AAUP Heralds California Conservative’s Free Speech Victory

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

When the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) heralds a free speech victory by one of the rare conservatives in academia, that announcement is as worthy of heralding as the victory itself. “In California, an arbitrator found last month that Moreno Valley College in Riverside made unfounded claims against Professor Eric Thompson,” Hank Reichman writes on the academe blog maintained by the AAUP. “The conservative professor was fired for challenging students’ liberal views on marriage, gender roles, and sexual orientation while the Supreme Court was hearing arguments for the legalization of gay marriage.”

“Thompson had taught at the school since 2005 and was twice named ‘Faculty of the Year.’ He introduced conservative views to his students during class discussions on human sexuality in his sociology classes and asked them to defend their assumptions and beliefs. He also circulated a film that suggests homosexuality might be a choice rather than biologically determined. The college said his actions were immoral and students said they considered challenging their views to be ‘harassment’ and ‘dangerous.'”

“‘Instead of promoting academic freedom and critical thinking skills, the community college swiftly terminated Thompson’s employment due to the “immoral” nature of his discussions,’ said the Pacific Justice Institute, the conservative group that defended Thompson in his two-year battle.”