A California legal group is fighting for a professor who was
investigated after he questioned his school's budget priorities
following the installation of a "gay" studies program.
Officials at a community college in the Oakland, California,
area investigated an instructor at the College of Alameda for a
letter he wrote to a local newspaper questioning the college's
budget priorities. A co-worker filed a complaint for sexual
harassment when the professor's letter was published in the
The Peralta Community College District has concluded it
cannot punish the tenured instructor for questioning if the
college wasted funds for adding a new degree program
for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)
studies at a time when funds are tight.
Matthew McReynolds, an
attorney with the Pacific Justice Institute, says that the
professor's criticisms were completely reasonable.
"This instructor did what citizens are supposed to do," the
attorney states. "He reported and spoke out against what he saw as
a waste of public resources.
"At a time when our community colleges in California are
slashing classes that students need to graduate, this community
college, the College of Alameda, was proposing to create new
classes and something called a 'gay studies' program to produce
activists for local advocacy groups."
McReynolds sent a letter to Peralta officials, asking them to
uphold the professor's First Amendment rights.
Nearly five years ago, the College of Alameda suspended
students for praying on campus, but a federal court decision ruled
in favor of the students.