Professors Molly Secor-Turner and Brandy Randall of North Dakota State University were recently awarded a $1.2 million federal grant. Good news, right? The state should be happy, the university should be happy.
NDSU is turning it down and returning the money.
WHY? Because this is a grant to provide comprehensive sex education to teenagers in the Fargo area, in collaboration with Planned Parenthood. The state legislature, stacked as it is with regressive conservative jerkwads, freaked out and went scrambling to find a legal way to forbid it. And the president of the university, Dean Bresciani, is going along with it.
“Whether technically or not, in my evaluation, it’s not respecting the intent of our Legislature,” he said. “And that’s close enough to me. We’re not looking for loopholes to work around our Legislature; we work in respect of our Legislature.”
Bresciani said the recent discovery prompted him to freeze the funding. If the money can’t be redirected appropriately, he said, it will be returned to the federal government.
“What we’ve found is a very specific codicil of the law that makes it clear that it cannot be with Planned Parenthood,” he told Hennen. “And unless we can work around that, and again I’m not holding out hope on that, we’ll have to go to the direction of returning the resources.”
I have some words for you, Bresciani: your mission, as the president of a major university, is to improve the knowledge of the citizens of your region. Your faculty know that. Your students are going to your school for that purpose. When your legislature is actively working to undermine the mission of a university, it should be your job to oppose them. I know, they hold the purse strings; but that’s why you get paid the big bucks, because you have the difficult job of negotiating with idiots to serve a higher purpose. If you’re just going to cave in and do their bidding, well, the legislature could save even more money by simply hiring a dullard who would say “yes” to everything they ordered. Or did they already do that?
Oh, wait. Maybe that’s too many words, too long, too difficult. How about one word?
That’s a chickenshit move by a chickenshit administrator serving a chickenshit legislature.
What’s also rotten, as the paper makes clear, is that the North Dakota legislature is dishonestly strong-arming the university. There is no specific law that says the university cannot receive this federal grant. Here’s the stretch they made:
In 2011, North Dakota lawmakers approved a law effective as of July 2012 that requires K-12 schools in the state to ensure any sexual health curriculum “includes instruction pertaining to the risks associated with adolescent sexual activity and the social, psychological, and physical health gains to be realized by abstaining from sexual activity before and outside marriage.”
However, the NDSU professors awarded this grant previously told The Forum that law wouldn’t apply to their program because it was to be taught outside of the schools and only to those teens who voluntarily agreed to participate with parental consent.
Not only is that a chickenshit law, it doesn’t apply. And man, but North Dakota really wants to keep their young people ignorant.
Oh, look. The paper has a poll to go with the article.
Don’t know 8.3%