Posted on May 6, 2005

Student Sues N.Y. College Over Dismissal

Josh Gerstein, New York Sun, May 6

A student who claims he was expelled from a training program for prospective teachers because of his support for corporal punishment and his opposition to multicultural education filed a $40 million lawsuit yesterday and demanded to be reinstated.

In the suit, Scott McConnell, 26, of upstate Baldwinsville, accused Le Moyne College of Syracuse of violating his First Amendment rights and breaching the school’s duty to abide by its own policies guaranteeing free expression.

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As part of a class devoted to promoting “inclusive classrooms,” Mr. Mc-Connell submitted a paper last fall in which he wrote, “I do not feel that multicultural education has a philosophical place or standing in an American classroom, especially one that I will teach. I also feel that corporal punishment has a place in the classroom and should be implemented when needed.”

Mr. McConnell’s professor gave him an A-. However, the professor also sent the paper to the director of the graduate education program, Cathy Leogrande. In January, Ms. Leogrande sent Mr. McConnell a letter dismissing him from the master’s of science in teaching program.

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