Good riddance, Julea Ward
By Jodi F. Bullock
Four years after it began, Eastern Michigan University has settled a lawsuit brought by former student Julea Ward for $75,000. Ward was kicked out of the graduate counseling program after she referred a gay client to another counselor because as an evangelical Christian she believes that homosexuality is immoral.
Ward was working to become a K-12 counselor, where referrals for any reason are often not possible. Would she have turned away a gay student in crisis?
Despite claims of discrimination from Ward and her lawyers, EMU rightly followed American Counseling Association guidelines. Ward was not dismissed for her religious beliefs, but rather for her inability to separate those beliefs from the needs of the wide range of clients every counselor should expect to treat.
EMU had right policy, wrong procedure
By Sammy DeMarco
The case of Julea Ward v. Board of Regents of Eastern Michigan University is over. After the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rightfully ruled in favor of Ward, EMU settled with the former student rather than appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. In a press release Monday, the university seemed to claim victory because they can keep their policy intact, but that’s not what was at issue.
The court ruled the issue was that Ward was wrongly dismissed from her academic program “because of hostility towards her speech and faith, not due to a policy against referrals.” Regardless of whether we disagree with Ward’s moral beliefs against homosexuality (I do), the university cannot dismiss students – who followed protocol – because a few professors are offended by students’ personal beliefs.
Campus police get Tasers
By Jodi F. Bullock
Ever since the “Don’t tase me, bro!” guy’s request during a 2004 presidential campaign event was ignored, Tasers on college campuses have had a bad reputation.
Starting in January, all Eastern Michigan University campus police officers will be armed with Tasers. But this is actually a good thing.
EMU police will now have an effective, non-lethal (most of the time) weapon in their arsenal. Tasers are useful in detaining a suspect with the least amount of physical force by officers, which means fewer injuries to everyone involved. Being shot with a Taser is preferable to being shot with a gun, for obvious reasons.
Of course, the best plan of action is to completely avoid being hit with electrode darts altogether by staying out of trouble and off the campus police radar.
Sen. Warren is right to get snippy
By Sammy DeMarco
It’s comforting to see an attempt to finally legislate men’s reproductive health. After years of neglect by our trusted government officials, State Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, stepped up and offered two amendments to the incredibly restrictive anti-abortion bill passed by state Republicans this week. One of Sen. Warren’s amendments would have protected men from coerced vasectomies. This is on par with Republicans’ requirement that women be screened to ensure they weren’t coerced into an abortion.
The second amendment she offered would have required rectal exams before men could be prescribed meds for erectile dysfunction. Unfortunately, both amendments failed to receive enough votes by the Republican-controlled Senate. Don’t men deserve the same protection as women in the genitalia region? I applaud Sen. Warren for getting snippy over men’s reproductive health.