Beleaguered biology professor Bret Weinstein has made arrangements to file a lawsuit against the public institution, Evergreen State College. According to legal documents received by online university watchdog Campus Reform, Professor Weinstein and his wife, anthropology professor Heather Heying, have submitted a standard tort claim form for $3.85 million against the Washington college. They claim that the public college fostered a “a racially hostile work and retaliatory environment for faculty and staff.”
The lawsuit relates to the administration’s handling of the so-called “2017 Day of Absence” in May, in which students at the college demanded a “day without white people” across the entire campus. When the biology professor publicly criticized the nature of the ban and refused to participate, students initiated violent and chaotic protests.
All white students, faculty and administrators were allegedly “invited” to remain off site for one day, which Mr. Weinstein objected to as a counterproductive form of racial segregation. In response, large groups of radical student protesters surrounded the professor, then threatened violence if he wasn’t removed from the campus. Having first tried to schedule his classes outdoors, he was ultimately driven into hiding by the ongoing threats and aggression. He has since had to relocate his family to ensure their safety.
Demonstrations continued for weeks at the taxpayer-funded university, with leaked videos showing mostly minority group protesters holding staff hostage until they agreed to their entire set of demands. Faculty members were imprisoned in their own offices unless they accepted various new diversity-related policies. Protesters outside claimed institutionalized racism and chanted, “Hey, hey-ho, these racist faculty have got to go.” Campus security officers were told to stand down by the college administration and effectively remained barricaded in the campus police station.
In a speech to the Evergreen College board of trustees on July 12, Mr. Weinstein made the following statement:
“Do you know that the college descended into literal anarchy? It was under the control of protesters. There were assaults, there were batteries, people were kidnapped and imprisoned. Others were hunted, lawless bands roamed the campus unimpeded. Students that held different opinions were, by the protesters own analysis, stalked, harassed, and doxed.”
The incident gained national media attention on May 26 when Professor Weinstein appeared on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight. He claimed that the college president George S. Bridges was provided a list of demands by protesters and threatened with violence if he failed to comply.
Mr. Weinstein indicated that the problem had been fermenting for several months. According to his attorney, a legal claim has been made against “the hostile work environment that has been fostered at the college over the past year or so.”
In a statement released to Campus Reform, he claimed:
“[Evergreen] failed to set and enforce necessary boundaries in the workplace on campus, selectively has chosen not to enforce its student Code of Conduct, and sent the unmistakable message that the school will tolerate (and even endorse) egregious violations (and even crimes) purportedly to advance racial social goals, diminishing the collegiate experience for all, and fostering a racially hostile work and retaliatory environment for faculty and staff.”
Leaked internal emails between Evergreen State staff appear to support the claim of a hostile atmosphere. Some show the college administration rebuking Mr. Weinstein for appearing on Fox News.
Since a tort claim form must be submitted at least 60 days before legal action can be initiated in the state of Washington, there is currently no official litigation. However, the professor’s attorney indicated that a lawsuit is likely to follow.
The Evergreen board of trustees made a statement last month labeling the behavior of its student activists as “indefensible”.