East Georgia College Flouts Fundamental Rights
The abuse of campus sexual harassment policies to punish dissenting professors hit a new low at East Georgia College (EGC), which dismissed him from campus for “sexual harassment” two days after he made the mistake of pointing out—at a sexual harassment training seminar—that the school’s sexual harassment policy contained no protection for the falsely accused. He was dismissed and escorted from campus without notice, evidence, a hearing, or even an accuser. After Thibeault turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help, EGC dropped the charge for lack of evidence, but instead issued a reprimand—again without providing Thibeault any notice, evidence, a hearing, or witnesses.
“How can a public college professor in the United States be kicked off campus by the president and police, but months later, still have no idea why?” asked Adam Kissel, Director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program. “EGC and President John Black have utterly failed to meet their constitutional and moral obligation to respect freedom of speech, academic freedom, and due process. Black has punished protected speech without any due process whatsoever, and he has threatened further disciplinary action if someone else merely sends in a complaint about Professor Thibeault. Meanwhile, Black has not lifted his retaliatory decision to not rehire Thibeault for the next academic year. It is hard to imagine a worse failure of due process in this case.”