Instructor criticizes sex-harassment policy, then is accused of violating it

By on September 15, 2009

Two days after an instructor of English at East Georgia College complained that its sexual-harassment policy offered no protection for professors who were falsely accused, the college charged him with sexual harassment and its police chief escorted him off the campus.

Since then, the college has suspended the instructor, Thomas Thibeault, with pay and told him it intended to dismiss him, without ever giving him details of the charges against him, he says, or even the names of any accusers.

In an e-mail message to The Chronicle, the college’s president, John B. Black, said, “I cannot comment on an ongoing personnel matter,” and added that “it is not in The Chronicle’s best interest to publish an article until due process in Mr. Thibeault’s case is completed.”

But it is the college, says Mr. Thibeault, that has denied him due process, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a nonprofit organization that defends professors who charge that their academic freedom has been violated, agrees.

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Schools: East Georgia College