Louisiana State University: Graduate Student Barred from Teaching for Voicemail to State Senator


Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge

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Case Overview

In July 2023, Louisiana State University graduate student Marcus Venable left a voicemail for State Sen. Mike Fesi following a legislative speech Fesi made in support of banning hormonal treatments and procedures for transgender minors. In the message, Venable used profanity, called the senator “a fat fucking piece of shit,” said he would be happy to eventually read the senator’s obituary, and claimed political opponents would “put [him] in the ground.” Fesi forwarded the voicemail to law enforcement, after which it became public. LSU then issued a statement that Venable would not be offered future teaching opportunities because of the message. On July 21, FIRE wrote LSU urging them to reverse course, as Venable’s speech was First Amendment-protected political hyperbole.