NPR Reporter Sues University of Tennessee to Get Her Job Back


The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga licenses the National Public Radio station that reporter Jacqui Helbert was fired from. Helbert is a journalist working for WUTC-FM was recording a conversation between Sen. Mike Bell and Gay-Straight Alliance members from a local high school who went the Tennessee state capitol to express their opposition to a discriminatory law against transgender people.

Helbert was wearing her press pass and visibly sporting her journalist gear, according to the students that attended the meeting. Yet legislators at the meeting stated otherwise and threatened to sue the university, which funds the radio station, thus leading to Helbert’s firing. Now Helbert is suing the university anyway to get her job back because she claims she did nothing wrong and the senator just seemed to be upset that the conversation went public.

Senator Bill claimed that being transgender is “hogwash” and continued with this evermore ignorant statement, “Is it how I feel on Monday? I feel different on Tuesday? Wednesday I might feel like a dog.” Obviously not something you’d want people to know you said, especially when there were several students who left the meeting in tears.

The suit is suing for up to $1 million in damages and for Helbert to get her job back after wrongfully being fired.

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