San Diego Mesa College: Professor Investigated for Essay Thesis Associating Republican Party with Fascism


San Diego Mesa College

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Case Overview

FIRE Victory closed

In September 2022, an unnamed SDMC professor, teaching a dual enrollment class at Madison High School, used as an example essay thesis: “As it is currently constituted, the Republican Party is now a fascist organization that no longer fits the category of a conventional Democratic Party.” After student and parent complaints, SDMC announced it was investigating the professor. On September 29, FIRE wrote SDMC urging it to end the investigation, as faculty retain full academic freedom to select course material. We told SDMC that authorities cannot use the fact that high school students are taking college courses to justify diluting or childproofing college-level material. On October 12, the San Diego Community College District responded that the district’s “inquiry” had concluded without punishment and that the college district “has a deep commitment to an institutional culture that values and respects academic freedom.”