Posted on March 23, 2023

Stanford Diversity Dean Who Derailed Law School Speaker Event Placed on Leave

Alexa Schwerha, Daily Caller, March 22, 2023

An elite Stanford Law School (SLS) dean who berated a federal judge during a speaker event earlier this month was placed on leave, the school announced on Tuesday.

Federal Judge Kyle Duncan attempted to deliver remarks about COVID, Twitter and guns on the California campus on March 9 but was repeatedly interrupted by student hecklers. SLS Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Tirien Steinbach responded to his request for an administrator to help silence the room, but instead took the podium to accuse Duncan of causing “harm” and questioned if his speech was worth delivering.

“Associate Dean Tirien Steinbach is currently on leave,” SLS Dean Jenny Martinez confirmed in a community message addressing the actions the school will take. {snip}

Steinbach told Duncan that he would be given time to finish his remarks, but that “the way to address speech that feels abhorrent, that feels harmful, that literally denies the humanity of people … is with more speech and not less.”


SLS staff will receive additional training on how to properly respond to event disruptions, Martinez wrote. {snip}

The student body will undergo “mandatory educational programming” during the semester on the “topic of freedom of speech and the norms of the legal profession,” Martinez wrote. Students who heckled Duncan during the event will not be disciplined as the school would have to determine which students in the room violated the First Amendment.