Fired Professor Condemns School Board’s DEI Mandates After Judge’s Ruling

Source: LinkedIn/Matthew Garrett

Advocating for social issues in modern America is a tricky proposition. Some social issues are more palatable to a widespread audience, such as closing the gender gap in wages. Others, such a transgender rights and DEI initiatives, are a harder sell for conservative Americans who view these issues as infringing on their rights. 

DEI Initiatives Are Not New

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives are not a new concept. They were introduced for the first time in the sixties, as a result of the civil rights movement pushing for equity between white and black people in schools and the workplace. 

Source: Pexels/fauxels

These initiatives have done significant work in creating equity over the years, pushing for wage increases for marginalized people and promoting expanded hiring parameters for racial and gender equity in the workplace. 

Different Initiatives Everywhere

These initiatives are everywhere, in the workplace and in schools and in politics. They promote equality that has long been denied to different marginalizations, and can be seen in major federal legislation such as the Equal Rights Act.

Source: Pexels/fauxels

In spite of the long history behind DEI initiatives and the data proving their success, conservatives have recently come out swinging against them. Many conservatives have used DEI initiatives as an example of “woke” culture in America, which allegedly forces conservatives to bow to social pressure beyond their personal beliefs in order to maintain jobs and social status. 

Policies Don’t Diminish People Already in Charge

Of course, this is nonsense. Many DEI initiatives are mere policies that can be challenged at any point, and don’t force anyone to do anything that they fundamentally disagree with. Looking to expand racial equity in the workplace doesn’t mean that white individuals are suddenly diminished, but this is how conservatives paint these types of equity pushes.

Source: Pexels/fauxels

Some states have even gone so far as to ban different DEI initiatives in different aspects of life and business. States such as Florida, Texas, and Utah are among the handful whose legislatures have approved bans on DEI efforts in higher education and public offices. In Florida, this specifically looks like the Board of Education banning public colleges from using state and federal funds on DEI initiatives. 

A Wave of Ideological Wildfires

The conversation around the inclusion or removal of DEI initiatives has created a wave of ideological wildfires in universities across the United States. Many Gen Z-ers and younger Millennials see DEI initiatives as imperative for equity in the country, something that many see as sorely lacking. 

Source: Pexels/RDNE Stock Project

The discussion over whether DEI initiatives are necessary is far from an easy one, though. Indeed, many older Americans have lobbied against DEI initiatives, claiming that they’re merely the next step in what they see as the effort to “brainwash” and “groom” young people to believe in issues like gay rights and gender equality.

Wide-Ranging Consequences

More than just dinner time conversation, though, the issue of DEI initiatives can have real consequences for different Americans. Recently, a professor of history has made headlines for a disagreement that he is having with the administration of Kern Community College District. 

Source: Instagram/bakersfieldcollege

Professor Matthew Garret was suspended from his academic seat without pay at Bakersfield College in April. He learned that the suspension was for a personal opinion that he expressed about the imposition of DEI policies on campus, and was outraged.

A DEI Imposition at Bakersfield College

Bakersfield College is imposing a DEI mandate on faculty at the institution. The policy mandates that faculty teach DEI, and antiracist viewpoints in class. Garrett did not entirely agree with the new policy mandate, and made clear that he didn’t think that it was fair for the university to expect him and other faculty to comply with a mandate that they didn’t agree with. 

Source: Instagram/bakersfieldcollege

After being fired, Garrett was obviously upset and a little suspicious. The suspension was sudden, and didn’t seem to have any justification to it. He approached a federal magistrate court for redress, claiming that he had been unjustly suspended from his job due to his personal opinion, rather than any behavior on his part. 

A Report Regarding the Suspension

The university quickly released a report regarding Garrett’s suspension following his public outcry of wrongdoing. The report was 19 pages, and alleged that investigations into Garrett’s conduct necessitated his dismissal. The administration stated that Garrett had been unprofessional and incompetent, and they upheld his suspension without pay despite the backlash.

Source: Instagram/bakersfieldcollege

Garrett didn’t let the issue go, though. He suspected foul play, and according to him, hee was brought under the hammer due to his open opposition to the DEI policies in KCCD. Garrett’s opposition was strictly ideological, though, given that there was no record of him staging a boycott or actively working against the policy. 

Standing Before the Board of Trustees

Despite the increasing public attention around his case, Garrett did not stop the pushback with the lawsuit. Last week, he was in attendance at the meeting of the KCCD Board of Trustees. He was allowed to speak, and the only request that he made to the board was for his position at the university to be reinstated.

Source: Instagram/bakersfieldcollege

Garret pointed out the growing breach between the faculty and the college administration to convince the board, stating that he was not the only faculty member who was unhappy with some of the policies that had been implemented.

Garrett’s Suspension Is a Loss

He also went on to make a bold statement, claiming that his suspension was a loss on all fronts for the college administration.

Source: Instagram/bakersfieldcollege

Garrett did expose a small weakness, stating that he was facing severe financial distress since he’d been suspended without pay. It’s understandable; California is one of the most expensive states in the country to live in, and many teachers live on the lower end of the income bracket, meaning that one or two missed paychecks is a dire situation.

Not the Only Professor Under Fire

Garrett says that he’s willing to wait out the issue in court, and he is not the only professor who has found themselves in the crosshairs of a woke administration. He is not the only professor who is uncomfortable with the new policies; Daymon Johnson, another Bakersfield College professor, filed a lawsuit against the university in June.

Source: Instagram/bakersfieldcollege

Johnson states that he was the victim of harassment at the college, all for expressing his personal views about the DEI policies. Johnson sought legal vindication and to get ahead of the issue, to avoid falling down the same well as Garrett. 

A Judge Rules for the Professors

Fortunately for these two professors, Judge Christopher Baker of the Federal Magistrate Court was sympathetic to their plight.

Source: Instagram/bakersfieldcollege

Last month, the federal judge passed a ruling stating that Bakersfield College may be trampling faculty rights under its feet. The ruling states that victimizing faculty based on the expression of their personal opinions is a violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, and warrants compensation to the professors who have suffered.

Paying Damages for Distress

It is possible that Bakersfield College will have to pay Professor Garrett millions of dollars in damages for the distress that he experienced during his suspension. Despite the publicity of this entire situation, though, the college doesn’t appear to be backing down on the policy that started all of this in the first place.

Source: Instagram/bakersfieldcollege

This is understandable, of course. While there are many people who don’t agree with DEI initiatives, they’re popular with many students who attend colleges. Appealing to current and future students is one of the ways that colleges continue to receive funding, and in many people’s eyes, this is worth ruffling a few feathers.

Not the First, Nor the Last

It’s unlikely that Bakersfield College will be the only one to face challenges to their DEI policies. More conservative states have anti-DEI legislation working its way through local congresses as we speak, and it’s clear that this is only the beginning of a long battle against equity and inclusion.

Source: Instagram/bakersfieldcollege

This is a battle that has been going on for centuries, though. There are always those who will oppose progress, and the conversation around DEI policies precludes progress in an important way. Understanding the importance and value of our differences as humans is the first step in making great change in the country, and it will take more than a few dissatisfied people to impede progress.

What do you think?

200 Points
Upvote Downvote
James Cross

Written by James Cross

James Cross, an enigmatic writer from the historic city of Boston. James' writing delves into mysteries, true crime, and the unexplained, crafting compelling narratives that keep readers and viewers on the edge of their seats. His viral articles, blog posts, and documentary-style videos explore real-life enigmas and unsolved cases, inviting audiences to join the quest for answers. James' ability to turn real mysteries into shareable content has made him a sensation in the world of storytelling.

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

Due to High Levels of Lead, Consumer Reports Calls for Removing Lunchables From Schools

$181 Million Drained from California Residents’ Accounts