Carol Swain has been a professor of law and political science at Vanderbilt University for nearly 27 years.
She's also openly conservative and Christian.
Now, many of the school's students want her gone. They started a petition to get her suspended, which currently has about 1,700 signatures.
Why? The petition says that Swain's personal beliefs are ruining the school's reputation:
"Over the past few years, Professor Carol Swain has become synonymous with bigotry, intolerance, and unprofessionalism.
While Swain first and foremost has a right to her personal beliefs and the right to freedom of speech within and outside of the classroom, it recently came to the attention of the Vanderbilt community that Carol Swain has let her hate-filled prejudices negatively impact her work, our student body, and Vanderbilt’s reputation."
She has also been accused of name-calling, posting a student's personal information on her Facebook page and creating an atmosphere of fear among her LGBT students.
However, Swain has said the accusations are patently false, and has a simple message for the students that are trying to take away her livelihood.
She spoke to The Daily Signal:
[My students] “don’t get to decide whose speech is more valuable than someone else’s."
She also noted that the folks behind the petition haven't even taken her classes:
“My classes are elective, so no one has to take any of my classes, and no one has to go to my blog page or go to my Facebook,” she said.
“I feel that I have been defamed by the students and the petition has been filled with lies, and they ought to be held accountable for what they’ve done.”
Swain is outspoken in her beliefs, operating a conservative website called BeThePeopleTV.
She said that the petition to get her suspended is indicative of a larger narrative that is playing out across college campuses all over the country:
“It’s something that has changed in the student body, that they think they can control what people do, not just inside the classroom, but outside the classroom,” she said.
“I’m very concerned about what’s happening across the nation, and I believe university administrators have lost control and that they’re making a serious mistake when they give into students using those 1960s, 1970s protest strategies.”
Nicholas S. Zeppos, the chancellor of Vanderbilt University, has released a statement on the matter, in which he stated that the school will indeed investigate Professor Swain.