A California history professor who was suspended from his position in 2023 after handing out the Daily Wire’s Jeremy’s Chocolates will return to teaching.
Professor David Richardson, who was suspended from Madera Community College in May 2023 after handing out the controversial chocolates during a campus open house, told The College Fix he has been exonerated.
“I am happy and grateful to be back for all the faculty, staff and students who supported me while I was in exile. I wouldn’t have made it without them. But there is a new normal. I know there were a lot of people on the other side who wanted nothing more than to see me never come back,” Richardson said.
After a transgender faculty member had confronted Richardson for handing out the chocolate bars, he was placed on administrative leave.
Jeremy’s Chocolate bars are labeled with the pronouns “He/Him” and “She/Her,” the former of which have nuts in them and the latter of which do not. Progressives have criticized the brand as “transphobic.” However, Richardson is gay.
Madera Community College spokesman Cory Burkarth declined to comment to The College Fix on Richardson’s return, calling it a “personnel matter.”
Richardson told The Fix that he received word from the school that the Title IX complaint against him filed after he handed out the chocolates was resolved.
“The Title IX complaint against me for including Jeremy’s Chocolates on a table at a college open house was resolved earlier this month. None of the allegations against me were supported and I was found ‘not responsible’ for the entire incident,” Richardson wrote.
“On January 14, 2024, I was notified that no appeal had been filed and the district was lifting my suspension with no conditions, as I was found ‘not responsible’ for the entire incident. My first day back was Friday, January 15, which was the end of the first week of instruction.”
Richardson said he was “fully exonerated” by the investigation. However, he added that even though he is permitted on campus, he will not begin teaching until Feb. 20 due to the district’s delay in notifying him of its decision.
“Ironically, even though the district had received the final determination before Christmas (it was due to them on December 15, 2023), the classes I was scheduled for were canceled the day before I was notified of the decision (January 6, 2024). So, they had to create a new schedule for me which doesn’t start until February 20, 2024,” he told The Fix via email.
At the time he was placed on leave, Richardson’s case received national attention. He taught at the college for over 30 years prior to the controversy.
In June 2023, Richardson (pictured) told The Fix that he wasn’t sure if he’d be returning to the college, as there had been no updates on the status of his suspension.
“I’m utterly confused at this point,” Richardson told The Fix last year. “I don’t know whether I’m going back in August, or what is happening right now.”
“They pulled out this old argument that ‘you have a thirty-plus year career, is this really how you want to be remembered?’ And I almost wanted to say ‘how dare you,’” he added.
Richardson’s lengthy suspension began just weeks after the firing of Professor Matthew Garrett from California’s Bakersfield College in April 2023. Garrett had openly criticized Bakersfield’s leftist lean and DEI policies.
“Our institutions of higher learning must permit meaningful discourse and dissent without fear of retribution, regardless of whether those views align with prevailing ideologies,” Garrett had said in response to Richardson’s suspension. “When the state grows comfortable silencing unpopular views, we are all at risk.”
IMAGES: Daily Wire