My public speaking teacher told me I could not do my "stand up for what I believe in speech", on gay marriage, what can I do?

Asked over 2 years ago - San Jose, CA

I am a current student at Heald college san jose ca, and recently took a public speaking class, a class I need in order to graduate. My teacher specifically stated that we can do anything we want for our "stand up for what we believe in speech". After I gave my speech, she stood up, walked to where i had been standing and proceded to mock me. She said I was more or less winey, and then took it a step further by asking why i even waisted time doing my speech on such an annoying subject. She then said, "who cares about gay marriage any way". I was emberresed. She did this in front of the whole class, as well as another gay couple who happened to be domestic partners. She has since told her new students they are not to do any speech on gay marriage. What are my options? Where do I start?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Christine C McCall


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees


    Answered . Your school is a for-profit college but accredited by national organizations, so it is likely that the school has voluntarily adopted an internal administrative appeals process. Check with the Dean of Students or student handbook. The appeal process is likely to have very short time lines, so do your due diligence without delay. If the facts are as you say, the school administration may see fit to reverse the instructor's decision. If not, consider contacting the US Dept of Education and the agencies that have accredited your school with complaints. Let the school know that you will do that if the matter is not internally resolved.

    In short, the instructor has the absolute right to limit the topics on which students may give an assigned "public speaking" presentation. But the instructor's remarks are highly suspect and it is unlikely that the school will want to defend those remarks against complaints to outside agencies -- assuming that the facts you recite can be proven.

    My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice.... more
  2. Helen Lou Marsh

    Contributor Level 7

    Answered . Based on what you have related here, you have a legitimate claim.

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