In a letter from the university's vice chancellor Michael Young, the school concedes that the professor should not have responded so extremely to the situation, but also ultimately seemed to place the entire blame for the incident on the girls' presence on campus.
Two sisters, Thrin Short, 16, and Joan Short, 21, were staging an anti-abortion protest with the Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust Group at the university on March 4 in a designated "free speech zone" when Associate Professor Mireille Miller-Young approached them and stole their pro-life signs. Miller-Young, who teaches feminist studies at the university, grabbed the signs from the girls, and when the sisters attempted to retrieve them, they claim Miller-Young kicked and pushed them.
Professor Miller-Young, according to the National Review, "specializes in black cultural studies, pornography, and sex work."
A very detailed description of the encounter with the professor can be found at the website for Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust. Miller-Young first led a mob-like group to chant, "Tear down the sign." The protestors attempted to converse civilly with the chanters, prompting the professor to shout, "They're trying to separate us, don't talk to them." When the girls continued to engage in one on one conversation with several members of the crowd, the professor angrily grabbed the sign. The site reports:
Professor Young’s mob dwindled after she stole the sign. She paraded across the campus with two female students carrying the sign. Joan and Thrin followed, Thrin video-taping and Joan on the phone with the police.
The parade weaved through two buildings and entered an elevator in the third. Thrin attempted to get on the elevator with them, but Young blocked the doorway. Thrin stuck her foot in the door, but Young pushed it out with her foot. Tenaciously Thrin put it back. This happened several times as Thrin pleaded with the students to not get involved. "The police are on their way," she told them, "you don’t want to be with Professor Young."
Suddenly Young reached out and pushed 16 year old Thrin. "Don’t touch me!" Thrin cried, startled. Young’s long fingernails scratched Thrin’s arm. Young pushed Thrin twice more and each time Thrin kept the door from closing with her arm. Finally, Young got out of the elevator, and tried to pull Thrin away from the elevator door. Thrin held onto the elevator with her other hand, the one holding the camera. Realizing that students were trying to take the camera out of her hand, Thrin let go of the elevator.
Professor Miller-Young has asserted that she set a good example that day.
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