Kirkwood Community College in Iowa settled for $25,000 with a former adjunct professor of English with whom it broke ties last year over his views in support of Antifa and public statements about evangelical Christians. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which broke news of the settlement, previously defended the professor, saying the public college violated his First Amendment rights in effectively firing him for his opinions.
The college previously argued that the statements conflicted with its educational mission. In one instance, the professor, Jeffrey Klinzman, responded to a tweet by President Trump calling Antifa members “gutless Radical Left Wack Jobs who go around hitting (only non-fighters) people over the heads with baseball bats,” by saying, “Yeah, I know who I’d clock with a bat.”
Kirkwood said in a statement Monday that the settlement, reached through a mediator, doesn’t render a decision about the circumstances of Klinzman’s “resignation.” Rather, it “calls for a modest monetary payment to Mr. Klinzman with the stipulation that he shall not seek future employment at Kirkwood. The college remains confident in how sensitive issues were managed related to his resignation at the beginning of the 2019-20 academic year. With this matter now settled, Kirkwood avoids potentially lengthy and costly litigation to defend itself and can keep its attention focused on educating students.”
Klinzman said via email, “I miss teaching, I miss my fantastic colleagues at Kirkwood, and I miss the students. However, I have moved on. It is sad that Kirkwood decided to not stand by me and let me continue my service to the college.”