The University of North Texas unfairly fired a math professor for criticizing pamphlets on microaggressions that were left in the faculty lounge, his lawyer told the “Todd Starnes Radio Show” on Friday.
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Tyson Langhofer, the senior counsel and director of the Center for Academic Freedom, said the firing is the latest example of the ongoing fight on college campuses over the right to disagree.
The incident involving Professor Nathaniel Hiers took place inside the school’s lounge.
The fliers were from the University of New Hampshire’s ADVANCE program that promotes female faculty in STEM classes. The first two pages pointed to “gender microaggressions” and identified these aggressions that “propagate the myth of meritocracy,” the College Fix reported.
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Hiers disagreed with the fliers and jokingly wrote on a chalkboard “please don’t leave garbage lying around,” Langhofer said.
A few days later, the head of the math department called Hiers into his office, called his remarks “stupid” and “cowardly” and then fired him, Langhofer said.
“When Dr. Hiers asked for a reason, Defendant Schmidt gave several, all related to Dr. Hiers’ critique of ‘microaggressions.’ He said it was because Dr. Hiers refused to recant his beliefs, because he would not attend additional diversity training, and because ‘[his] actions and response are not compatible with the values of this department,’” the lawsuit reads, according to Breitbart.
Breitbart reported that Hiers claimed that his First Amendment rights were violated.
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Langhofer said the decision was made despite microaggression continuing to be a relevant conversation on campuses.
“Public universities should be a marketplace for ideas, not an assembly line for one type of thought,” he said. Hiers believes that the theory of microaggression is a drag on society and promote victimhood and “suppresses other viewpoints.”
The students are watching these controversies and learning that only one view can be tolerated, Langhofer said.
“And that’s really poor preparation for a world filled with conflicting ideas and beliefs,” he said.