I'm a lecturer, and I don't feel I can speak freelyThe Guardian.
Last week, a student of mine asked for my political views. They wanted to know what I thought about the decision by the University College Dublin students’ union to impeach their president after she withdrew information about abortion services from a university magazine, spawning a national debate on freedom of speech. I am not without personal opinions on these issues: I am pro-choice. Yet I felt I could not speak freely with my student about this.
For me, university is not a place where I can speak my mind. It is a place where I teach facts, present evidence and introduce a diverse range of other people’s attitudes. I seldom, if ever, make my personal opinions known, fearing accusations of bias and – ironically – of stifling free speech. It’s dehumanising to feel that I cannot be honest with my students. At the same time, I worry that I do them a disservice by failing to engage them in debates that might challenge their (or indeed my own) opinions.
Full report on The Guardian site