Academic Freedom

We were in a class and the teacher let a bunch of students gang up on me and shred my idea. I don’t know if it is bias or academic freedom or just meanness, but it didn’t seem right. How should I handle things like that?


This isn't a question of academic freedom or bias. It's a question of how to manage a classroom. Under ordinary circumstances, a professor shouldn't let a class "mob" a student for his or her ideas; the professor should keep the peace, settle people down, and let the student be heard. Now, if the idea in question is pretty outrageous, then you have a situation: you should let people criticize the idea, but not to the extent that they get personal and attack the student. (This is also a fundamental principle of Robert's Rules: criticize a proposal all you like, but do not attack people or attribute motives to them.)

Students shouldn't gang up on one of their own, and professors shouldn't let them. But people who make outrageous remarks should be prepared to deal with legitimate criticism.

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