College Course Bans Use of ’Offensive’ Words Such as ‘Illegal Alien,’ ’Male,’ ’Female’

College students / AP


A professor at Washington State University is barring students from using "offensive" and "oppressive" language, including the words "illegal alien," "male" and "female."

The Fall 2015 syllabus for Selena Lester Breikss’ Women and Popular Culture course, first reported by Campus Reform, indicates that students could fail the course if they employ words during class or in assignments deemed off-limits by the professor.

"Gross generalizations, stereotypes, and derogatory/oppressive language are not acceptable. Use of racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, classist, or generally offensive language in class or submission of such material will not be tolerated," the syllabus reads.

Such "offensive" language includes "the man," "colored people," "illegals/illegal aliens," "tranny," and "referring to women/men as females or males."

The professor emphasized that repeated use of such vocabulary could warrant punishment such as "removal from the class without attendance or participation points, failure of the assignment, and—in extreme cases—failure for the semester."

Breikss is not alone in her decision to forbid students from referring to immigrants as "illegals." The professor of an Introduction to Comparative Ethnic Studies course at Washington State threatens students with grade reductions of they use the terms "illegal alien" or "illegal."

Professor Rebecca Fowler, citing the Associated Press stylebook, wrote in her Fall 2015 syllabus that students should forego these monikers in favor of labeling migrants "undocumented."

Students who employ the barred terms in writing assignments will suffer a one-point deduction for each use. The course’s goal is to instill in its subjects an understanding of "white privilege."

A third professor at Washington State is directing incoming white pupils to "defer" to their non-white counterparts in his Introduction to Multicultural Literature course this fall.

"Reflect your grasp of history and social relations by respecting shy and quiet classmates, and by deferring to the experiences of people of color," John Streamas’ syllabus reads. "Finally, understand and consider the rage of people who are victims of systematic injustice."

Streamas also labels Glenn Beck an "insensitive white" in the syllabus.

Morgan Chalfant   Email Morgan | Full Bio | RSS
Morgan Chalfant is a staff writer at the Washington Free Beacon. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, Morgan worked as a staff writer at Red Alert Politics. She also served as the year-long Collegiate Network fellow on the editorial page at USA TODAY from 2013-14. Morgan graduated from Boston College in 2013 with a B.A. in English and Mathematics. Her Twitter handle is @mchalfant16.

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