College Calls ‘Remember the Haymarket Riot’ E-Mail a ‘Threat’

June 17, 2015
By LaborPress

Last May Day, a laid-off adjunct professor at a community college in the Chicago suburbs sent the faculty and its retiring president a mass e-mail reading, “Have a happy May Day when workers across the world celebrate their struggle for union rights, and remember the Haymarket Riot in Chicago.”

Oakton Community College responded by having its lawyers accuse the professor, Chester Kulis, of “clearly threatening” the departing president, Peg Lee, and warn him that he had “absolutely no right… to threaten violence.” Kulis, who had taught criminal justice and sociology, had been active in the faculty union before he and 80 other adjuncts were laid off last year. “This response from Oakton has no basis other than an intent to suppress my union right to speak on behalf of union rights in a commemoration of a significant international labor holiday,” he wrote in a complaint to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board. He is being represented by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a libertarian-leaning organization that defends free speech on campuses. Read more

June 16, 2015

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