A professor made a radical proposition, calling for expulsions and criminal charges to be filed against those who use any ‘bias.’
University of Mississippi professor, Kirk Johnson, suggested that universities would benefit greatly from a harsher approach towards certain biases.
Even if a student were to be expelled and charged, the university’s Bias Incident Response Team could have their work cut out for them as a greater incentive to behave without bias would be created.
Professor Johnson argued that since the punishment for breaching a certain ‘bias’ was too soft, students wouldn’t rectify their behavior as there are a lack of direct consequences.
Students can use the Bias Incident Response Team to anonymously report any students they believe to be guilty of expressing bias.
The College Fix reports that, in an email, associate professor of sociology and African American studies, Kirk Johnson said:
“faced the possibility of being suspended from school, or being arrested under federal or state hate-crime statutes, I suspect they would police themselves more vigorously.
“Our BIRT [Bias Incident Response Team] system is toothless to the extent that students who violate the University of Mississippi creed face no punishment.
“As a result, there is little incentive for students to take responsibility for their actions.”
Professor Johnson later clarified his position, stating that only those who’ve broken state or federal hate laws should face criminal prosecution.
The University of Mississippi website says that bias can present itself in the following forms:
- Offensive graffiti or images/drawing
- Calling someone offensive, derogatory, or inappropriate names
- Posting or commenting on social media related to someone’s identity in a biased manner
- Drawing or creating pictures that imitate, stereotype, belittle, or ridicule someone because of their gender, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, faith, or political affiliation
According to the University of Mississippi website, the Bias Incident Response Team:
- Provides support and a process for effective advocacy on behalf of the student, faculty, or staff member who is a recipient of bias
- Promotes educationally driven outcomes to enable students, faculty, and staff to learn about discriminatory behavior and language
- Tracks bias data to share with campus partners for monitoring campus climate