This is Greg Thatcher, assistant professor, department of public health at Fresno state university.
Thatcher teaches “courses” such as PH 91 Human Sexuality, so you know that he’s going to be a screaming SJW without even taking into account his weak shoulders, frontal comb-over, and his forced and fake smile. Based on the following story we could also add sub par intelligence and tendency to bully and harass those whom he is supposed to be guiding in their formative adult years.
Last April, a group of students, members of Fresno State Students for Life (FSSL), sought and received permission from the university to exercise their rights of free speech by writing pro-life messages in chalk on the sidewalks leading to the university library. They had finished their messages on the morning of May 2 when Professor Gregory Thatcher came along and accosted them.
He stated that they could not chalk their messages on the sidewalk and had to confine their free speech activities to the “free speech zone” on campus. Obviously no fan of the principles of free speech, Thatcher was not aware that Fresno State had abandoned its “speech zone” policy almost two years before.
If he was unaware of the fact that a “free speech zone” had been removed 2 years previously then he was either pretty darn stupid or a liar. Not content with bullying students who held opposing views to his own, the assistant professor then went back to his first class where instead of beginning to “teach” he rounded up a pack of easily led sheep and returned to the onerous scene of chalk warfare.
FSSL president Bernadette Tasy replied to Thatcher that her group had obtained permission to write messages on the sidewalk. He then announced that he would shortly return and erase their messages. He did, accompanied by several students from his 8 A.M. class (he teaches public health courses), eager volunteers in his sidewalk message battle.When Tasy reminded him that they had full permission to do what they were doing, he and his students began erasing one of the FSSL messages. Thatcher said that in erasing the FSSL messages, he was exercising his own free speech rights. He also declared that “College campuses are not free speech areas.” One of Thatcher’s students, apparently inspired by their mentor, stole the chalk from an FSSL student and used it to write pro-abortion slogans.
So far this is all unfortunately pretty standard with what occurs in Anglo-Saxon universities around the world. But this story gets much better. The students took the faculty member to court. And they won in a most handsome manner.
Aided by attorneys with the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), they filed suit against Thatcher in federal court. Their complaint contended that he violated their First Amendment rights in that he “assigned himself the role of student speech censor, a one-man taxpayer-paid heckler’s veto over student expression that differs from his own. In the process he engaged in content and viewpoint discrimination and restricted speech in areas that are designated as public fora for student free speech.”On November 3, the court issued an injunction that prohibits Professor Thatcher from ever again interfering with FSSL’s First Amendment rights. It also imposes some rather hefty costs on him for his illegal actions. He has to pay $1000 each to Tasy and another student who was involved. He also has to pay $15,000 in legal fees to ADF.
The teacher got schooled. Perhaps he will soon be living out of the back of his car. One can only hope. But it gets even better:
Finally, the court order requires Thatcher to go through a two-hour educational session on the First Amendment, a session that will be conducted by ADF’s Travis Barham. As Barham said here after the injunction was announced, “Like all government officials, professors have an obligation to respect the constitutionally protected free speech of students. Of all people, professors should be the first to encourage all students to participate in the marketplace of ideas rather than erase the speech of those with whom they differ. The professor’s actions here were wrong and flagrantly violated the First Amendment.”
But this is the point where I question the wider ramifications of this as regards to colleges in the USA. If this moron got slapped down in such a decisive manner for what is in fact a minor act of SJW brinkmanship in the ongoing cultural wars, where does this leave entire faculties across the country and their ridiculous attempts to constrain the First Amendment rights of students?
This should set a glorious precedent for conservative students all across the USA. Don’t just fight back twice as hard, fight back twice as smart. And with intellectual lightweights like Thatcher, that shouldn’t be much of a challenge.