Robert GehlA�reports a pro-life group at Fresno State University is suing a professor after he ordered students to erase a pro-life chalk display in the name of a�?free speech.a�?
As seen in the video below, posted by Fresno State Students for Life, a member of the group confronted students who were erasing what they created.
a�?We have a teacher thata��s telling us to get rid of it,a�? one said.
Another student objected to being filmed. a�?I dona��t want to be recorded, thata��s actually pretty illegal,a�? she said. (Ita��s not illegal to film someone in a public place.)
a�?The whole idea of free speech is that we have a free speech area on campus, OK?a�? Thatcher said. a�?This does not constitute a free speech area, OK?a�?
Dr. Thatcher then went over to the chalkings and began erasing them himself a�� he said he was exercising his own free speech, The Washington Free BeaconA�reports.
a�?College campuses are not free speech areas,a�? the professor insisted. a�?Do you understand? Obviously, you dona��t understand.a�?
Well a�� ita��s Dr. Thatcher who doesna��t understand. The group filed aA�lawsuitA�that they will most certainly win.
The students are defended by the Alliance for Defending Freedom, a Christian nonprofit.
a�?No university professor has the authority to roam the campus, silencing any student speech he happens to find objectionable and recruiting students to participate in this censorship,a�? their lawyer said. a�?Like all government officials, professors have an obligation to respect studentsa�� free speech rights.a�?
In a statement to CNN, Joseph Castro, president of California State University, Fresno, said the schoola��s policy on free speech is clear.
a�?Free speech on campus is not limited to a a�?free speech zonea�� or any other narrowly defined area,a�? he said. a�?Those disagreeing with the studentsa�� message have a right to their own speech, but they do not have the right to erase or stifle someone elsea��s speech under the guise of their own right to free speech.a�?
For the record: Professor Thatchera��s PhD is in a�?health promotion and behavior,a�? which means hea��d make an excellent PE teacher a�� not a First Amendment expert.