Teacher Evaluation Site Shut Down
Professor threatens lawsuit over "Bipolar Paranoid Schizophrenic” comment
February 4, 2004 12:45 PM
TeacherReviews.com, a free Web site letting students post and read reviews about their professors, is temporarily shut down due to threats of a lawsuit by an upset professor.
“I'm not sure if it will be down forever or just a short amount of time until some changes are made,” says Dylan Greene, the site’s webmaster.
Greene says he received a complaint yesterday from a professor who was extremely upset after reading a review that describes him as "Bipolar Paranoid Schizophrenic.”
Greene says he deleted the review immediately after receiving a complaint, a rare case since Teacherreviews.com had a “no review is ever deleted policy.” But according to the Web site’s guidelines, reviews with ungrounded accusations such as this one are inappropriate and should not have been posted.
But the upset professor still threatens to sue and involve the teacher’s union – American Federation of Teachers.
“A lawsuit is not something I have the time or money to be involved in, no matter how confident I am that the courts would side in the favor of free speech and the site,” states Greene, who has not made any profit running the Web site.
This is not the first threat of a lawsuit against TeacherReviews.com Web site. In December 2000 with the help of the ACLU
TeacherReviews.com had about 36,000 reviews about professors from colleges nationwide, including SF State. Many students are unhappy with the news and posted their responses on Greene’s Web site.
A SF State student, posted an anonymous reaction to the news today:
“Oh no! I have scheduled my classes based on this website and it has NEVER EVER led me astray. I take all reviews with a grain of salt, but 95% of the time they are right on. Darn, please get the sight (sic) back up!”
Another SF State student posted:
“I have also found the reviews very useful. I enjoyed being able to read about professors and their classes beforehand as well as sharing my own input to help others; it has served me well thus far. Though each student has their own opinion, you can get a good sense of whether the reviewer has some merit to what they're saying based on their review (e.g., are they backing their statements with concrete evidence?) -- and that goes for negative AS well as positive reviews.”
You can read more information about possible changes to the TeacherReviews.com Web site and student responses at dylangreene.com.
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