California State University Professor Sued After Allegedly Leading Students Out Of Class To Wipe Out Pro-Life Messages On Campus

downloadWe have been writing about the enculturation of anti-free speech values in college students across the country.   The most recent incident occurred at the California State University where assistant professor of public health professor Greg Thatcher is shown on a videotape wiping out the pro-life statements written in chalk by members of Fresno State Students for Life.  Thatcher supports his students who destroyed the messages before his arrival (those students said that their teacher gave them permission to destroy the free speech of other students).  Thatcher’s attitude and open contempt for free speech is chilling. It is also now the subject of a free speech lawsuit filed against him in his personal capacity.

The pro-life students had written messages on the sidewalk like “You CAN be pregnant & successful” and “Unborn lives matter” to “Women need love, NOT abortion.”  The lawsuit alleges that Thatcher got students from his 8 a.m. class to help remove the anti-abortion messages and that their chalk was taken away to write pro-choice slogans on the sidewalk.

The video below shows two students rubbing out the chalk statements despite the pro-life students saying that they have permission to write such messages.  The students seem entirely unconcerned that they are censoring speech and engaging in a grossly intolerant act.  Instead, they refer to their teacher as telling them that they should do so.  Thatcher then walks up.  If the encounter with students was chilling, the encounter with Thatcher is positively glacial.  Thatcher invokes the controversial restriction of free speech to “zones” and says that there is no free speech rights for this type of writing outside of that zone.  When the students explain that they have permission, he then proceed to rub out their messages and declared “you have permission to put it down — I have permission to get rid of it.”  It is a shocking and disgraceful demonstration by Thatcher and should be worthy of serious discipline.  However, we have seen repeatedly that faculty members have remained silent in the face of anti-free speech conduct directed toward conservatives or pro-life advocates.

milleryoungincident2The incident raises troubling memories of  the controversy surrounding the confrontation of Feminist Studies Associate Professor Mireille Miller-Young with pro-life advocates on campus of the University of California at Santa Barbara. Miller-Young led her students in attacking the pro-life display, stealing their display, and then committing battery on one of the young women.  She was convicted and sentenced for the crime.  Despite the shocking conduct of Miller-Young and the clear violation of the most fundamental values for all academics in guaranteeing free speech and associational rights, the faculty overwhelmingly supported Miller-Young and the university decided not to impose any meaningful discipline. To make matter worse, Michael D. Young, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, not only issued a statement that seemed to blame the victims but faculty defended Miller-Young’s conduct. Faculty and student defenders attacked the pro-life advocates and one even referred to them as “terrorists” who did not deserve free speech.  Miller-Young should have been fired but was instead lionized by faculty and students.

Like Miller-Young, Thatcher is accused of actively encouraging his students to deny others free speech rights.  In arguing that there could be no such free speech outside of the free speech zone, Thatcher appears unaware that the “free speech area” was eliminated two years ago.

The students did indeed have a right to leave the messages and Thatcher and his students were acting as censors to try to prevent their expressing views that they opposed.  For me, the most disturbing image is the smug and dismissive attitude of the two students who were found destroying the messages.  They have obviously learned well from faculty that you have a right to silence those with whom you disagree.

 

Joseph Castro, president of California State University, Fresno, has publicly stated that “Free speech on campus is not limited to a ‘free speech zone’ or any other narrowly defined area. Those disagreeing with the students’ message have a right to their own speech, but they do not have the right to erase or stifle someone else’s speech under the guise of their own right to free speech.”
However, there is no report of any disciplining of Thatcher and the fear is that, as with Miller-Young, the University of California will avoid serious discipline for the latest attack on free speech on one of its campuses.

 

24 thoughts on “California State University Professor Sued After Allegedly Leading Students Out Of Class To Wipe Out Pro-Life Messages On Campus

  1. This professor got what he deserved–a lawsuit for violating the student’s free speech rights.

    He declares–wrongly–that the student is not allowed to express her free speech rights on campus except for within the confines of a “free speech zone”, then declares that his wiping out of the chalked speech is a form of free speech but he violates his own rules by expressing his free speech outside the free speech zone.

    The arrogance of him saying that college campuses are not places permitting free speech shows how institutionalized the violation of civil rights is becoming on campuses. If it’s not free speech it is due process. Next they will be quartering soldiers in dorms.

    • Bernadette really did wonderfully with her demeanor, logic, and speech and all while speaking contemporaneously and on the fly.

      Someone needs to hire her.

      • No, she made a big mistake when, to catch him in a contradiction, she granted that the professor was exercising his free speech by wiping out the messages (which is absurd) but in a non-free speech zone. But, true, that’s much easier for me to say while not “while speaking contemporaneously and on the fly.”

  2. Just a point of clarification. The University of California system is separate from the California State University system. Different governing boards for each (still ultimately the State of CA, though).

    • How easy it is to forget our Beloved Bill of Rights when each generation is not taught about them throughout the years. 😢

  3. “…Thatcher appears unaware that the ‘free speech area’ was eliminated two years ago…”

    Reminds me of: “Sure, you can drink water…from the black fountain, not this white one.” And, “Sure you can ride the bus, just go sit at the back” (What Orthodox Judaic Rabbis said to a woman on a bus in Israel, just before they beat the crap out of her for not giving up her seat.)

  4. One problem is fairly forthright: the process of training faculty and the work rhythms of faculty positions leave you with a great many aged adolescents. The other has to do with contemporary progtrash culture. They have a proprietary understanding of the world around them and of resources financed by others: colleges and universities are theirs, public broadcasting is theirs, the school system is theirs, the philanthropic sector is theirs. Pay up and shut up, peasants.

  5. The school should discipline him and from this video, the suit should be successful. Probably not much money in it though.

  6. Here is another example, on a public sidewalk next to a public high school.
    The young Christians are aware of their 1st Ammendment rights, and quietly take on the big atheist bully assistance principle.
    The atheist condemns the slaughtered unborn to hell and announces he is gay.
    And breaks out in an Ethel Merman song and routine.

  7. I recall when Khrushchev was premier of the Soviet Union, he said something to the effect of “we do not need to destroy America, you will do it yourselves from within.” How prophetic he was. Has been going on for decades in our universities.

  8. This is merely another example of Liberal Fascism.

    They want intrusive control into our lives – from the right to open our children’s lunch boxes and rifle through, to the right to dictate what opinions we may express. We are free to be ultra Liberals, and that’s it. And if you are not extremist enough, they’ll savage you. Look at what happens to gay men or lesbians when they criticize anything obliquely to do with transgender.

    So do we want to be free and diverse, including in political viewpoints, or do we want to be controlled? Make a choice.

    And as for the whole Pro-Life vs Pro-Choice battle, the rage profiteers don’t want you to know how close the two sides really are. In actuality, almost all people are pro-life to a degree. At some point, they are not OK with aborting a fetus. For instance, the overwhelming majority of people do not agree with the right to abort a full term fetus, which requires the challenge of labor, who has to be killed in the birth canal by severing the spinal cord or crushing the skull, up until the infant takes a breath of air. At some point, they reason that the mother will not be spared labor, and what difference does it make if air is in the lungs or out of it before you severe his spinal cord? Why does oxygen make it not OK, rather than, for example, development? So, at some point, people do believe that the unborn child has rights separate from the mother. There are actually very few people who believe that Dr Gosnell’s late term abortions were ethical.

    Rather than black or white, most people actually lie along a spectrum of opinions on abortion, with beliefs ranging all the way from it is never OK, not even to use the morning after pill to prevent implantation of the embryo, to it’s OK up until the moment the 40 week old fetus draws breath. And I’m sure, somewhere in this country, you could find some maniac who believes it’s OK to kill your infants after they are born, too. But the majority of people lie along an entire range of beliefs. There really isn’t this polarizing opposite that the main actors would have you believe.

    So if you grabbed an eraser out of those students’ hands, and started asking them questions on when they believe abortion is not OK, perhaps they would be surprised at what they find in common with their so called adversaries. And if you explain the techniques required at different times in gestation, they might become uncomfortable with second trimester abortions, which require tearing the fetus apart, while he or she is still alive, inside the womb and bringing them out piece by piece. And if they talked to the Pro Life people, some might discover there were some limited circumstances when abortion might be considered, such as when terrible hopeless pain for the infant is involved. But they will not get that chance, since the entire discussion was silenced, and they are led to believe that censorship is brave.

  9. Roper dopers need love too, stickers…
    And its up against the wall Redneck mothers…
    Mothers who have raised the son so well.
    He’s thirty four and drinking in honky tonks…
    Kickin hippies arses and raising hell.

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