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Former Essex County College professor Lisa Durden was defending the decision of Black Lives Matter to exclude white people from a Memorial Day Event to Fox News' Tucker Carlson last year when she said: "What I say to that is, 'Boo hoo hoo.' You white people are angry because you couldn't use your 'white privilege' card to get invited to the Black Lives Matter's all-black Memorial Day celebration."
Two days later she was told to cancel a class and suspended, and three weeks after her television appearance, she was fired. Durden is now suing the school and administrators, claiming it violated her free speech rights, created a hostile work environment, and breached her contract. Here's the lawsuit.
Durden, an adjunct professor in public speaking and media at Essex County, claims she was hired "because of her previous work and reputation as a media professional" and "numerous television and radio appearances as a commentator on political and social issues." She also asserts she never stated or implied that she was employed by Essex County College at any time during the Fox News appearance.
Even so, she alleges that the chairperson of the Humanities Department escorted her to her classroom two days later and forced her to cancel her class without explanation, then informed her she was suspended. Durden also claims she spoke at a meeting of the Essex County College Board of Trustees "about the right to free speech and academic freedom in general," and was fired three days later.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education also filed a lawsuit against the college over Durden's firing, seeking any and all documents related to her termination. Those documents appear to contradict claims from the Essex's president, Anthony Munroe, that the school was "immediately inundated with feedback ... expressing frustration, concern and even fear" over Durden's comments.
You can read Durden's lawsuit in full, below:
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