Randa Jarrar cannot be fired from her tenured position at California State University at Fresno despite posting inflammatory remarks about recently deceased former first lady Barbara Bush to Twitter, The Washington Post reported.
The English professor’s Twitter tirade, which included remarks that the former first lady was an “amazing racist” and expressed how “happy” she was that “the witch is dead,” sparked massive backlash.
Dozens of emails, editorials and tweets addressing Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro called for Jarrar’s dismissal from the university, and school officials obliged by reviewing her position.
Despite all these efforts, Castro announced Tuesday that no action would be taken against Jarrar, citing free speech as an unpassable obstacle.
“Professor Jarrar’s conduct was insensitive, inappropriate and an embarrassment to the university,” he said in a statement, adding that “her comments have angered many in our community and impacted our students.”
However, after reviewing the facts and consulting with lawyers, Castro said the professor was not in violation of any school policy and was acting in a private capacity.
“Her comments, although disgraceful, are protected free speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,” Castro said.
“Additionally, although Professor Jarrar used tenure to defend her behavior, this private action is an issue of free speech and not related to her job or tenure.”
Jarrar will take a scheduled leave of absence for the spring semester and will resume teaching upon her return.
In an interview with New York Magazine, she said she stood by her comments, adding that “the Bush family — including Barbara Bush — supported policies that harmed and destroyed the lives of millions.”
Now critics have turned their attention to Fresno State, which has come heavily under fire for not punishing the professor.
“@Fresno_State proves that hate speech from its staff is acceptable,” one Twitter user posted.
As expected @Fresno_State proves that hate speech from its staff is acceptable. No discipline for professor Randa Jarrar. It is true, the vile left is never held accountable for their actions. https://t.co/uDKB1yTRcS
— Warren (@warrendix3) April 25, 2018
“I hope every donor takes notice and sends their money elsewhere,” another noted.
— Chesty Puller (@usmc176) April 25, 2018
Well @Fresno_State is not taking any steps to discipline @randajarrar for her #disgusting remarks about the late Barbara Bush. I only hope they have to pay the price for what she spews to our youngsters. #BoycottFresnoState
— Jay (@RUaMonkeysAss) April 25, 2018
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