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Professor calls for support of free expression after getting told to stop teaching over anti-mask comments

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Mark Crispin Miller, a New York University professor and blogger, is now suing his colleagues in a defamation suit for allegedly defaming him for his views about the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the lawsuit, Miller’s colleagues had intended to “disgrace and humiliate” him “under the guise of phony and uninformed political and cultural correctness and orthodoxy.”

Back in September, Miller was accused of asking students to not wear masks by an NY student, Julia Jackson. She said that Miller “spent an entire class period telling students that wearing masks don’t prevent the spread of COVID-19.” She later went on to drop out of the course.

Miller responded to Jackson’s allegations, saying that he was encouraging students to think for themselves and not just bow to the authority.

The NY University had to launch an investigation on Miller as 25 faculty members wrote a letter against him, urging the university to take action and stop the “ongoing harm to our students.” The letter was referring to the aforementioned incident that took place in September.

We obtained a copy of the lawsuit for you here.

Miller, in a blog post he wrote on his website, explained his side of the equation and urged readers to sign a petition to support academic freedom.

“If you believe in academic freedom, as well as free speech overall, please consider signing this petition, and sharing it with others who believe that higher education must be free from censorship of any kind, whether by the state, corporations, foreign interests, pressure groups, or by the university itself,” read an excerpt from the blog post written by Miller.

He also shared emails he received from the university, such as the ones where he was asked to stop teaching. Based on what Miller told The College Fix, it was revealed that the NYU Steinhardt School Dean Jack Knott informed him that the investigation would conclude by the semester’s end. Miller received no other details or further updates about the ongoing investigation against him.

The lawsuit against the 25 faculty members was filed in the New York State court on November 30. Miller said that he was compelled to file a lawsuit as none of his 25 colleagues retracted their statement or apologized to him as he demanded.

He also made it clear that junior professors who have signed the letter wouldn’t be sued, as they may not have willingly signed the letter. “Whether they signed it, willingly or not, I’m sure they had no choice,” he said, as reported by The Fix.

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