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  • Anthony Martinez is 84-years-old and suffering from renal failure, as well as other serious medical conditions including dementia. He is currently incarcerated in the Sterling Correctional Facility, site of one of Colorado’s largest COVID-19 outbreaks with almost 600 active COVID-19 cases. He and his family are understandably terrified that he will catch the virus and die.

    In the midst of this public health crisis, incarcerated people as vulnerable as Anthony, could and should be immediately released to safely live out their remaining years with family.

    Read more about Anthony Martinez and other at-risk incarcerated people. 

  • Ronald Johnson is pre-diabetic, suffers from asthma and high blood pressure, and regularly uses an inhaler to breathe. His age and respiratory ailments put him at risk of serious illness and death if he contracts COVID-19. With over hundreds of active cases in Colorado’s prisons, his family fears he will not make it out alive. His daughter, Amber, says, “In prison, he can’t protect himself and he can’t social distance. My deep fear is that my dad will die in prison. That is an awful, traumatic reality to consider. My chest is tight just thinking about how quickly it spreads and how vulnerable he is.”

    Governor Hickenlooper shortened his sentence following testimony from family, friends and correctional officers advocating for his early release. Yet, he is still eight years away from parole. While he remains in prison, COVID-19 continues to spread. Ronald’s three siblings, four children and four grandchildren are desperate for his release.

    Read more about Ronald Johnson and other at-risk incarcerated people.

  • Tuesday Olson knew her pregnancy was in trouble and tried to access hospital care as soon as possible. But there was a problem: she was in jail. This is her story.
  • It’s time to end the death penalty in Colorado. Family members who lost loved ones to murder speak out against an unjust and broken system.

CU Sociology Professor Patti Adler’s Class Exercise is not Sexual Harassment

Class exercise about prostitution not “sexual harassment,” say national organizations in response to intimidation and threats by the University of Colorado-Boulder directed at sociology professor Patti Adler.

Joint statement warns CU-Boulder’s violation of academic freedom could have chilling effects across higher education

BOULDER–A joint statement released today by the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), ACLU of Colorado (ACLU-CO), Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and Student Press Law Center takes aim at the University of Colorado Boulder for its attempts to silence and intimidate Professor Patti Adler because of a class exploring the issue of prostitution.

The organizations are calling on the University to re-instate Professor Adler’s popular “Deviance in U.S. Society” course–with Adler as instructor–”without further reviews or conditions.” Adler reported in December that she had been advised that the course was being cancelled, and that she was given the choice to return, but not teach the course, or to take early retirement. The University’s actions were reportedly due to concerns that a classroom exercise in which teaching assistants role-play as prostitutes might constitute sexual harassment. Adler has used the exercise for many years in the course, which regularly attracts 500 students.

“We felt it was critical to organize a national response in this case both to support academic freedom and free speech on campus, and to clarify that sexual harassment laws and policies were never intended to chill legitimate academic inquiry into subjects like sexuality and sexual deviance. The distinction is essential to a myriad of important subjects of university study, such as Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer and Courbet’s painting L’Origine du monde,” said NCAC Executive Director Joan Bertin.

“Classroom discussion of issues related to sex and sexuality is not sexual harassment,” said Mark Silverstein, ACLU of Colorado Legal Director. “By suggesting otherwise, and raising the possibility of disciplinary proceedings, the CU administration unjustifiably threatens to silence not only Professor Adler, but any professor whose classroom teaching may touch on sensitive topics.”

The statement outlines a decade of landmark Supreme Court decisions defining sexual harassment, which must be “severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive” behavior of a sexual nature. In contrast, a “mere offensive utterance” in the classroom or an “isolated instance” does not amount to sexual harassment.

NCAC and the other co-signers have dismissed CU Boulder’s latest offer to reinstate Adler after a faculty review of her class as insufficient “since this course was apparently singled out for extraordinary scrutiny based solely on the content, in violation of fundamental First Amendment principles.” Such a review “inevitably has a chilling effect, not only on Professor Adler, but on the faculty as whole and even on faculty at other Universities.”



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