Student can be punished for criticizing lesbian movie in film class, court rules

Student can be punished for criticizing lesbian movie in film class, court rules

Update on this First Amendment lawsuit filed against the University of New Mexico last year: A federal judge has dismissed the case by former student Monica Pompeo, saying the Board of Regents is protected by “qualified immunity.”

The case revolved around Pompeo’s film-studies paper about the lesbian-romance movie Desert Hearts, in which she said homosexual attraction was “perverse” and referred to a childless woman in the film as “barren.” Her professor refused to grade the paper, saying it included “hate speech,” Pompeo claimed.

Judge Christina Armijo concluded she had “erred” in allowing the case to proceed a year ago:

What the Court needs, and what Plaintiff [Pompeo] has failed to provide, is a citation to an on-point Tenth Circuit [appeals court] or Supreme Court decision, or an analysis of the weight of authorities from other courts, clearly establishing that the types of restrictions Professor [Caroline] Hinkley and Professor [Susan] Dever imposed on Plaintiff’s Desert Hearts paper did not reasonably relate to legitimate pedagogical concerns.

Continue reading →


Commenting Policy

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.

You may use HTML in your comments. Feel free to review the full list of allowed HTML here.