Several students are demanding a Tennessee community college psychology professor be disciplined for persistently pushing her pro-”gay” views on her students and even forcing students to identify themselves as in favor of the LGBT agenda in a mandatory project.

The Alliance Defense Fund is representing the students who objected to the classroom tactics of Columbia State Community College professor Linda Brunton. The students say any views opposed to Brunton’s were not welcome, and any opposition to the homosexual agenda was considered to be the thinking of “uneducated bigots” who “attack homosexuals with hate.”

But one assignment in particular triggered the protests.

She assigned the class to wear rainbow coalition ribbons in support of homosexual behavior for at least a day on campus and wherever they went off campus. Students then had to write a reaction paper from wearing those ribbons and how they were allegedly discriminated against while wearing the ribbons,” Alliance Defense Fund attorney David Hacker told WND. “Several students contacted us, just objecting to this. It’s a very clear case of a government official, a state college professor, compelling students to speak in a way they disagree with.”

Hacker said it’s fine for teachers to have students consider ideas from different perspectives, but Brunton clearly crossed the line.

“Colleges and professors can require students to play devil’s advocate in a paper or argue a position in class that they don’t necessarily agree with, as long as it’s an academic exercise,” Hacker said.

“Once the professor here, Ms. Brunton, required the students to advocate a message outside the classroom, that’s compelled speech and it’s clearly unconstitutional.”

Before seeking a legal remedy, the students brought their concerns to Brunton. But Hacker said those efforts went nowhere.

“She, unfortunately, just brushed aside their concerns and basically described their views as ignorant and uneducated, and she said that she hoped the assignment would cause them to change their beliefs,” Hacker said. “Colleges are supposed to be the marketplace of ideas, not an environment where professors are manipulating students into advancing particular political agendas.”

Alliance Defending Freedom is asking Columbia State Community College to investigate the matter, and Hacker said the school has agreed to do so.  He said this sort of compelled speech must be addressed, but he said college campuses nationwide are actively promoting the pro-homosexual movement.

“We’re finding it’s very common,” he said. “A few years ago, we represented a student at Missouri State University. She was in a social work class, and the class was assigned a project to write a joint letter to the Missouri State Legislature advocating in favor of same-sex adoption and fostering. The student objected, said she didn’t want to do that because it went well beyond just an academic exercise. It was advocating a position to a legislature.

“The professor turned around and filed ethics charges against her, in fact the worst ethics charges a student can receive at the school and then required her to sign an agreement saying she won’t allow her her personal religious beliefs to get in the way of doing these sorts of assignments. I mean, just a clear violation of her religious liberty, her rights of conscience and her freedom from being compelled to speak in a way that she disagreed with.”

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/06/students-professor-forced-us-to-wear-gay-ribbons/#OVfLUI5P0wmo7CWW.99



  1. As a Christian, I would suggest you get all the facts of a story before you blog about it. You have completely avoided getting any response from her or anyone other than the ADF group. If you had even bothered to research this story more, you would have discovered that students from past semesters openly stated that the assignment was for extra credit – NOT required – and that it was completely voluntary. Several students opt out each semester and she never punishes them in any way. This exact “experiment” has been done at numerous colleges across the country for many years; it is nothing new, nor is it “unconstitutional.”

    A claim by a prosecuting attorney is not a fact, nor is it a conviction…it is a claim, nothing more. Dr. Brunton is innocent until proven guilty and I suggest you be honest and specify that in your blog instead of broadly claiming that it is a fact that she “ordered” anyone to do anything against their will.

    I got my Psych degree at the same school Dr. Brunton did and had many of the same professors. I am fully aware of their strict ethical standards and the unproven claims that people are making about this highly educated woman are offensive.

    • I am a former student of Dr. Brunton’s psychology class. She offered this same assignment to us as extra credit. It was entirely optional. As I understood the assignment when it was given, it was not to force us to support gay marriage. It was for us to have an understanding of discrimination. It went along with what we were learning in the book. I thought she made it very clear what the purpose of the assignment was and that we did not have to participate if we did not want to. I am a Christian as well and I decided not to take on the assignment. However, the reason I chose not to was just because I didn’t need the extra credit. She gives plenty of other extra credit opportunities throughout the duration of her course to where no one should feel pressure to have to take on this assignment. In no way did I feel forced, uncomfortable, or offended by the assignment when she gave it. I think she is a wonderful professor. She is just the type of teacher who really cares about her students actually learning the material. She also really wants everyone to just have a deeper understanding of the world and understand other people’s emotions and struggles they experience. It is hard to gain an understanding of that when you live in the sheltered bible belt. I really appreciated her trying to get people to step out of their boundaries and see a bigger picture. I really enjoyed her class and thought she did an excellent job teaching it.

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