A student at the University of Wisconsin claims that a professor told her to remove religious references in a project or receive a failing grade for the assignment.
The student, Rachel Langeberg, said sociology professor Dr. Annette Kuhlmann told her the inclusion of faith themes and a Bible verse would not be appropriate for the PowerPoint project.
Kuhlmann wrote in a review of the project, “The University of Wisconsin is a secular institution. Religious contemplations and the bible [sic] belong to a different realm and not academic sources. So your argumentation along Christian lines, including the slides you designed in relation to it, are [sic] inappropriate for this presentation.”
The Blaze reports Langeberg followed the professor's instructions and removed the religious references fearing the failing grade on the project. She then met with the professor and a dean regarding the incident, but they were not able to reach an agreement.
Langeberg is now being represented by the Liberty Counsel. The legal group has asked for an apology from Kuhlmann and for the original PowerPoint to be sent to the class with religious references intact. If Kuhlmann does not respond by July 3, the group will pursue further legal action.
Liberty Counsel attorney Richard Mast said, “Students do not lose their First Amendment rights when they sign up for classes at the University of Wisconsin. It is blatantly unconstitutional to restrict student religious speech or threaten a failing grade for religious content, where the speech or content is otherwise academically appropriate for the assignment.”
Publication date: June 25, 2015