Constitution carries professor's case forward

Constitution carries professor's case forward

Constitution carries professor's case forward

An Obama-appointed judge has ruled that a Pennsylvania college's diversity, equity, and inclusion training could be a violation of federal law.

As AFN has reported, Penn State Abington former Professor Zach K. De Piero sued last year when he was forced to take DEI training that told him English is racist and that white teachers are a problem. He was also forced to participate in an exercise where he was told to hold his breath longer than his black colleagues so he could feel the pain George Floyd endured.

Penn State sought to stop the former English professor's lawsuit, but earlier this month, federal Judge Wendy Beetlestone, an Obama appointee, denied the university's motion to dismiss the case. While saying critical race theory (CRT) can be used in education, she ruled that aiming it at one particular race could run afoul of federal anti-discrimination laws.

On the latter, Brad Dacus of Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) – which is not involved in the case – agrees.

"The Civil Rights Act and anti-discrimination policy applies to everyone," he says. "It doesn't just protect some and allow others to be harassed."

As for the judge's belief that CRT has a place on college campuses, Dacus disagrees.

Dacus, Brad (PJI) Dacus

"CRT, as understood by most, and as applied, does create separation, discrimination," he explains. "It creates one class of oppressed [and] another class of victims."

De Piero was not the first person to complain about the university's racism, though Dacus is not aware of another lawsuit. And while it is early in the legal process, he hopes this case can act as a warning to other schools.

"We're seeing more and more, across the country, individuals who are Caucasian, or even Asian, being treated and harassed because of their race," the attorney relays.

He says Judge Beetlestone was right to allow this case to continue, and PJI hopes that ruling will send a loud signal that the Constitution of the United States has an Equal Protection Clause that applies to everyone.