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Dear Dr. Borna,
I wanted to write to you and offer you my support in the wake of recent events. I am the parent of a current Ball State student, and I was outraged that in all the media coverage of your having had a student removed from your classroom, no one has made mention of holding that student accountable for submitting to your authority as a professor. I appreciated your apology for what you characterized as an overreaction, but I am dismayed that the student has owned nothing. I have been on the edge of my seat waiting to hear someone call him out on the fact that he was disrespectful and defiant and has taken no responsibility for his actions, but there has only been silence.
I have two sons in college, one at Ball State as I mentioned, the other at Purdue, and both of them have been in classes in which they’ve disliked or disagreed with something their professor has said or done. I have counseled them both the same, saying that unless said professor is asking them to do something immoral or illegal, it is their responsibility to submit and adjust. I’ve taught them that it is the professor’s prerogative to make the rules for his or her classroom. They don’t have to like it or agree with it but they do have to submit to it.
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In my opinion, it is a sad, sad day when these kids are allowed to act out with no consequences, and can cry, “I was bullied!” or claim membership of a persecuted class as reason for being disciplined, instead of recognizing that their own actions have brought it upon themselves. I believe we do kids no favors by allowing them to believe that they get to be in charge and aren’t under authority of any kind. The natural outplay, if that were allowed to continue, would be chaos and anarchy, and nothing anyone would want. I fear that professors will no longer want to teach if their authority is continually undermined.
I am one person, with no real influence, but I wanted you to know that I support you and I am so sorry that things are being handled the way that they are. I think the student owes YOU an apology, and that the administration owes you some support. If this had been one of my sons, they would be marching themselves into your office apologizing for their behavior and for putting you in a situation where you felt you needed to call the police.
Thank you for hanging in there,
Amy L. Lex, parent of Ball State student