Limits on a class newsgroup?


Case Type:

Hypothetical

Exigence:

Smith and four other members of the Man/Boy Love Society (MBLS) enroll for Prof. Wisdom's large lecture class on "Human Sexuality" at Springfield State University. Each day Smith and his fellows submits several messages to the class newsgroup, sending their posts from different computers and changing the name that appears in the "from" line; they do sign the messages with their own names. The messages say one or more of the following things:

  1. Sexual intercourse between adult and minor males is the highest form of human sexual expression.
  2. (Graphic descriptions of such intercourse are given to support #1).
  3. (A string of symbols which, when translated using the appropriate program, reconstruct as pictures of such intercourse, submitted in support of #1).
  4. Every male in the class should engage in such intercourse right away.
  5. Prof. Wisdom is an ignorant, bigotted feminist as is shown by her refusal to discuss such intercourse; she is not competent to teach this or any other class.
  6. Prof. Wisdom had sex with five students in this class last year, threatening them with an "F" if they did not sleep with her, thus contracting syphillis and rendering her clearly incompetent to teach this or any other course.
  7. In protest against Prof. Wisdom, everyone in the class should send so many messages to the newsgroup that she will have to shut it down.
  8. Harry Kalven, a student enrolled in the class, is a homophobic bigot.


Audience:

You: either as a fellow class member; as Prof. Wisdom; as SSU Dean of Students Mary Poppins; or as Springfield Chief of Police Clancy Wiggum.



Possible
Constraints:

Pederasty is illegal in Springfield.

Although it is not a required course, "Human Sexuality" is one of only four courses meeting one of SSU's distribution requirements.

Students in the class are required to read the messages to the class newsgroup, and to post at least once a week, signing their own name, just like in Northwestern's Comm Studies C30.



Decision:

Up to you. Be sure to pay attention to what can be punished and by what authority.

Related
issues:

Harm to society
Harm to individuals
Offense
Internet
Universities
Sex


Notes:

None.


For help
with these categories.

Copyright © 1998 Jean Goodwin. All rights reserved.
jeangoodwin@nwu.edu
Last updated 24 January 1998
The Free Speech website,
http://faculty-web.at.nwu.edu/commstud/freespeech/
Free Speech Home