​The real "teachable moment"


A video taken Saturday, March 7, 2015 shows a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon at Oklahoma University leading the bus in a racist chant. The university has responded by shutting down the fraternity.

Roger Dorn / Youtube

In a time when real leadership is such a rare commodity, I want to recognize the decisive action of Oklahoma University President David Boren.

I knew Dave Boren when he was a U.S. Senator. He was a good one, and since joining the university he has been a strong leader in higher education.

When that nauseating video of OU fraternity boys singing racist songs showed up on the Internet, Boren had all kinds of options -- open an investigation, confer with his trustees, maybe convene a focus group.

But he moved with such speed I doubt he did any of that. He simply expelled those involved, and threw the fraternity off campus.

No ifs, ands or buts, he said. You're out of here, and don't let the screen door hit you on the way out.

I'm not surprised, in our litigious society, that the fraternity has now hired a lawyer who may sue unless Boren reconsiders and joins in making this a "teachable moment."

I think what's teachable is pretty obvious -- actions have consequences, and hateful words are dangerous things, sometimes as harmful to those who deliver them as those they are aimed at.

If the students didn't know that before, well, now they do.

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    Bob Schieffer is a CBS News political contributor and former anchor of "Face The Nation," which he moderated for 24 years before retiring in 2015.