George Will has a column out today that really ought to send chills down your spine if you are genuinely concerned with freedom – regardless of your political orientation. The column focuses on the indoctrination of social workers and the suppression of opposing views in American universities. It is an ugly picture.
In 1997, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) adopted a surreptitious political agenda in the form of a new code of ethics, enjoining social workers to advocate for social justice "from local to global levels." A widely used textbook — "Direct Social Work Practice: Theory and Skill" — declares that promoting "social and economic justice" is especially imperative as a response to "the conservative trends of the past three decades." Clearly, in the social work profession's catechism, whatever social and economic justice are, they are the opposite of conservatism.
The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the national accreditor of social work education programs, encourages — not that encouragement is required — the ideological permeation of the curricula, including mandatory student advocacy. The CSWE says students must demonstrate an ability to "understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination."
At Arizona State University, social work students must "demonstrate compliance with the NASW Code of Ethics." Berkeley requires compliance as proof of "suitability for the profession." Students at the University of Central Florida "must comply" with the NASW code. At the University of Houston, students must sign a pledge of adherence. At the University of Michigan, failure to comply with the code may be deemed "academic misconduct."
Will points to actual attempts at outright suppression:
In 2005, Emily Brooker, a social-work student at Missouri State University, was enrolled in a class taught by a professor who advertised himself as a liberal and insisted that social work is a liberal profession. At first, a mandatory assignment for his class was to advocate homosexual foster homes and adoption, with all students required to sign an advocacy letter, on university stationery, to the state legislature.
When Brooker objected on religious grounds, the project was made optional. But shortly before the final exam she was charged with a "Level 3," the most serious, violation of professional standards. In a 2 1/2 -hour hearing — which she was forbidden to record and which her parents were barred from attending — the primary subject was her refusal to sign the letter. She was ordered to write a paper ("Written Response about My Awareness") explaining how she could "lessen the gap" between her ethics and those of the social-work profession. When she sued the university, it dropped the charges and made financial and other restitution.
There is more – I would urge you to go read it. Will points out that the indoctrination directly counters the 1915 Declaration of Principles made by the The American Association of University Professors which states:
The teacher ought also to be especially on his guard against taking unfair advantage of the students' immaturity by indoctrinating him with the teacher's own opinions before the student has had an opportunity fairly to examine other opinions upon the matters of question, and before he has sufficient knowledge and ripeness in judgment to be entitled to form any definitive opinion of his own. It is not the least service which a college or university may render to those under its instruction, to habituate them to looking not only patiently but methodically on both sides, before adopting any conclusion upon controverted issues.
This is a particularly ugly and blatant violation of that principle. It is systematic and it is a real problem.