College is very important

Without it, how would you learn who to kill?

A professor at North Idaho College says it’s all right to talk about executing “anyone who’s ever voted Republican” as long as it’s said with a smile. The belief was expressed by instructor Jessica Bryan when her comments were challenged by a student, Linda Cook, who served as an aide to the late U.S. Rep. Helen Chenoweth, R-Idaho, and is a longtime supporter of the Republican Party….

Among the allegations: Bryan reported President George W. Bush won the election “because people … can’t read,” and, regarding the death penalty: “First we line up everyone who can’t think and right behind them, anyone who’s ever voted Republican.”

“Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that anyone would take it seriously,” Bryan, who doesn’t deny making the statements, told the newspaper. “They were always said with a smile.”

She said the comments were an attempt “to get my students to think.”

Cook’s request to NIC Vice President Barbara Hanson is for a refund of the $379 she paid for the course. Officials said the school will review the situation.

Bryan said she thought Cook had enjoyed the “debate” of the classroom, but Cook said she chose not to confront the teacher during class time. “If someone’s suggesting you just be killed you don’t sit down and say ‘let’s talk,'” Cook said.

Bryan’s perception is that she was the one who was hurt.

“I do see it as an insult, personally and professionally,” she said. Bryan told the Sentinel she believes Cook is making a “mountain out of a molehill.”

The department syllabus notes that English 102 teaches “critical thinking” as well as essay and persuasive writing.

I don’t mind so-called hate speech, but I do think that the college might want to think twice about whether the execution of political opponents is a fit matter for a basic English course. I mean, it would at least be relevant to the material if she was having students diagram sentences like “The Negro is an inferior breed of animal” and “Everyone who has ever voted Republican should be hanged with rope made from recycled Wall Street Journals”.

I’m not sure that listening to a lunatic educator rant about anyone or anything is a particularly effective means of learning how to write effectly, though. Even if she is smiling… actually, I tend to find that it’s the smiling lunatics who are the most alarming.