While the university has admitted to a “misstep” and plans to hold public conversations about academic freedom, the attorneys for an adjunct art professor said on Tuesday that their client will be suing the university in Minnesota that fired her after a Muslim student objected to depictions of the Prophet Muhammad in a global art course. The student’s objection occurred during the course.
Erika López Prater says in her case that she was treated unfairly because of her religious beliefs, that she was defamed, and that her reputation, both professionally and personally, was harmed as a result. Hamline University is a tiny, private institution located in St. Paul.
Her legal representatives issued a statement in which they said, “Among other things, Hamline, through its management, has referred to Dr. López Prater’s activities as ‘undeniably Islamophobic.'” “Comments like this, which have already been broadcast in news reports throughout the globe, will follow Dr. López Prater throughout her entire career, and may very well result in her being unable to secure a tenure track post at any institution of higher education,”
In the state of Minnesota, the process of initiating a lawsuit begins with the serving of a summons and a complaint on the party that is going to be sued. According to attorneys for Lopez Prater, the case was sent to Hamline University on Tuesday and will be formally submitted to the court shortly.
The President of Hamline University, Fayneese Miller, and the Chair of the Board of Trustees, Ellen Watters, issued a joint statement on Tuesday in which they stated that recent “communications, publications, and opinion pieces” had prompted the university to “evaluate and re-examine our activities.
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