Gallaudet Prepares for Protests Over Suspended Employee
The fight over the Gallaudet's Angela McCaskill is set to reach a new level Thursday. WJLA reports that two pastors, both in favor of gay marriage, are planning to protest McCaskill's suspension in a rally outside the university tomorrow.
McCaskill, the school's Chief Diversity Officer, was put on leave earlier this month after her signature on a petition to put Maryland's gay marriage law on a referendum came to light. The decision has been criticized by both pro- and anti-gay marriage groups, and McCaskill has hired bombastic Maryland attorney J. Wyndal Gordon, who goes by the nickname "The Warrior Lawyer."
Gallaudet President T. Alan Hurwitz released a statement yesterday ahead of the protests, asking students to give protesters "the same measure of civility and respect we have shown each other."
"I will continue to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that this campus remains a safe environment for our entire campus community," Hurwitz said in the statement.
Hurwitz's full statement:
Since placing Gallaudet University's Chief Diversity Officer on paid administrative leave, Gallaudet University has been called upon by several external organizations to immediately reinstate Dr. Angela McCaskill in her position as Chief Diversity Officer. We recently became aware that several of those external organizations plan to hold demonstrations at Gallaudet University starting this week.
As much as I understand the views that some outside organizations have about the immediate return of our Chief Diversity Officer to campus, at the same time we need to move forward at a rate appropriate for our entire community.
I'd like to reiterate that while this has become an issue beyond our campus, as President of Gallaudet University, my number one concern is our university community – our students, faculty, and staff and so many others who support us. I act on their behalf, not with any agenda other than their well-being. I will continue to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that this campus remains a safe environment for our entire campus community.
The university administration has been conducting very productive meetings with student organizations including groups that represent students of color, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students, as well as faculty and staff leadership. The university's Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board is also developing strategies for moving the community forward.
I would like to commend our students – as well as our faculty and staff – who have shown remarkable maturity and restraint under the complexities of the situation. I know our community will extend the same measure of civility and respect we have shown each other to those outside the campus community who choose to express their concerns and perspectives.
Photo by Mr. T. in D.C. used under a Creative Commons license