Two Fresno State students are suing a professor for erasing anti-abortion messages they wrote in sidewalk chalk on campus earlier this month, claiming their free speech rights were violated.
Video footage shows Greg Thatcher, a professor of public health, scrubbing the chalk messages out with his shoe and instructing other students to do the same. Thatcher claimed that the messages would only be allowed in a designated “free speech zone” on campus.
The students who wrote the messages are part of a national anti-abortion group, Students for Life.
“Fresno State Students for Life received full permission to chalk pro-life messages near the library. Rather than countering with his own message, Dr. Thatcher took the illegal approach of censoring speech and inciting students to help in this,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America. “No students should have to endure this kind of intimidation and harassment for simply expressing their views, but especially not those who want to help the women betrayed, and the pre-born children killed, by the abortion industry.”
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The lawsuit was filed in federal court.
This story will be updated.