Fresno State University: Professor Randa Jarrar’s Tweets Following Death of Barbara Bush Lead to Investigation


California State University - Fresno

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FIRE Victory closed

Following former First Lady Barbara Bush’s death on April 17, 2018, Fresno State University professor Randa Jarrar used her personal Twitter account to criticize the Bush family and the Iraq War, and to rejoice in Bush’s passing. After Jarrar’s comments and subsequent sparring with critics on Twitter went viral, Fresno State administrators called a press conference and announced that the university was initiating a “long” investigation, while the president condemned the remarks as “beyond free speech” and “disrespectful.” After a coalition of civil liberties organizations led by FIRE wrote to Fresno State to remind the university that Jarrar’s expression is protected by the First Amendment, the university abandoned its investigation.