An adjunct professor in New Jersey says she was suspended by the administration because of an appearance on Fox News, the Star-Ledger reports. Lisa Durden was scheduled to teach courses on speech and popular culture at Essex County College in the fall but was informed June 8 she had been indefinitely suspended. "They did this to humiliate me,'' Durden says. "Essex County College publicly lynched me in front of my students.'' Two days earlier, she had appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight to defend a Black Lives Matter event. According to Mediaite, it didn't go well, with Carlson calling Durden "demented" at one point.
Durden says officials told her she was suspended because she associated herself with the college during the appearance. But Inside Higher Ed reports that at no point did Durden mention her position at Essex and even specified she was "speaking for Lisa Durden." It wasn't her first appearance on Fox News, and Durden believes someone called the college to complain about her comments and the administration caved. On Tuesday, Carlson was supportive of the decision to suspend Durden, calling the idea of her teaching children "insane." Durden's colleagues are trying to get her reinstated, and an online petition has more than 1,000 signatures. "I find it shocking that an African-American woman would be so disrespected at her place of employment for merely exercising her First Amendment right to free speech,'' one Essex professor says. (Read more Tucker Carlson stories.)