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SAF Wins at U Nevada-Reno By: Jim Brown
Agape Press | Wednesday, June 09, 2004

A conservative student at the University of Nevada in Reno has successfully contested a discriminatory grade he received for supporting the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In her advanced Organizational Behavior class, Professor Linda Barrenchea had asked students to argue the gun control issue using the utilitarian approach to moral reasoning. Jeremy Rosenstengel and several classmates took a pro-Second Amendment approach to the assignment and argued against gun control, and because of that, received lower grades than classmates who argued for gun control.

The former University of Nevada student, who now has his bachelor's degree, contends that the professor allowed her personal opinions on the gun control issue to enter into her evaluation of students' tests. "After going through my education," he says, "I really found that, in a lot of classes, if you don't kowtow to what the teacher believes -- not even what they're teaching, but what they believe -- your grades will suffer, not just on paper but through in-class intimidation."

After Rosenstengel confronted Barrenchea with further evidence to support his position, she reluctantly raised his test grade from a score of 70 percent to a 100 percent. However, the instructor would not apologize and still questions the validity of the pro-Second Amendment argument and certain facts and studies that the student used to back it up.

In getting his grade changed, Rosenstengel feels he scored a win for student's intellectual and academic freedom. He says this victory would not have been possible without the help of the group Students for Academic Freedom (SAF), which provided him with counsel.

Rosenstengel feels university officials need to do more to ensure that all students are graded fairly and equally. "What I'd really like to see them do is to adopt an academic bill of rights. I think that would be really beneficial, not just for the campus itself, but really for the student body," he says.

The university graduate notes that just such an Academic Bill of Rights has been developed by SAF and author-activist David Horowitz in an effort to protect the expression of free ideas on college campuses. SAF is a national coalition of independent campus groups dedicated to promoting intellectual diversity and restoring academic freedom and educational values in America’s institutions of higher learning.

Jim Brown, a regular contributor to AgapePress, is a reporter for American Family Radio News, which can be heard online.

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