School pays up big-time for attacking professor's personal beliefs

February 26, 2023
World Net Daily

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A university in Texas has agreed to pay $165,000 for one official's attack on a professor's personal beliefs.

The issue involved the concept of "microaggressions," the ideology that statements such as "America is a melting pot" and "I believe the most qualified person should get the job" are somehow attacks on "minority groups."

A report from the Alliance Defending Freedom explained the case involved Nathaniel Hiers, who was working at the time at the University of North Texas.

He found promotional flyers condemning those thoughts and statements that some faction of the faculty apparently considered "microaggressions" in the faculty lounge.

The ADF reported, "Dr. Hiers thoroughly disagrees with the concept of 'microaggressions' as expressed on the flyers. In fact, he believes the concept of 'microaggressions' hurts diversity and tolerance. Dr. Hiers believes that encouraging people to view unintentional comments as attacks leads them to assume the worst in others and to view themselves as perpetual victims. In addition, he feels that the concept of 'microaggressions' suppresses meaningful debate by falsely characterizing honest viewpoints as attacks on minority groups."

The ADF said, "Colleges and universities are supposed to be places where students and faculty can respectfully discuss and debate important ideas. But today, many campuses have become nothing more than echo chambers where only one side of a given argument is tolerated."

When Hiers returned to the lounge later and saw the flyers still there, he wrote, jokingly, on a nearby chalkboard, "Please don’t leave garbage lying around."

The head of the school's math department was enraged, dispatching a picture of the message to all the department's members and demanding, "Would the person who did this please stop being a coward and see me in the chair’s office immediately. Thank you."

Hiers responded, explain it was not "cowardly" to poke fun at political agendas, and that he should be able to express his opinion just like those who left the political flyers there.

The department chief "pressured" Hier to apologize but he said he didn't think he needed to do that. The chief also suggested "diversity" training, and Hier said he was not interested.

Then the chief fired Hiers.

"Dr. Hiers sent an email to the chair asking why he had been fired, and the chair gave several reasons, all related to the chalkboard message. He told Dr. Hiers he was firing him because he would not recant his beliefs or attend diversity training, and he said Dr. Hiers’ decision to write his message on the chalkboard was 'not compatible with the values of this department,'" the ADF explained.

A lawsuit followed, and when a federal judge said the school probably violated Hiers' First Amendment rights, school officials settled the case by paying $165,000.

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