George F. Will again expounded on one of his favorite topics: the supposed suppression of “free speech” in academia [“The cult of fragility on college campuses,” op-ed, Sept. 13].
Certainly, there are many anecdotal examples of silly behavior in this regard, and we can all have a good laugh at those pointy-headed professors. However, their hearts are in the right place. They’re taking in kids from a highly permissive society and trying to get them to accept an unfamiliar concept. This is, after all, supposed to be an educational experience. The idea is that they should think for a moment before speaking and that they should find a way to be free without necessarily inflicting pain on others.
Free speech is certainly an issue, but so is being allowed to go through life without routinely being verbally slapped in the face. If we can’t accept this, then we shouldn’t complain about the current lack of civility in public discourse. This civility thing has to be taught; it does not occur all by itself. If academic administrators sometimes seem a bit overheated in their efforts, then I, for one, can forgive them and applaud their intentions.
Vic Bermudez, Springfield