A professor at a community college in Tennessee is now under investigation after students allege she forced them to wear Rainbow Coalition ribbons supporting gay rights.
Columbia State Community College professor Linda Brunton also allegedly told her general psychology class that people who oppose gay marriage are “uneducated bigots” who “attack homosexuals with hate,” The Daily Caller reported. Brunton told students to put on the ribbons and wear them for a whole day.
A spokeswoman for the school, Amy Spears-Boyd, told Campus Reform that Brunton’s conduct is now under an investigation.
“When the allegations were brought to the attention of college officials, Columbia State Community College began an investigation, which is currently ongoing and congruent with Board policy and applicable laws,” Spears-Boyd said in an email.
The group Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter to the school Monday on behalf of students who felt their First Amendment rights were being violated.
“Colleges should be the marketplace of ideas, not environments where professors manipulate students into advancing particular political agendas,” said Litigation Staff Counsel Travis Barham in an ADF press release. “The Constitution does not allow any government official to force another person to adopt or advocate a particular moral or political view. But this professor did just that with this assignment and thus clearly violated freedoms protected by the First Amendment.”
The ADF claims Brunton was unreceptive to students who were offended by the assignment.
“When several students objected to being forced to support conduct that violates their faith convictions, Brunton brushed aside their concerns,” the release states.
She would not let class discussion touch on topics of morality or allow students “throwing Bible verses,” according to The Daily Caller.
“Dr. Brunton essentially turned her general psychology class into a semester-long clinic on the demands of the homosexual movement,” Barham told Fox News.
Tennessee dissenters might be surprised to learn Brunton is homegrown. According to her Columbia State faculty page, Brunton received her doctorate in Education from Tennessee State University.