Court Orders Fresno State Professor to Pay $17K for Erasing Pro-Life Student’s Chalk Writing

A Fresno State Professor was ordered to attend First Amendment training following an incident in which he erased a chalked Pro-Life message on campus
YouTube/Students for Life

Fresno State University Professor Gregory Thatcher, who was filmed erasing pro-life chalk messages on his campus earlier this year, was ordered by a California court to attend First Amendment courses and pay a $17,000 fine.

Fresno State Public Health Professor Gregory Thatcher was caught on film erasing pro-life chalk messages earlier this year. He accused the students of violating a “free speech zone” policy that hadn’t been in effect at the university since 2015.

“You have permission to put it down, and I have permission to get rid of it. This is our part of free speech. College campuses are not free speech areas,” Thatcher said in the video, “Do you understand? Obviously, you don’t understand.”

At the time, Thatcher was blasted on social media for his misunderstanding of how the First Amendment is applied on a public university campus.

This week, a district court settlement ordered Thatcher to pay $17,000 for his First Amendment violation. Additionally, Thatcher will be forced to attend First Amendment training.

Despite the court’s decision, Thatcher insists that he didn’t do anything wrong.

“I did not, in any way, admit to any wrongdoing,” Thatcher said. “I did agree to sit through a training seminar because I love to learn others’ thoughts and opinions.”

Travis Barham, legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, argued that Thatcher’s act was a “flagrant” violation of the First Amendment. “This is a particularly extreme case because you have a professor trying to wipe away the chalk himself,” Barham said. “Far too often university officials try to play the role of speech police and try to restrict what can be said and where it can be said on campus.”

This isn’t the only run-in that Fresno State has had this year with radical leftist professors. Fresno State lecturer Lars Maischak tweeted that President Trump should be hung in February. “To save American democracy, Trump must hang. The sooner and the higher, the better. #TheResistance #DeathToFascism,” the tweet read.


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