A New Jersey professor has sued a college that fired her after she defended a “safe space” for only black people, according to a Friday report.
Essex County College in New Jersey fired professor Lisa Durden after an appearance on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” in which she identified herself as a BLM supporter and political commentator, and defended a Memorial Day Black Lives Matter event as a “safe space” for black individuals, reported The College Fix.
Durden sued the college for violating her free speech rights and creating a “hostile work environment.”
“I want people to feel comfortable and to be able to express themselves and take a stand,” Durden told The College Fix in an interview published Friday. The former professor’s lawyer, Leslie Farber, said that Durden is suing for “lost pay and emotional distress” and wants to be reinstated as a professor at Essex.
Black Lives Matter group in New York holds an “exclusively black” Memorial Day party… and asks all other races to stay away. pic.twitter.com/M24KFpXzPw
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) June 7, 2017
Essex “firmly reject[s] and denounce[s] any conduct that implies that all students are not welcome to participate in [events because of their race],” school president Anthony Munroe said, according to The College Fix. Munroe explained that Essex “supports and affirms the right of free speech and independent views” for professors, but only when it aligns with “the service of our student body.”
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a free speech nonprofit, sued Essex in January for ignoring records requests for information pertaining to Durden’s termination.
Durden has served as a panelist on WWOR talk show “Chasing News” after her firing.
“Essex County College does not comment on ongoing litigation,” Essex spokesman Wayne Yourstone told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Ms. Durden was handled in a lawful manner consistent with her status as an adjunct.”
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