The document was signed in 1787.
A First Amendment lesson on the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington took some people by surprise.
A tenured UK Professor reportedly invited someone to speak at the UK School of Journalism on a day when more than 100 high school students and faculty from duPont Manual High School in Louisville were there to receive the first Enoch Grehan Prize.
The speaker was Robert Ransdell from Florence, Kentucky.
He’s a write-in candidate for the U.S. Senate race in Kentucky with an anti-Semitic platform.
His campaign slogan is, "With Jews, We Lose."
Reportedly there was a campaign sign with that slogan placed outside the UK Journalism building. There were unconfirmed sightings of the signs in other parts of Lexington.
Two journalism teachers at duPont Manual High, Liz Palmer and James Miller, who were at the event, released a statement Wednesday afternoon. It read, in part:
"No press release or email warned us of Ransdell speaking at the event. Had we known, we would not have attended."
The release went on to say, "We believe the organizers at UK invited this person as a way to challenge the students to write a piece about his provocative views, but the perceived educational merit of the activity was not apparent to anyone. The teachers were not informed by the university that they would be providing a platform for a white supremacist at the event and the high school students, ages 14-to-18, were presented with his racist language and ideas as part of the normal course of speakers and presenters."
Reportedly James Miller went up on stage during Ransdell’s speech and took the microphone.
He said in the prepared statement that he rebutted Ransdell’s racist ideas, spoke about the idea of false balance in the media, apologized to the students for bringing them to the event, and admonished the University of Kentucky for giving Ransdell a platform to speak.
ABC 36 News contacted the University of Kentucky for an explanation and reaction.
We received a prepared statement from the school. The following is the university’s response in its entirety:
"The University of Kentucky hosted its 11th Constitution Day, a federally mandated program for all higher education institutions to recognize and celebrate the U.S. Constitution. Elected officials and candidates in this November’s elections were invited. One of the candidates for the U.S. Senate is Robert Ransdell. Mr. Ransdell was invited because he has registered and has been qualified as a write-in candidate for the U.S. Senate with the Kentucky Secretary of State Office.
Constitution Day is not about politics, it is a celebration of the principles of the Constitution. All speakers are asked to focus on those principles. Unfortunately, Mr. Ransdell included his political beliefs and platform in his comments. Many of those in attendance felt his comments were inappropriate, especially for an audience that included high school students. The University of Kentucky was not aware of the content of his remarks prior to him speaking and does not condone or endorse any political platform or agenda."
The statement was released by Kathy Johnson from UK Public Relations and Marketing.