Fresno Professor Won't be Disciplined for Calling Barbara Bush an 'Amazing Racist'

A Fresno State University professor who came under fire for controversial tweets aimed at the late Barbara Bush will not be disciplined, according to the university.

Tenured English professor Randa Jarrar called the former first lady "an amazing racist" last week after she died at the age of 92. The comments sparked backlash and many have called for Jarrar's immediate dismissal.

In a note posted to the school's website late Tuesday night, Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro said Jarrar's conduct was "insensitive, inappropriate and an embarrassment to the university."

"Her comments, although disgraceful, are protected free speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution," Castro wrote. "Additionally, although Professor Jarrar used tenure to defend her behavior, this private action is an issue of free speech and not related to her job or tenure."

The professor had told critics on Twitter that she would "never be fired." The university has since said that "tenure does not have blanket protection to say and do what they wish."

"Barbara Bush was a generous and smart and amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal," Jarrar wrote after Bush died last Tuesday in a now-deleted post on Twitter. "F--- outta here with your nice words."

A petition, which currently has just over 58,000 signatures, is pushing for Jarrar's "immediate termination." The petition calls for the professor's firing "for racism and inflammatory comments."

Comments left on the petition call Jarrar's language "shameful" and a "hate crime."

Statement by @Fresno_State President @JosephICastro regarding tweets made today by a faculty member:

— Fresno State (@Fresno_State) April 18, 2018

Jarrar told The Cut on Tuesday that she "absolutely" stands by with her original remarks.

"I felt compelled to speak up because I want people to remember history," Jarrar said. The professor added that the "Bush family — including Barbara Bush—supported policies that harmed and destroyed the lives of millions."

During a Twitter spat last week, Jarrar also listed Fresno State's crisis phone number as her own number on her Twitter account, according to The Arizona Republic.