Academic freedom in the classroom is the right of faculty members to interpret their fields and to communicate conclusions without being subjected to interference or penalty because these conclusions may be at variance with those of constituted authorities, organized groups, or individuals.
Academic freedom carries with it corresponding responsibility. Academic responsibility emphasizes the obligation to study facts, to present and interpret ideas concerning human society and all fields of knowledge. Since human knowledge is limited and changeable, faculty members will acknowledge the facts on which controversial views are based and show respect for opinions held by others. While striving to avoid bias, faculty members may nevertheless present the conclusions to which they believe the evidence points, both in the classroom and outside of it. However, controversial matters that bear no relation to the subject matter should not be introduced into classes.
The academic freedom of students is the freedom to express and to defend their views, to question, and to differ with the views of their instructors or the district, without penalty.
(Source: MCCD Board Policy 4030. All MiraCosta College board policies and administrative procedures are located on the Board of Trustees webpage.)