When Dr. Brad Lopez, a health instructor at Fresno City College, in California, told students about how homosexuality is a “biological misapplication of human sexuality,” that gay relationships were “one-sided foundation[s] for raising children,” and said the world would end, according to the Bible, with the earth engulfed in flames, and how “that is the real global warming we should be worried about,” he was merely exercising his constitutionally protected right to free speech. Or at least the college district’s academic freedom policy. Fresno City College has, appropriately, disagreed.
What started as a petition in 2009, by students Jacqueline Mahaffey and Jay Matthews, and grew into an ACLU intervention in February, has resulted in Fresno City College acknowledging Dr. Lopez violated a whole shit ton of policies, including Administrative Rule 3430, whih bars things like “insulting comments directed at a group based on sexual orientation.” Lopez also ran afoul of the rules, administrators concluded, by “teaching religious material,” according to a letter it sent the students.
So is Dr. Lopez fired? TBD, but probably not.
The letter acknowledges that some of Dr. Lopez’s statements in his classes were, indeed, protected under the State Center Community College District’s academic freedom policy. The letter emphasized that “instructors are entitled to interpret personal findings and to communicate their conclusions, even when at variance with those of other persons.”
However, Villa noted in the letter, “Nothing in the district’s academic freedom policy or any other controlling law or policy permits instructors to engage in indoctrination, the presentation of irrelevant subject matter, or the creation of hostile learning environment for students.” The college will take “appropriate actions to address the violations of policy and regulations,” Villa wrote. Mahaffey said she was eager to find out how the college will discipline Lopez for the damage he has done and continues to inflict on his students.