The progressive left lauds American universities as bastions of enlightened tolerance, yet this could hardly be further from the truth. The debauched double standard of the left’s tolerance has been well documented by Liberty Nation.
In the summer of 2016, this double standard claimed the life of University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) student Thomas Klocke. UTA staff members banned Thomas from a summer class after he allegedly sexually harassed and bullied a gay student. After being told that the accusation and disciplinary action — which he never had adequate opportunity to refute — would remain on his record and could keep him out of grad school, Thomas Klocke took his own life.
Thomas’s father is now suing the accusing student for defamation and the university for disregarding Thomas’s rights under their own policy and federal law. Mr. Klocke’s attorney, Kenneth Chaiken, filed the complaint with U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Texas earlier this month.
The lawsuit alleges the accuser reported the incident to his friend, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Heather Snow. According to federal law and UTA’s policies, all complaints of sexual misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinators. Although Ms. Snow — who held neither of these positions — felt the incident constituted sexual harassment, she headed the investigation herself rather than report it.
Thomas Klocke denied the allegations and claimed it was the accuser who harassed him. Klocke claimed to have asked the other student to leave him alone and then later moved to the other side of the classroom to remove himself from the situation. Thomas’s father believes the other boy — either out of fear that Thomas would report it or for spite — changed the story so that he was the victim rather than Thomas. Regardless of who harassed whom, Thomas Klocke had the right under Title IX regulations to have a fair hearing after an investigation by the Title IX Coordinator. Instead, Heather Snow and the associate director of academic integrity, Daniel Moore, circumvented the school’s Title IX regulations and took disciplinary actions of their own. Whether this had a political motive or was a reaction to some misguided sense of social outrage, it was wrong. This case is exactly why the Title IX regulation should have been followed.
To be fair, no one forced Thomas Klocke to commit suicide. However, it is undeniable that the events that brought him to his decision to end his life were the clear infringements of his rights as a UTA student, U.S. citizen, and human being. Had Klocke chosen to report the gay student’s harassment rather than move across the classroom, the investigation would likely have taken a different course. It is doubtful any member of the UTA staff would risk the political minefield that is denying a minority student his rights. It is, for that matter, rather unlikely the administration would punish the gay student at all for his advances on Klocke out fear of being labeled homophobic. How can this double standard stand? Graham Noble explains it well in his article Do American Lives Count? A Short Essay:
Those who identify themselves as liberal or progressive seem to have a sliding scale of which lives – or, more accurately, which deaths – are more valuable. The grading for this scale is mostly based on how much the death of an American can be used for political gain: A black man shot dead by a white police officer – regardless of cause – tops the scale; anyone shot dead by a white civilian scores high, since it justifies a call for tighter gun controls; anyone murdered by an illegal immigrant, however, has no worth since their death risks making illegal immigrants look bad.
Thomas Klocke was neither a pawn in Heather Snow’s game of university politics nor a proven bully deserving of her social justice. He was a person. He was a student with an immaculate record who should now be a grad student. And he should not and must not be forgotten. If the heinous double standard of progressive tolerance remains orthodoxy for American universities, this young man will have died for naught.