The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

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By Steve Erdman
Nebraska 47th District 

Straight Talk From Steve


August 18, 2021

Have the Regents at the University of Nebraska spun out of control? Recent decisions by the Board of Regents suggests that the University of Nebraska is no longer the land grant University system that it once was.

Because the University of Nebraska system is a land grant University, the Board of Regents are supposed to be accountable to the people of the State. Unfortunately, today they are beholden to students, faculty, the teachers’ union, and political activists, who do not share the same views as the vast majority of Nebraskans.

The University of Nebraska was chartered in 1869 as a Morrill Act land grant college. The Morrill Act granted federally controlled lands to states for the purpose of establishing colleges. The Morrill Act was intended to provide the general population with the opportunity to pursue higher education with practical relevance to daily living; however, much of what gets taught today at our land grant universities has little or no practical value whatsoever for daily living.

For instance, what value is there in teaching critical race theory, especially when it teaches students to despise their white race and to deny their white privilege?

Last Friday the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska rejected a resolution to ban “any imposition of critical race theory” at the University. The Regents heard testimony from numerous faculty, students, teachers’ union representatives, and political activists, who do not represent the views of the vast majority of Nebraskans when it comes to teaching critical race theory. Despite the fact that the testimonies of the ordinary citizens were largely against the teaching of critical race theory, the resolution failed by a vote of 5-3.

Many of the political activists who testified at the hearing distorted American history in order to try to make their point, which is precisely what critical race theory teaches them to do. For instance, one such activist accused the writers of the Declaration of Independence of calling Native Americans “merciless savages,” but closer examination of the document shows that the Founding Fathers were actually accusing the British of turning some Native Americans into merciless savages in order to harass the colonists. If the intention of the Founding Fathers was to label all Native Americans as “merciless savages,” then one would also have to believe that the Founding Fathers were also calling every white colonist a domestic insurrectionist because both ideas appear in the same paragraph of the Declaration of Independence.

Clearly, the Founding Fathers were not labeling all of the white colonists as insurrectionists nor were they calling all Native Americans merciless savages, yet this is precisely what critical race theory teaches students to do.

Besides failing to act on critical race theory, the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska have also overstepped their bounds of authority when it comes to regulating student health.

This year students at the University of Nebraska are being asked to download and use the Safer Community App onto their cell phones. The Safer Community App violates a student’s right to privacy, especially in regards to his or her medical history.

Students at the University of Nebraska this year are being asked to get vaccinated against COVID-19 despite the fact that the coronavirus has minimal effects on young people or that a student may already possess his or her body’s own natural immunity against the disease.

Instead, those who refuse to get vaccinated must get tested once per week.

The Safer Communities App monitors each student’s vaccination status, reminding unvaccinated students to get tested and warning students whenever they have been exposed to someone with the virus.

Moreover, the Safer Communities App is what will be used to grant students access to the University’s buildings. Forget to get tested and you won’t be allowed to attend class until you get it done!

The Board of Regents need to remember who they work for. They do not work for the students, the teachers, the teachers’ union, or the political activists. Instead, they work for the people of Nebraska. Because the University of Nebraska is a land grant university, the people of Nebraska have every right to hold them accountable for every poor decision they make.


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