Doane University suspended a librarian earlier this year over her decision to highlight the university’s history of blackface incidents.
Last week, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) published a report on an ongoing conflict at Doane University involving their decision to punish a librarian who drew attention to the school’s history of blackface.
Librarian Melissa Gomis was placed on mandatory leave after she constructed a display in the library featuring old photos from the university. In a photo from 1926 included in the display, two students appear in blackface.
Alex Morey, a FIRE program officer for legal and public advocacy, argued that the decision to suspend the librarian over her decision to highlight the institution’s past is one of the worst acts of censorship by a university this year.
“Doane University’s punishment of a faculty librarian for refusing to censor the school’s difficult past is one of the worst academic freedom violations we’ve seen this year,” Morey said. “The university is effectively preventing people from confronting its history by labeling it ‘harassment.’ Doane administrators seem to think they’re better suited than faculty to judge when and how tough subjects can be taught. That’s not how academic freedom works.”
Chris Wentworth, a Doane physics professor, condemned administrators over their decision to punish the librarian for expressing herself. “Marching Melissa off campus and forbidding her to step foot on campus or use university email even after she removed the offending photographs was an extraordinarily damaging action on the part of the administration,” Wentworth said in a comment. “My best guess is that our administrators just were not thinking very deeply or carefully about the issues involved. We clearly have much work to do in restoring trust.”
Stay tuned to Breitbart News for more updates on this story.