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Thursday, April 27, 2006

NKU Professor and Student Co-horts Charged

Northern Kentucky University Professor who incited students of hers to help her in destruction of private property has been charged along with those that helped her.

The Women's Study professor whose feelings of outrage at a protest display for abortion of simple white crosses and a sign that said 'Cemetery of the Innocent' decided to display her anger by inciting several students to embark on criminal mischief in which they tried to say was their 1st Amendment Right to do, equating white crosses and the sign to that of Nazi Displays in Fountain Square.

Fortunately the Court System does not agree with them and they have been charged with Criminal Mischief, and Theft and the professor had an extra charge of Criminal Solicitation.

A professor and six students at Northern Kentucky University were charged Wednesday with misdemeanors related to the April 12 destruction of an anti-abortion display on campus.

Sally Jacobsen of the literature and language department, has been charged with criminal mischief, theft by unlawful taking and criminal solicitation. The third charge relates to evidence that she encouraged students to participate in the destruction, County Attorney Justin Verst said.

The six students, who range in age from 21 to 27, were charged with criminal mischief and theft by unlawful taking.

The theft charge is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $500 fine.

The criminal mischief and solicitation charges are class B misdemeanors punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $250 fine.

Verst said additional students might be charged as their identities become known.

Four hundred crosses representing aborted fetuses were pulled from the ground and thrown in trash cans around campus.

A sign explaining the temporary display, which had been approved by university officials as an expression of free speech, was also removed.

Jacobsen told reporters that she had "invited" students in her graduate-level British literature course to exercise free-speech by destroying the display.

She said she was offended by the simulated cemetery, which she considered intimidating and harmful to women who might be considering abortions. NKU's campus newspaper, the Northerner, published photos of Jacobsen dismantling part of the display.

Since the incident became public, NKU's president has received hundreds of e-mails from throughout the country condemning the professor's actions. She was placed on leave last week, and substitutes were assigned to her classes for the rest of the semester...


Additional students may be charged as their names are discovered.

She had no idea there would be so much fallout, and she is sorry for the hurt she caused.

Unfortunately this is the mindset of alot of those that get caught doing the wrong thing or breaking the Law. It is also the mindset of those that act on their feelings and not with their heads, and find how they acted and how people reacted to how they act, suddenly sorry for what they did.

They say it is never their intentions to cause such outrage...
Or they were exercising their 1st Amendment Right to Free Speech...

It is not till the public at large condemns such actions that they finally notice that perhaps they stepped over the line.

I will counsel this though, even though I deplore the actions she took in the theft and destruction of private property because of her 'feelings of outrage', hate mail sent to her is just as deplorable. There is no reason why such mail should ever have to be sent. You stoop to the levels they react in and become that which we so hate in what they do and become no better than those who act like this professor and her student co-horts did.

Jacobsen will plead not guilty, Grubbs said. Grubbs said the dismantling of the display doesn't amount to a criminal act.

"The intent was just an expression of freedom of speech," Grubbs said. "She saw harm coming from it, and she was just expressing her attitude towards the harm."

Unfortunately she still does not realize Destruction, Vandalism and Theft of Private Property is not a protest right under the First Amendment. You do not have the right to trample on the rights of others.

NKU sophomore Katie Walker, president of the Right to Life group responsible for the display, said one of the students called her to apologize a day after the vandalism. She could not recall the student's name.

"She was very upset about the whole thing. She said she kind of felt intimidated into those actions, and she felt horrible about it."

Understanding AFTER the criminal act has been done, but understanding none the less. It is also very eye opening and disconcerting that the student felt 'intimidated' into those actions, and I assume that intimidation came from the NKU professor. Scary thought that students can be so intimidated by their professors that they engage in destructive acts on behalf and with their professor.

"It wasn't just theft. It wasn't just vandalism. It was the violation of a right we hold sacred," Walker said, referring to free speech. "That kind of behavior needs to have repercussions."

I believe this is true also.
Whether this professor wishes to believe or not, she trampled on the free speech of others. She could have exercised her free speech any number of peaceful ways, but instead decided to act in an aggressive destructive manner, in destroying, vandalizing and theft of private property that other students had gotten permission from the NK University to put up.

She did not have permission of the owners of the display nor the University to take down the display either.

Verst said that based on the evidence presented by NKU police, he would have brought charges regardless of the Right to Life group's position.

"I thought it was pretty clear-cut. Obviously, there's strong feelings on both sides as to the issue involved, but the subject matter of the signs didn't play into my decision."

Lastly, Verst is correct, no matter what the position, it did not matter.
It was pretty clear cut about the Law.
No matter what your feelings are, you still need to obey the Law.

See Sanity's Related Posts:
NKU Professor Sally Jacobsen Update

Professor Equates Crosses to Nazi Displays