Last week, on Wednesday May 7, a vandal was captured on video erasing pro life chalkings at Fresno State University.
The chalkings were written by the Fresno Students for Life group who has had to deal with vandalism in the past. In fact, this recent case of vandalism falls on the year anniversary that Fresno State Assistant Professor of Public Health Greg Thatcher and a group of students that he recruited defaced and destroyed public pro life chalkings also designed by the pro life club.
Thatcher action’s brought about a federal lawsuit on behalf of the Fresno State Students for Life club. Bernadette Tasy (the President of Fresno State Students for Life) filed the lawsuit with Alliance Defending Freedom, a top-tier Christian legal advocacy firm, who represented the Students for Life club in the lawsuit. The defiant professor ended up settling the lawsuit with the students for $17,000 and agreeing to undergo First Amendment training with Alliance Defending Freedom. However, Thatcher still maintained that he was responsible for no wrongdoing, even though the university would not condone his irrational, tantrum-like behavior.
According to a Students for Life press release on the incident last week, Bernadette Tasy, one of the plaintiffs in last year’s lawsuit said:
“When will students at Fresno State learn that we have just the same free-speech rights as everyone else. Professor Thatcher underwent free-speech training; maybe the whole school should. There should be respect for differing points of view on campus, and if students oppose us they are free to chalk their own messages on the ground, but they should not destroy ours.”
Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life added, “Bernadette is a great example of the resilience of Students for Life leaders. Bernadette has seen the group through multiple vandalizations but nothing phases them. We call on the university to send a strong message to the school that they will not tolerate violations of free-speech.”
Students for Life noted that a copy of the video of the vandalism taking place has been sent to campus police. Campus police are currently investigating a separate incident involving a student who tore down fliers urging students to oppose Sb 320, a bill that would force colleges to provide abortion inducing drugs on campus.