Tennessee University Fires NPR Reporter After Politicians Complain

Jacqui Helbert, a temporary broadcast assistant employee at WUTC, the NPR station run by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC), could not have imagined the trouble that would come from boarding a bus with members of a high school Gay-Straight Alliance visiting their legislators at the Capitol on March 7 to discuss a proposed “bathroom bill” forcing transgender students to use the bathrooms associated with the gender listed on their birth certificate.

Now Helbert has been fired by the university, after legislators objected to her report and complained that she hadn’t identified herself to them. Helbert has filed a lawsuit in response, while freedom of the press activists have organized rallies and petitions in her defense.

Helbert’s report was posted online March 10, and included Sen. Mike Bell calling transgender identity “all hogwash;” comparing it to someone saying, “I might feel like a dog.”

via Truthout Tennessee University Fires NPR Reporter After Politicians Complain