California Professor Vindicated After Termination for “Dangerous” Conservative Views
Riverside, CA–After days of intense arbitration, the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) secured a legal victory this past month for a sociology professor fired for his discussions of conservative world-views in his college classroom. PJI represented Professor Eric Thompson and battled in depositions, administrative hearings, and a multi-day arbitration conducted like a trial. The arbitrator, who found many of Moreno Valley College’s claims against the tenured professor were unfounded, ruled in Thompson’s favor.
Thompson, who had taught at Moreno Valley College since 2005 and twice been named “Faculty of the Year,” encouraged discussions in his sociology courses regarding topics like marriage, gender roles, and sexual orientation. He introduced conservative views to his students to challenge them to defend their assumptions and positions. He also circulated the film Understanding Same-Sex Attraction which suggests homosexual feelings may be due to environmental factors rather than genetically pre-determined.
Several students and colleagues considered Thompson’s apparent validation of non-liberal 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.
PJI attorney Michael Peffer vigorously defended Thompson throughout the entire arbitration process. “For nearly two years I’ve helped our client as we’ve sought vindication. 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.”
Brad Dacus, Founder and President of PJI, commented, “The atrocious silencing of this professor, who merely offered a well-balanced presentation of conservative and Bible-based thoughts with prevalent social science teachings, had to be challenged. How many other voices of reason are being squelched in academic institutions by the far-left? College campuses have become a battleground for the future of our country, and our PJI legal team is whole-heartedly in the fight to defend the First Amendment rights of teachers and students sharing their religious viewpoints.”