Despite backlash and appeals to fire her, the controversial Fresno State University professor who celebrated the death of Barbara Bush will be facing no consequences and will be keeping her job as an English professor.
It was determined that Randa Jarrar “did not violate any CSU or university policies,” Fresno President Joseph I. Castro said in a statement on Tuesday, effectively letting the vile professor off the hook after she set off a firestorm of criticism for her offensive remarks at the death of the former first lady last week.
“I’m happy the witch is dead and I can’t wait for the rest of her family to fall to their demise,” Jarrar tweeted, calling Bush an “amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal.”
The comments ignited severe backlash and calls for the university to fire Jarrar who mockingly announced that, as a tenured professor, she was going nowhere.
“What I love about being an American professor is my right to free speech, and what I love about Fresno State is that I always feel protected and at home here,” Jarrar bragged.
The university issued a simple statement claiming the professor’s sentiments did not represent her employer’s but did not rebuke Jarrar, who described herself in her bio as an Arab-American Muslim who grew up in Kuwait and Egypt, and moved to the United States after the Gulf War.
As donors to the California State University at Fresno considered pulling their support in the wake of the controversy, the university president said he was speaking to them and shared their concerns.
“They’re outraged, and I’m outraged as well,” he said. “This is behavior that is unacceptable as a university that models the development of leaders. We just cannot tolerate it.”
But Tuesday’s statement found the school standing behind the First Amendment.
“Professor Jarrar’s conduct was insensitive, inappropriate and an embarrassment to the university,” Castro said in the release. “I know her comments have angered many in our community and impacted our students. Her comments, although disgraceful, are protected free speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”
Letter by Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro on the conclusion of the review regarding professor: pic.twitter.com/Z3bQNYhl9Q
— Fresno State (@Fresno_State) April 24, 2018
The statement came despite a petition on Change.org, calling for the “immediate termination” of Jarrar which currently has over 70,000 signatures. The university’s stand comes also in spite of disturbing video footage which surfaced of Jarrar criticizing farmers as “Trump supporters and just f—ing stupid.” Video also revealed the professor praising left-wing terrorists who hijacked planes in the 1960s and 1970s and advocating throwing grenades into the homes of those she disagrees with.
And while the predictable arguments from the left and right centered on praise or condemnation of the vulgar and insensitive remarks by Jarrar, some conservatives agreed with Fresno State that her comments are protected by the Constitution.
A few staunch conservatives like the Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro made admittedly compelling arguments as to why the “nasty prof” shouldn’t be fired.
Others, however, believe the First Amendment right to free speech does not extend to Jarrar who went too far when she directed social media critics wanting to reach her to Arizona State University’s suicide/crisis hotline, causing problems when a spike in spam calls made it more difficult to provide help to those in crisis.
— Dodd (@Amuk3) April 25, 2018
Understand the freedom of speech aspect but she deserves punishment or lawsuit for the health-crisis phone line prank
— Cameron Bloch (@IAMCAM35) April 25, 2018
Even if the school doesn’t care she name dropped them and bragged she had tenure, how can they not punish her for giving out the crisis hotline number for ASU as the number to call to complain? That’s like getting 911 tied up. People could have died.
— Sean (@angry_blue_dot) April 25, 2018
Doesn’t matter. She’s a liberal. She gets a pass regardless of the harm she did.
Those are the rules. https://t.co/5jpibAveew
— RBe (@RBPundit) April 25, 2018
Jarrar has reportedly left the country and is on leave for the current semester.