A conservative professor who was fired for presenting “dangerous” viewpoints on marriage, gender, and sexuality has triumphed after a two-year legal battle.
According to the Pacific Justice Institute, which represented him, Eric Thompson was a tenured professor of sociology at Moreno Valley College in California since 2005, receiving a “Faculty of the Year” award twice.
According to PJI, he posed conservative ideas in class to challenge his students to defend their liberal views (always a danger in the current political atmosphere).
However, his discussion of non-liberal views got him in trouble, as PJI reports that some students and colleagues saw Thompson’s lectures as “harassment” and “dangerous.”
Instead of valuing different viewpoints and academic freedom, the college fired Thompson, citing the “immoral” nature of his teaching, according to PJI.
Since then, PJI has defended Thompson through a lengthy arbitration process. In a ruling in October, Thompson’s arbitration argument finally succeeded.
“The arbitrator, who found many of Moreno Valley College’s claims against the tenured professor were unfounded, ruled in Thompson’s favor,” PJI reported.
The arbitrator ruled Thompson was “wrongly terminated and should have his job back,” One News Now reported.
In the academic universe, where liberals dominate, that has to be a bitter blow.
The Pacific Justice Institute is a non-profit legal defense organization which offers its services free of charge.
Attorneys at PJI specialize in defending civil liberties, such as religious freedom and parental rights.
“For nearly two years I’ve helped our client as we’ve sought vindication,” PJI attorney Michael Peffer said in the news release.
“The college’s swift choice to fire Professor Thompson based on such inane claims demonstrated the lack of tolerance many institutions have toward conservative, opposing views on the social debates in our country.”
The PJI advised Thompson during administrative hearings, depositions, and a multi-day arbitration “conducted like a trial.”
According to One News Now, Brad Dacus, founder and president of PJI, said the issue stemmed from a classroom discussion Thompson conducted when the Supreme Court was considering the landmark Obergefell gay marriage case.
“Sociology is a normal class for such discussions. He encouraged critical thinking and critical thought on both perspectives,” Dacus said, according to One News Now. “But because he just didn’t have one perspective that was pro-gay marriage, he was fired.”
Hopefully, this win will help renew college as a place of education, rather than mere indoctrination, where presenting differing viewpoints is not just tolerated but encouraged.
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