January 5, 2011
Defending my students
Teaching forms a bond between teacher and student that can be a lifetime relationship. This was true of some of my professors such as Dan Freed, and it made his impact on my life profound and important.
Now that I am on the other side, as a professor, I am getting a sense of that relationship from that angle. I'm loyal to my former students, and passionate about their work and vocation. More than anything, I am proud of what they are doing.
I am also finding something I didn't expect-- that I am fiercely protective of them at times. Last week, some of my favorite students, outstanding lawyers, were fired by Craig Watkins, the D.A. in Dallas. Mr. Watkins is someone I have greatly respected on many levels, so I was sorely disappointed to learn that the firings were part of a purge of his office directed at those with Republican ties. This wasn't the case of a new D.A. cleaning house-- Watkins had just been re-elected to a second term, and those fired were career prosecutors.
The best I could do about things was to write; that's what we professors do. You can read my op-ed from today's Dallas Morning News here. (I'm not sure what to make of their teaser's reference to my conclusion as a "head shot," though).
To the life of the student and professor, there are few relationships so important. I'm surprised that we reflect on the nature of that relationship so rarely.
-- Mark Osler