As Nathan Harden pointed out on Phi Beta Cons yesterday evening, yet another pro-life display at a college has been vandalized, this time at George Washington University. And this wasn’t the graphic kind of pro-life display, either (although the graphic photo displays get vandalized too)—it was rows of crosses planted in the ground.
Something about rows of flags, crosses, or what-have-you planted in the ground to represent the number of abortions in America must really get under people’s skin, because this keeps happening, over and over again. It happened at Northern Kentucky University (thanks to a professor, of all people). It happened at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. It happened at Missouri State University. It happened at Clarion University in Pennsylvania. It happened at Indiana University. At Dartmouth College, a student actually ran over a display of American flags with his car, an episode so crazy that FIRE made a video about it. At Western Kentucky University, vandals refrained from destroying the crosses but put condoms on them. (An improvement over outright censorship, I guess?) And DePaul University really topped it off when the administration punished a pro-life student for revealing the names of the people who vandalized his display of pink and blue flags.
Is there some organization or website somewhere that is encouraging the destruction of such displays, or is this simply a manifestation of the base human urge to destroy what we don’t like? Either way, this kind of vandalism says nothing good about the state of education in this country. Of course, students should be coming out of high school aware that: 1. vandalism is illegal and wrong; and 2. Americans sometimes engage in the fundamental right to protest laws they perceive to be unjust. But if they’re not—and it’s increasingly clear that they’re not—then colleges need to step up and teach students how to live in a free society.