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FSU professor sues university, claims rights were violated

Dr. Barry Mehler says his first and fourteenth amendment rights were violated when the university put him on leave, according to the lawsuit filed in federal court.
Credit: Barry Mehler

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — The Ferris State University professor behind a profane viral video that got him suspended is now suing.

Dr. Barry Mehler says his first and fourteenth amendment rights were violated when the university put him on leave, according to the lawsuit filed in federal court.

The lawsuit states as a result of Ferris State University banning Dr. Mehler from campus, prohibiting his contact with current and former students and colleagues, removing his class Canvas pages and his faculty biography, Dr. Mehler has suffered impairment of his personal and professional reputation. 

It goes on to say Mehler has also suffered personal humiliation, mental anguish and suffering due to the university's actions.

RELATED: 'This was a scripted performance:' Ferris State professor uploads new video

Having done the same routine to get students excited for class for years now, this was the first time it was done virtually, leading to more people seeing it outside of his students.

"People said that my video was profanity filled," Mehler had said in a previous interview. "It was content filled. It was filled with all kinds of ideas."

Mehler has been teaching at Ferris for nearly 30 years in the humanities department and is the director for the Institute for the Study of Academic Racism and the Shoah Institute, according to the university's website.

Ferris President David Eisler says he was "shocked and appalled" by the video and the university continues to say it does not reflect the school or its values.

Mehler is seeking the university immediately reinstate him as a professor and declare their actions were a violation of the first and fourteenth amendments as well as financial compensation for damages.

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