Suit accuses R.I. school of anticonservative bias
PROVIDENCE - A former student has sued the Rhode Island College School of Social Work, saying he was punished for his conservative views.
William Felkner said that after enrolling in 2004, he realized he would have to adopt a left-wing ideology to get a master's degree.
Felkner, 45, said the school penalized him through his grades, by filing ethics charges, and by delaying his graduation. He also said he was denied a chance to work on welfare issues in the governor's office.
The school, however, said it "bent over backward to address the unreasonable demands of a fussy and difficult student."
Felkner's professors say he misunderstood the core values of the curriculum, which the school said are drawn from the code of ethics of the National Association of Social Workers.
Carolyn Polowy, a lawyer for the association, based in Washington D.C., told the Providence Journal, "There is no specific political agenda" in the code.
Both the code and the college curriculum stress the pursuit of "social justice" for the "vulnerable and oppressed" members of society. Felkner contends that means big government programs, which he opposes. .