California Professor Fired for Challenging Student's Beliefs About Sexuality is Reinstated
- A college professor fired
for discussing conservativeviews in his sociology class,
has been reinstated.
In arbitrator found thatMoreno Valley College
of Riverside Californiamade unfounded claims
against professor Eric Thompson.
Here to discuss this caseand to set us straight
about free speech rightson college campuses
is Brad Dacus, he's founder and President
of Pacific Justice Institute.
So Brad I understand professor Thompson
taught at Moreno Valley for 13 years
and PJI defended him in this case.
Explain to us what happened?
What led to his firing?
- Yeah, this was outrageous.
He had tenure, he's alreadybeen awarded awards in the past
for outstanding, for being aprofessor, doing great work.
Well, he was teaching sociology
and at the time he was teaching sociology
the case dealing with same sex marriage
was pending before theUnited States Supreme Court.
So it was very topical,very timely for him
to address in the classroom
and he addressed bothsides, heaven forbid.
He provided both perspectives,encouraged critical thinking,
encouraged class discussionand debate, and on the topic.
Well because he did that,because he provided both sides
he was terminated.
They said, the Universities position was
oh no, there's onlyone side, only one side
that is allowed in this University
and that's the pro gaymarriage side, that's it.
Even though it was pending before
the United States Supreme Court,
and even the Supreme Courtwas divided five to four,
but this man was firedbecause of his objective,
critical thinking that he proposed
and carried out as aprofessional professor
should in the classroom.
- Now he wasn't pushing his views,
or forcing the Bible onstudents, or evangelizing,
so what was the source of his teaching?
- Yeah, he brought in number of resources
to provide alternative perspectives,
a video showing a different perspective.
One of the big debates was whether or not
same sex attraction was something
that people were justgenetically pre programmed for
or whether it was primarily the result
of environmental factors.
Several different environmental factors,
but non the less, he presented both sides
and because he presentedboth sides he was fired
and that is outrageous because professors
are supposed to provide critical thinking
in a public university where it's suppose
to have the open marketplace of ideas.
- How did Professor Thompson respond
with grades, and exams, and papers?
- Yeah, he was very fair.
There was no alligation thathe was particularly harsh,
on one group of students, or over another.
Very fair, that's histrack record from day one
and he was carrying through with
that track record in thisparticular instance as well.
So there was nothing as far as harassment,
or belittling students, or punishing them,
in terms of theirassignments or their grades.
- What is the messagethen to administrators
at other colleges and universities
who may attempt to limitfree speech in the classroom
and on campus?
Yeah, make no mistake,Universities across the country,
you need to learn, that ifyou try to purge professors
because of their ideology,
because it's not the far left perspective,
or punish students,there are ramifications
and our organizationPacific Justice Institute
will whole heartedlydefend these students.
In fact on our website pji.org,
we have a number of resources
with regards to students rights on campus
that they can grab onto and also
we have our legal insider,
our regular update on a morethan two dozen pending cases,
right now, that peoplecan be kept aware of
and of course, pray for us as well
and pray for those casesas well at pji.org.
- Okay, Brad Dacus ofPacific Justice Institute.
Thanks for setting us straight today.