Public health professor Dr. Gregory Thatcher recruited students to help destroy the pro-life chalk message.
The chalk messages encouraged students on campus to seek pro-life health care options.
“What the professor did was wrong, and the only permit a student needs to speak on campus is the First Amendment,” the pro-life club’s president, Bernadette Tasy, told Fox News.
Tasy can be seen confronting the students and the professor in the video.
Thatcher allegedly harassed and intimidated the group, accusing them of chalking outside the free speech zone on campus.
“Free speech is free speech in the free speech area,” Thatcher says to Tasy. “It’s a pretty simple concept, okay? This does not constitute a free speech area. Okay?”
After Tasy said they had permission from the university, Thatcher carried on erasing the chalk with his shoe.
“You have permission to put it down, and I have permission to get rid of it. This is our part of free speech. College campuses are not free speech areas,” Thatcher said, “Do you understand? Obviously, you don’t understand.”
Thatcher has been ordered to pay $1,000 to Tasy and $1,000 to another student, Jesus Herrera, as well as some attorneys’ fees. The professor is also required to undergo First Amendment training from the Alliance Defending Freedom.
Thatcher gloated to Fox News that he won’t have to pay out of his own pocket because the settlement was made through his insurance company.
“I did not, in any way, admit to any wrongdoing,” Thatcher said. “I did agree to sit through a training seminar because I love to learn others’ thoughts and opinions.”
Tasy argues the lawsuit was not about the money.
“The important thing is that Dr. Thatcher won’t be able to interfere with our expressive activities again,” she said.
Tasy said she was “really shocked” that a professor would behave like that, especially one from a public university.
“Public university professors should be encouraging free speech and not erasing it from existence,” she said.