The following comes from an August 22 posting on Caffeinated Thoughts.
Earlier this summer an incident at Biola University that took place in May was made public. A pro-life nursing student, Diana Jimenez, was disciplined for displaying graphic photos showing abortion victims after being told that she couldn’t. A YouTube video was created that highlighted Jimenez’ encounter with a security officer at the campus, interchanged with a speech that Biola President Barry Corey gave that made him look hypocritical. Jimenez was disciplined and the director of the Nursing program told her she would not be receiving a letter of reference.
To them as well as to anyone of interest, I want to acknowledge publicly that there were missteps made in our response to Diana. For this we apologize to the public as I have privately to Diana. In the days and weeks following this incident, we have thought about where and how we could have and should have done things differently. In turn, we have taken corrective steps. Diana’s passion for the unborn was not the reason she was asked to remove the photographs. For actions on our part that were perceived to be heavy-handed and retaliatory, I have apologized to her and stand by this apology publicly. I acknowledge and regret our errors, and steps have been taken to correct them. As a result, the leadership of Biola is addressing our policies and procedures to avoid a reccurrence of this type of situation.
In so many ways, Diana is the kind of student with the deep Christian convictions I hoped to see when I came to Biola six years ago. In her convictions about saving the unborn, she represents what Biola is about—the desire to speak up against injustices that break the heart of God. Like Diana, Biola is and has been passionately pro-life….
Three pro-life speakers and trainers, two of whom are Biola alumni, sent an open letter to Biola after Dr. Corey’s public apology.
Biola University has corrected a wrong and re-affirmed its pro-life commitment. The pro-life community should respond with gratitude.
Dear Pro-Life Friends and Colleagues –
In early summer, a video was posted on YouTube showing Biola University security confronting student Diana Jimenez over her display of graphic abortion images. The You Tube footage was intercut with a speech on Christian cultural engagement delivered by Biola President Barry Corey. The result was an edited video which made Biola appear hypocritical regarding their stated pro-life commitment. The video caused a tremendous stir in the pro-life community. Some people rallied to Biola’s side. Others called into question whether Biola was actually pro-life (and some, hysterically, whether Biola was Christian). As heads of pro-life organizations who train and consult, we were very troubled by what we saw. Many people, particularly those who knew that two of us are Biola alumni, wanted to know our reaction. They were troubled by our refusal to publicly comment.
What they did not know was that over the past seven weeks, we had been working with Biola leadership as they acknowledged mistakes and expressed their desire to help craft a better policy. With the release of a letter from President Corey – https://now.biola.edu/news/article/2013/aug/20/open-letter-biolas-commitment-pro-life-cause/ – apologizing to Diana Jimenez publicly and to the pro-life community generally, we are now in a position to publicly comment.
Like most pro-life advocates, upon reviewing the video, we were stunned to see the way in which Ms. Jimenez was treated. We were deeply dismayed by the decision of Susan Elliot, the director of the nursing program, to refuse Ms. Jimenez letters of recommendation from any of the nursing faculty – despite the fact that she was not only a student in good standing, but so much so that her picture was used on the nursing program’s web page (though it was scrubbed right after the incident). Near the end of the video, seen, as of this writing, nearly 17,500 times, an update frame occurs near the end to alert viewers to Elliot’s actions regarding the withholding of letters of recommendation . One of our concerns us is that, even though Elliot’s retributory action was overturned by the administration many weeks ago, there has been to date no additional editing of the video to reflect this change.
Ultimately, the problem at Biola was not about the university’s statement of faith regarding the sanctity of human life. The real problem at Biola was that a fourth-year nursing student could complete that program, yet remain totally unaware of the grisly reality of abortion or the persuasive arguments that support a pro-life perspective. It took exposure to those images, displayed at a student-sponsored pro-life event which drew only a handful of participants, to awaken her to the need to rouse her fellow students to action. And if Diana’s ignorance of abortion was typical in Nursing, what about students in Music, Communication, English, or Biblical Studies?…
To read the entire posting, click here.