VIDEO: Despite backlash, UF students defend Clarence Thomas lecture

Campus Correspondent Anthony Leonardi interviewed students on the issue.

The University of Florida law school recently announced Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas would teach a short class in January 2020.

A group called We Believe Survivors formed to protest Thomas’ upcoming class.

The University of Florida recently announced that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas would be teaching a short class for law students in January 2020. 

A group called We Believe Survivors formed to protest Thomas’ class. Citing the #MeToo movement and Christine Blasie Ford, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, the group and its members said that Thomas should not have been invited to lecture because he was previously accused of “sexual misconduct.”

UF Campus Correspondent Anthony Leonardi spoke with students about Thomas’ upcoming class and asked them if they supported UF’s decision to invite Thomas.  Most students told Leonardi that Thomas’ class would be a good opportunity for students and for UF. 

Others questioned whether students could feel safe in the presence of Thomas. 

“My concern is the safety of students...when this decision was made, students were not asked whether they would feel comfortable or safe,” one student argued. 

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The student also said the law school’s administrators should have provided students with a “trigger warning” ahead of Thomas’ class. She called for mental health services to be provided ahead of the class. 

Another student agreed, calling Thomas’ plan to teach at UF a “scratch your head type of moment.” 

“I don’t think it’s extremely appropriate that [Thomas] is coming to a college campus,” the student said. “Students should feel safe all the time, and unfortunately that doesn’t always happen.”  

Several other students disagreed.

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“I think protesting is stupid,” one student said in support of Thomas. “Either go and listen to what he says and then come out with something better...or just stay home. Why do you have to discourage people from going?”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @eduneret