Chico State Professor: College Republicans’ First Amendment Rights ‘Intensely Hurtful’ to Students

Lindsay Briggs Chico State
Lindsay Briggs

A professor at Chico State (CSU, Chico) referred to President Donald Trump and the Republican Party as “poison,” and suggested that she and other professors use the “immense privilege” they have as “tenured faculty” to protect students who are offended by their classmates exercising their First Amendment rights. The instructor told Breitbart News that the First Amendment allowing the school’s College Republicans to “voice their support for Trump and — the Republican Party” is “intensely hurtful” to many students on campus.

“The First Amendment protects our Republican Club students to voice their support for Trump and their support of the Republican Party. That is intensely hurtful to many of our students on campus,” CSU, Chico instructor Lindsay Briggs told Breitbart News.

The instructor had been responding to Breitbart News’ request for comment regarding a recent tweet in which Briggs referred to President Trump and Republicans as “poison,” urging her colleagues to “protect” students who become offended after hearing conservative students vocalize their support for President Trump ahead of the 2020 Election due to the First Amendment.

“You and I have every right to stand by marginalized students and call out Trump and the Republican Party for being poison,” tweeted Briggs on Saturday.

“It is our time to be fearless leaders on campus and I expect more of you to stand up and do so. Particularly tenured faculty. We enjoy immense privilege so we better start using it,” she added, calling on her colleagues at CSU, Chico to “do an honest personal inventory and decide where you will stand as things escalate” ahead of the 2020 Election.

Briggs, who is a tenured faculty member in the Department of Public Health & Health Services Administration at CSU, Chico, had been reacting to “the recent ruckus on campus,” which she says is only “going to get bigger with the looming election.”

The “ruckus” appears to be in reference to recent clashes between leftist students and the school’s College Republicans group, whose chapter president was seen on video being attacked by an outraged student protester who took his sign and struck him in the face with it.

Following the incident, Briggs declared that “it is possible to uphold 1st Amendment Speech rights AND condemn, scold, and disagree with messages that you don’t agree with,” in an apparent defense of censuring conservative students for their so-called poisonous views.

Moreover, Briggs does not appear to be alone in her assessment.

Last week, an entire cohort of CSU, Chico professors accused the school’s College Republicans of harboring “white supremacist” views and subjecting students to “racist provocation” due to their support of President Donald Trump.

The professors added that just because conservative students have free speech rights “does not in any way mean we have to sit by, silently.”

Briggs further echoed those sentiments, stating, “our students need us. They need to know that even if the law can’t protect them from hurt and sadness, their faculty and staff will hold them in those hard spots.”

Briggs told Breitbart News that because the First Amendment protects conservative students’ free speech rights on campus, it is up to faculty and staff to prioritize being “compassionate and hear the hurt they feel, even if we cannot limit the speech of their fellow students.”

Briggs insisted that no one on staff at CSU, Chico is trying to limit conservative students’ speech, adding, “in no way am I saying Republicans are not welcome or should not be on our campus.”

In response to Breitbart News’ request for clarification on what the instructor meant by “poison,” Briggs said, “I believe that Trump and the current Republican Party are destructive and harmful to our country. The discord and meanness exemplified by their continued behavior is poison to the masses.”

“The remedy would be to stop being so toxic. Stop being hurtful and incendiary to wide swaths of the population,” she added.

The instructor also said that she has had “Republican students” in her classes, and that their grades have not been negatively affected due to these so-called poisonous views.

“I have had many Republican students in my courses over the years and they have all enjoyed the ability to speak up for their beliefs in my classroom and my evaluation of their grades is based on their academic work, not their personal beliefs,” said Briggs. “I am quite able to be unbiased in the classroom and hold strong political beliefs outside the classroom.”

“The Republican Party is poison to our country and I want students on our campus to know that their faculty care about their hurts and their pain,” she affirmed.

You can Follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.