Stanford shows the way on punishing unruly protesters

by Admin
Stanford shows the way on punishing unruly protesters

To the editor: Stanford’s expressed intention to suspend the protesters who invaded and vandalized administrative offices — including that of the president — is a refreshing approach to those who attempt to excuse their illegal conduct under the rubric of “freedom of expression.”

Everyone has a right to express their opinions as long as they do not use their speech to incite criminal conduct. However, they do not have the right to invade property and vandalize it — which is what the students are accused of doing. Moreover, when the protesters engage in such conduct, they detract from their message.

Universities should support free speech, but it would be helpful if there was a concomitant commitment to critical thinking and the statement of opinions that are actually informed by the facts. Encampments, the taking over of buildings and vandalism should not be tolerated.

Those suspended students who are found to have engaged in vandalism should be sued for restitution. Perhaps such consequences will encourage them in the future to carefully consider their conduct before joining a mob.

Terry Shenkman, Culver City

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