America's worst colleges for free speech: Hamline University makes top 10 list trends now
Minnesota's Hamline University has been named as one of the worst colleges in the United States for free speech after the school fired a professor for showing a 14th-century painting of the prophet Muhammad in a class on Islamic art.
The other schools that made the top ten include transgender swimming star Lia Thomas' University of Pennsylvania, which was cited for trying to silence a professor's anti-immigration and anti-affirmative action comments.
The University of Oregon is included on the list for forcing staff members to 'pledge allegiance' to 'diversity, equity and inclusion.' The prestigious Texas A&M also made the top ten after school officials began taking control of traditionally student-run events on campus.
This is according to a new list published by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), a non-profit civil liberties group.
Faculty leaders at Hamline University - which dismissed art history instructor Erika López Prater (pictured right) - have overwhelmingly called for the university president Fayneese Miller (pictured left) to resign
The foundation said of the list: 'Each year, FIRE bestows a special dishonor upon a select group of American colleges that go above and beyond in their efforts to trample expressive freedom.
'These are the schools that stopped at nothing to crush faculty rights, destroy student expression, and leave guest speakers in the dust.'
The full list of troubling institutions: Hamline University, Collin College, Emerson University, University of Pennsylvania Law School, Loyola University New Orleans (NOLA), Texas A&M, Pennsylvania State University, Emporia State University, Tennessee Tech University, and the University of Oregon.
Hamline attracted controversy stemming from an October 2022 incident in which adjunct art instructor Erika López Prater showed the 14th-century painting of the Prophet Muhammad to her students as part of a lesson on Islamic art after warning them beforehand and giving them an opportunity to opt-out.
She has sued the private liberal arts school over Miller’s decision not to renew her contract.
López Prater said in her lawsuit that she warned her students ahead of time and on the day the images were shown because she knew that many Muslims consider visual depictions of the Prophet Muhammad to be a violation of their faith.
She said the school had subjected her to religious discrimination and defamation and damaged her professional and personal reputation.
Aram Wedatalla complained to the school, claiming she'd been 'blindsided' by the image of the Prophet Muhammad despite Professor Prater giving them multiple warnings that she intended to show it
After the class, Aram Wedatalla - a student who is also the president of the university's Muslim association - complained.
Wedatalla, who spearheaded the campaigning to get Lopez Prater fired, chose to remain online in the class.
Afterward, she and others promptly complained to school officials that the image