According to the lawsuit Professor ‘Little Demon Mouth’ was fired after criticizing Mike Pence.
Lora Burnett, a former Collin College history professor, is suing her former employer, alleging that she was fired for criticizing former Vice President Mike Pence, infringing on her First Amendment rights.
Burnett said in a complaint filed on Tuesday that she was fired because the Texas college caved in to pressure from politicians and college constituents. She stated in the lawsuit that she found out about her dismissal through a tweet from Texas State Representative Jeff Leach, who allegedly contacted the college president in response to Burnett’s comments during the 2020 vice presidential debate. “The moderator has to talk over Mike Pence till he shuts his little monster mouth up,” Burnett tweeted during the debate. She also liked a comment in which Pence was referred to as a “scumbag lying son of a b****.” Her tweets were picked up by Campus Reform and Fox News, drawing the attention of “college constituents” and legislators to the school. In a text message, Collin College President Neil Matkin reportedly informed Leach that he would “handle with it,” referring to Burnett, and that the professor would be issued a “employee coaching form.” Although the form said that she could “freely express” her opinions on her personal social media, Burnett claims that it “punished” and “chilled” her from doing so.
Burnett, who posted the comments criticizing Pence on her personal Twitter account, also used the same account to criticize Matkin’s COVID-19 response. Burnett announced on Twitter in January 2021 that a Collin College professor died of COVID-19, linked to an obituary for Professor Ralph Gregory Hendrickson, after being “distressed” for months about Matkin’s answer.
The school gave her a “level 1 warning,” explaining that her tweet was incorrect because Hendrickson no longer taught at the college and was thus a “former employee.” Collin College informed Burnett a month later that her contract would not be renewed because she had violated employee conduct guidelines.
Burnett claimed in the lawsuit that her dismissal was part of a pattern of bad behavior at the institution. She mentioned three other professors who believe they were fired due to comments they made about the COVID-19 outbreak. Suzanne Jones, one of the former professors, sued in September, alleging that her contract had been breached. This is a condensed version of the information.