August 4, 2019 | From World
A California state court has sided with a community college sociology professor fired for exposing his students to conservative perspectives on marriage, gender roles, and sexual orientation.
In 2017, Moreno Valley College dismissed Eric Thompson, who had taught at the school near Riverside, Calif., since 2005, for conducting “dangerous” and “immoral” discussions with students. He regularly challenged students in his sociology courses to defend their positions on topics like marriage, gender roles, and sexual orientation, and introduced his students to multiple views on the origin of same-sex attraction.
These kinds of legal issues of religious freedom were discussed with a legal expert, and prayed over, on our August 2 First Friday Prayer Conference Call. Don’t miss the chance to pray and learn. Call (712)775-7432, code 2452# any time to participate in the replay.
Thompson showed his students a video called Understanding Same-Sex Attraction and sent it to a faculty email list. The documentary, produced by Family Watch International, countered the prevailing view that biology, not environment, causes same-sex attraction. Thompson said that as a Christian he agreed with the video, but he was not trying to foist his views on the students. He just wanted to share another point-of-view with them.
“It was eye-opening, another side of the story I had never seen before, and I was really excited about it,” Thompson told me. “After I showed the video, that’s when the trouble began. … That’s when I had a bull’s-eye target on my back.”
One homosexual colleague filed an administrative complaint alleging harassment over what Thompson termed “amicable conversations,” and the college required Thompson to attend sensitivity training. Then, after a student complained of being victimized by a class discussion of the Supreme Court’s Obergerfell v. Hodges decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, the school’s Diversity Committee demanded that Thompson stop showing the video. He received a notice of professional misconduct.
In a final complaint, a student alleged she was given a D grade because she was a lesbian. Despite an investigation failing to find that Thompson violated any school policies, in October 2017 he was summoned to the college president’s office and told to surrender his keys and gather personal effects from his office. Security guards escorted him off the campus. . . . [A] judge concluded last month that the college had no basis for firing Thompson. “Reaching a determination as to what is acceptable academic speech can well be subtle and ‘difficult,’” the arbitrator wrote, but academic speech should not be prohibited “simply because society finds it offensive or disagreeable.” . . .
Thompson remains undaunted by the attacks on him. “This battle has been growth-inducing, as it has made me have to trust the Lord on a number of levels,” he said, adding, “In some ways it has been good to go through this.” (Excerpt from World)