On Monday, March 27th, the President of West Texas A&M University sent a letter to students to express why he canceled a Drag Show fundraiser on the WT Campus.

Get our free mobile app

The letter brought about protests and petitions from the community and student body.   In the letter, he mentioned that all people were created in God's image and then went on to describe that a drag show is demeaning to women, and described a drag show as "misogynistic behavior portraying woman as objects".  Wendler even referenced "blackface" in the letter.

Dr. Walter Wendler is being sued

The student organization whose show was canceled, Spectrum WT, and two of its student leaders, have retained representation from the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE).

“College presidents can’t silence students simply because they disagree with their expression,” said FIRE attorney Adam Steinbaugh. “The First Amendment protects student speech, whether it’s gathering on campus to study the Bible, hosting an acid-tongued political speaker, or putting on a charity drag show.”

They are is suing Dr. Walter Wendler and other Texas A&M University System officials for shutting down the student-led fundraiser.    The lawsuit is seeking to end Wendler's censorship thus letting the Drag Show continue.  They are also seeing damages for violating students' first amendment.

“President Wendler has made it clear to us that he knows what his legal obligations are, but he chose to ignore them, and we are thankful to FIRE for taking up our case to protect our First Amendment rights.” said Spectrum WT President Bear Bright. “Hopefully, this lawsuit will not just help us the LGBTQ+ students here at WTAMU protect our rights, but also help protect students’ rights across the U.S.”

FIRE did reach out to Wendler on Tuesday, March 28th. following the backlash from the letter.  The letter reminded the president that expressive acts (The Drag Show) were protected by the First Amendment, and asked him to allow the event.  They gave him until Wednesday, March 29th to confirm and that confirmation was not given.

“President Wendler isn’t just violating the First Amendment, he’s also violating Texas education law,” said FIRE senior attorney JT Morris. “Public colleges and universities must be beacons of free expression, not Orwellian conformity centers.”

What is FIRE?

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to defending and sustaining the individual rights of all Americans to free speech and free thought—the most essential qualities of liberty. FIRE recognizes that colleges and universities play a vital role in preserving free thought within a free society. To this end, we place a special emphasis on defending the individual rights of students and faculty members on our nation’s campuses, including freedom of speech, freedom of association, due process, legal equality, religious liberty, and sanctity of conscience.

Students and supporters have been protesting on campus about the event being canceled and a former WT Graduate and WT Alumni has rescinded his estate donation to the university as well as canceling his monthly alumni donations.

We'll continue to keep you updated on the lawsuit as it moves forward.

“President Wendler isn’t just violating the First Amendment, he’s also violating Texas education law,” said FIRE senior attorney JT Morris. “Public colleges and universities must be beacons of free expression, not Orwellian conformity centers.”

West Texas A&M University

West Texas A&M University has a rich history that has evolved over the decades.

From West Texas Normal College to university status, to becoming a part of the Texas A&M University System. Many proudly have earned degrees from this amazing University.

"Let Me See Your WT"

Places to Take Pictures in Amarillo

Say You're From Amarillo Without Saying You're From Amarillo

Amarillo is a pretty quirky place. We've got the Big Texan, the weird signs, and (obviously) the famed Cadillac Ranch. But more than that, there's a distinct culture of close-knit community, eccentrics, a thriving arts scene, and much more.

The point is, living in Amarillo is a unique experience. Because of that, it's really pretty easy to tell who's a native or a long-time resident. And I can prove it.

Here's a couple of ways you can say you're from Amarillo.....without saying you're from Amarillo.

More From 101.9 The Bull