Above the Law’s commitment to bring you all of the latest details about the crazy saga of Dr. Li-ann Thio is unmatched. On Wednesday night, we broke the news that Dr. Thio decided against teaching at NYU Law School this fall.
Now we have Dr. Thio’s official statement explaining her decision to withdraw as a visiting professor. According to the resignation letter she sent to NYU Law Dean Richard Revesz, a lack of tolerance changed Dr. Thio’s mind about NYU Law:
As an Asian woman whose legal training has spanned the finest institutions in both East and West, I believe I would have something of value to offer your students. However, the conditions no longer exist to proceed with the visit, given the animus fuelled by irresponsible misrepresentation/distortions and/or concerted invective from certain parties. Friends and colleagues have also expressed serious concerns about my safety and well-being.
I am convinced that a primary condition for learning and teaching, especially in my chosen fields (which are rife with contested concepts) – human rights and constitutional law – is a tolerant, serene environment where different viewpoints emanating from a variety of worldviews are heard with mutual respect and carefully evaluated, in a civilised fashion. I have always striven to ensure my classroom would exemplify such conditions and had planned to bring this practice to my NYU classroom.
Dr. Thio Li-ann appears to be arguing that NYU Law students should respect her beliefs. But some of her beliefs sound pretty disrespectful to gays and lesbians in the NYU Law community. Unless “shoving a straw up your nose to drink” counts as a respectful way of discussing sexual practices.
Of course, since we are dealing with Dr. Thio, the letter goes on. Brevity is not her strong suit. Read more after the jump.