excused for voicing her opinion in a peaceful way. Sign the petition below to demand that Gallaudet University reinstate Angela McCaskill.
Dear Dr. Hurwitz,
Gallaudet University, with its diverse student body and faculty, has set itself apart from other national campuses in many ways. From the day of acceptance, students learn to express themselves freely and to allow others to do the same. But even that has not stopped controversy from seeping through this academic foundation.
After signing her name to a petition that seeks to bring the issue of marriage equality back to voters, Gallaudet University’s chief diversity officer, Angela McCaskill was relieved of her duties and dismissed from her job. While her stance on the issue remains to be clear, her opinion does not violate her right to work at the university. Regardless of her intentions, she should not be punished for exercising her rights under the First Amendment.
As the leader of the University, Dr. Hurwitz, I ask that you lead by example and overturn her dismissal and reinstate Ms. MsCaskill.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Library of Congress Online Catalog