A liberal Fresno State professor is paying a heavy price for violating the 1st Amendment rights of students at the university. A student group was holding a pro-life event on campus when Professor Gregory Thatcher came by and began destroying chalk pictures that supported the pro-life agenda. As he was wiping them out with his shoes and encouraging others to also as he ranted and tried to give the students a lecture on the first Amendment. He told the students that they had to move to the campus free speech zone and that a college campus is never a free speech zone.
Imagine his great surprise to not only having been found guilty of civil rights violations but by the fact he had to shell out a $17,000 fine. To add insult to injury, he is also being forced to take a course on the 1st Amendment supervised by the law firm that kicked his liberal butt. For the record, Fresno State has no Free Speech Zone and everywhere on any campus of a publicly supported school is a free speech zone.
The Fresno Bee notes that the nonprofit filed the suit in May on behalf of Fresno State students Bernadette Tasy and Jesus Herrera, members of the university’s chapter of the Students for Life of America.
The suit claimed that while Tasy and Herrera were chalking “positive, life-affirming messages” on the campus in early May — and reportedly with their teacher’s permission — Thatcher showed up with a gang of his own pro-abortion students and began defacing their messages.
“Acting at his direction, these students erased, obscured, and defaced Plaintiffs’ messages,” the original suit, available for review here, alleged. “One of them even stole Plaintiffs’ chalk and used it to write pro-abortion messages on the sidewalks.”
“When Miss Tasy confronted him, Defendant Thatcher personally erased Plaintiffs’ chalked messages while absurdly proclaiming that ‘college campuses are not free speech areas,’” it continued.
Unluckily for Thatcher, both Tasy and Herrera captured him and his students’ actions on video.
Notice how Thatcher claimed Tasy and Herrera were only allowed to express their pro-life views in the university’s so-called “free speech area.”
In a guidance by the university issue two years ago — and cited in Tasy and Herrera’s lawsuit — it’s made clear that “freedom of expression is allowed in all outdoor spaces on campus.”
Nice try, though.
He also falsely claimed that the First Amendment entitled him to erase the students’ messages. He was wrong about that as well — which he why he was eventually forced to fess up his wrongdoing and settle the suit against him.
In a statement issued to the ADF after the settlement was reached Friday, Students for Life of America president Kristan Hawkins shared her hope that what happened at Fresno State University would serve as a wake-up call to other radical professors in America.
Will liberal professors learn anything from this lesson? I doubt it. When your mind is unhinged, you can’t tell right from wrong and your moral compass is broken.