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Fresno State president makes final decision about prof who mocked Barbara Bush's death

Fresno State professor Randa Jarrar began an online controversy after tweeting insults at Barbara Bush after her death, but the college president ruled Tuesday that she was not violating their rules and would not be punished. (Image Source: YouTube screenshot)

After a week of public furor over the insults hurled at Barbara Bush by a Fresno State professor, the president of the college has released a statement on their final decision about her tenure there.

Here's what he said

Fresno State president Joseph I. Castro said Tuesday in a statement that professor Randa Jarrar would not be disciplined for the comments that ignited an online conflagration.

"I write to provide an update regarding the university’s review of comments made last week by Professor Randa Jarrar, following the passing of former First Lady Barbara Bush," Castro wrote. "This issue has raised many important questions about the scope of free speech and the extent to which a member of our university community can be held accountable for expressing his or her personal views."

"Professor Jarrar’s conduct was insensitive, inappropriate and an embarrassment to the university," he explained. "I know her comments have angered many in our community and impacted our students. Let me be clear, on campus and whenever we are representing the university, I expect all of us to engage in respectful dialogue."

Castro goes on to say he carefully reviewed her actions and concluded that she did not violate CSU or university policies with her insulting tweets.

He adds that while her comments were "disgraceful," they are covered under the constitutional right to free speech.

"Additionally, although Professor Jarrar used tenure to defend her behavior, this private action is an issue of free speech and not related to her job or tenure," he added. "Therefore, the university does not have justification to support taking any disciplinary action."

Jarrar had fired off many missives on Twitter mocking and insulting the Bush family.

“Barbara Bush was a generous and smart and amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal. F*** outta here with your nice words," she said in one tweet.

"PSA: either you are against these pieces of s**t and their genocidal ways or you’re part of the problem," she said in another. "That’s actually how simple this is. I’m happy the witch is dead. Can’t wait for the rest of her family to fall to their demise the way 1.5 million Iraqis have.”

"Our duty as Americans and as educators is to promote a free exchange of diverse views," said Castro in the statement, "even if we disagree with them."

One last thing…
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