A gay, tenured California history professor has stomped on a community college’s last woke nerve and is now being investigated for “serious misconduct.”
The State Center Community College District has placed Madera Community College Professor David Richardson on paid administrative leave after he passed out chocolate bars labeled with preferred pronouns: “He/Him” for bars with nuts and “She/Her” for a “nutless” snack.
The self-described conservative bought a case of Jeremey’s Chocolate, named after Daily Wire CEO Jeremy Boreing, to protest Hershey’s celebration of International Women’s Day, during which they named “a biological male” as its spokesperson, according to Just The News.
Not knowing what to do with the leftover chocolate bars, Richardson decided to offer them to staff members and visitors at the April 29 Madera open house for the community college’s academic programs.
According to the history professor, one staff member “started taking pictures” of the bars and “kept trying to bait me,” but it wasn’t until “a uniformed police officer” showed up at his door with a letter from the State Center Community College District that he knew he was in trouble.
The district accused Richardson of creating a “hostile work environment” and harassing and discriminating against colleagues “based on gender,” and an investigation had been launched. Pending the outcome, he was cut off from his Madera email, banned from “non-public” areas of the district, and warned against “any action which could be construed as retaliation against anyone.”
It isn’t the first time Richardson has landed himself in hot water with the district.
He is “already suing SCCCD for sanctions following a previous investigation into his behavior during a mandatory October 2021 ‘pronoun etiquette’ seminar led by transgender chemistry professor Jamie MacArthur,” according to Just the News.
Richardson took part in a Zoom seminar in which each participant was given fields for their names and gender identity below their “small thumbnail.”
The “open and proud LGBTQIA2S+ individual” entered “Do, Re, Mi” into the field to, according to his First Amendment lawsuit, demonstrate that mandating an “irrational perception of reality … would frustrate communication for ideological reasons.”
MacArthur, who was identified as a man by the district and his students as late as this spring, was the only one who noticed and, three days later, the slighted teacher emailed Richardson to tell him that his “joke” was “extremely offensive” to transgender people.
“He responded by using ‘Do, Re, Mi’ as his pronouns and addressing MacArthur as ‘they’ — their preferred pronoun — rather than ‘you’ throughout the email,” writes Just the News.
Richardson warned the district that it didn’t “want to open a can of worms” about his pronouns when an “employee relations coordinator” followed up with him. He sent copies of his response to some faculty members and his supervisors to “protect himself from retaliation for not subscribing to leftwing [sic] ideology.”
Ultimately, SCCCD ruled that Richardson deliberately used “second- and third-person pronouns in a mocking manner” toward MacArthur. By copying his response to others, the district said he was attempting to intimidate the chemistry professor.
Richardson was ordered via a letter of reprimand that was placed into his file to “immediately stop using pronouns in a mocking manner in the workplace” and “exhibit basic standards of conduct” including in email. Though they never defined what constitutes “mocking,” he was told that doing so would result in his termination.
Richardson was also ordered to attend six hours of diversity, equity, and inclusion training and write an essay on what he learned and how he can “create a more inclusive environment that does not center on homophobia or transphobia” in his home and “religious group.”
According to Richardson’s lawsuit, which is being amended to include the candy investigation, the sanction “exceeded any reasonable relationship to the alleged offense.”
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