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March 8 Evening Newscast: Another former Collin College professor sues the school over free speech issues

tuesday evening newscast graphic

Michael Phillips, whose contract was not renewed after a series of conflicts with administration, is the third former Collin College instructor to file against the school in recent months.

audio transcript

A prominent civil liberties group is suing Collin College over its dismissal of history professor Michael Phillips. Today the Philadelphia-based Foundation for Individual Rights in Education announced a suit against Collin College based on allegations that the school violated Phillips’ First Amendment rights. Last September, administrators told Phillips he had violated school policy by suggesting that students consider wearing masks as a precaution against COVID-19. Phillips learned in January that his contract would not be renewed. Administrators had previously reprimanded Phillips for speaking as a subject expert to media organizations. Phillips is the third former Collin College instructor to sue the school recently over free speech issues. Former history professor Lora Burnett recently agreed to accept $70,000 in damages to end her suit against the school. Former Collin College education professor Suzanne Jones has an active lawsuit against the school.

Despite a smattering of rain and sleet across Northeast Texas today, the region remains in a prolonged drought. Federal data released today show Lamar County as the driest in Northeast Texas. Statewide, Lamar County is the only county east of the I-35 corridor where most of the land is currently categorized as having extreme levels of drought.