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THE CROSSES THEY CANNOT BEAR

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By Michelle Malkin  •  April 14, 2006 08:28 AM

***update: new photo of unhinged professor caught on camera***

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Northern Kentucky University professor Sally Jacobsen tears the “Cemetery of Innocents” sign on Wednesday evening. Photo credit: Sarah Loman, The Northerner Online

Look–liberal “tolerance” at work again! An unhinged feminist professor tells her students to wreck a pro-life display of crosses (via Cincinnati Enquirer):

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS – A professor at Northern Kentucky University said she invited students in one of her classes to destroy an anti-abortion display on campus Wednesday evening.

NKU police are investigating the incident, in which 400 crosses were removed from the ground near University Center and thrown in trash cans. The crosses, meant to represent a cemetery for aborted fetuses, had been temporarily erected last weekend by a student Right to Life group with permission from NKU officials.

Public universities cannot ban such displays because they are a type of symbolic speech that has been protected by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Witnesses reported “a group of females of various ages” committing the vandalism about 5:30 p.m., said Dave Tobertge, administrative sergeant with the campus police.

Sally Jacobsen, a longtime professor in NKU’s literature and language department, said the display was dismantled by about nine students in one of her graduate-level classes.

“I did, outside of class during the break, invite students to express their freedom-of-speech rights to destroy the display if they wished to,” Jacobsen said.

Asked whether she participated in pulling up the crosses, the professor said, “I have no comment.”

She said she was infuriated by the display, which she saw as intimidating and a “slap in the face” to women who might be making “the agonizing and very private decision to have an abortion.”

Jacobsen said it originally wasn’t clear who had placed the crosses on campus.

She said that could make it appear that NKU endorsed the message.

Pulling up the crosses was similar to citizens taking down Nazi displays on Fountain Square, she said.

“Any violence perpetrated against that silly display was minor compared to how I felt when I saw it. Some of my students felt the same way, just outraged,” Jacobsen said.

NKU President James Votruba said any evidence of criminal conduct in the incident will be turned over to prosecutors. He said he appreciated the emotional nature of the abortion debate and was glad that diverse viewpoints are represented at the school, but he condemned the destruction of the crosses.

“Freedom-of-speech rights end where you infringe on someone else’s freedom of speech,” Votruba said.

“I don’t buy the claim that this is an act of freedom of speech, to destroy property.”

He said he was gathering information about the extent of Jacobsen’s participation.

“I don’t know if she was pulling up the crosses, but I think she was out there with the students. If so, as far as I’m concerned, she went outside the conditions of her employment,” Votruba said.

He declined to say what consequences she might face. Jacobsen is a tenured professor who has been at NKU since 1980.

Here is Professor Jacobsen’s homepage. And here’s the Northern Kentucky University website.

Hat tip: reader Dan H.

Reader Joseph B. sends word that the pro-life students will be pressing charges. Via Northerner Online:

Members of the Northern Right to Life are camping out Thursday to protect their display of anti-abortion crosses, following the damage and removal of the display on Wednesday by protestors.

The group has decided to press charges against those responsible.

“We called the police and told them that we decided to press charges,” said Julie Broering, treasurer for the group. The members reached their decision after a day-long deliberation.

According to University Police reports, several young females removed about 400 white crosses from the grass in front of the University Center plaza at about 5:30 p.m. on April 12…

…Approximately 10 students accompanied Jacobsen to the crosses and helped her to remove them. The group knocked the crosses down and piled them in trashcans around the plaza, and removed the “Cemetery of Innocents” sign.

Police arrived at 7:15 p.m. and found the crosses in trash cans throughout campus, according to David Tobergte, an administrative sergeant with the University Police. Tobergte said once those responsible for the vandalism of the crosses are identified, they could face felony theft charges. If those responsible for the vandalism are students, then they will also face university sanctions, Tobergte said.

Dean of Students Kent Kelso said he learned of the incident a few hours after it occurred and asked the police to investigate. Kelso said that he is unaware of the identity of any person involved in the vandalism, but is talking with witnesses. If students are responsible for the vandalism, Kelso said that he will have to determine if they have violated the student code of conduct.

Tim at Pro-Life Blogs points out that Professor Jacobsen spoke at a conference in 2003 titled “Moral Education in a Diverse Society”. Her session was Teaching Civic Responsibility in Women’s Studies.

Rich.

***

Related:

National Review senior editor Ramesh Ponnuru’s new book, The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life, is an excellent road map of the Left’s descent into madness.

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***

Previous:

Saving American from crosses
Thugs target peaceful pro-life display
Attack on Rhode Island Pro-Life Monument Investigated as Hate Crime
Tearing down the little, white crosses
The war on the Mt. Soledad cross

The cross on Mt. Soledad
Saving the Mt. Soledad cross
The cross stays…for now

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