Iowa professor resigns after saying he's affiliated with antifa
© Getty Images

An Iowa community college professor has resigned from his position after facing scrutiny over some of his comments and his affiliation with the anti-fascist group, antifa.

Kirkwood Community College president Lori Sunberg announced in a statement on Friday that the school had accepted the resignation of Jeff Klinzman, an adjunct professor in the English department.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sundberg emphasized that the move had “nothing to do with the substance of [Klinzman’s] views or his right to express them.”

“Rather, our decision is based solely on our commitment to fostering a safe learning environment for our students, faculty and staff,” she said.

Klinzman gained national attention after reports surfaced about remarks he made in a Facebook group called "Iowa antifa." After someone shared a tweet in which Trump referred to antifa protesters as "Radical Left Wack Jobs who go around hitting ... people over the heads with baseball bats," Klinzman commented, "Yeah, I know who I'd clock with a bat," ABC affiliate KCRG reported

Klinzman, who had taught at Kirkwood since 2010, later confirmed his support of the group, telling the news station last week, "I affirm that I am 'antifa.'" He added that his social media posts had prompted complaints at Kirkwood. 

Sundberg noted that the "news of these opinions" had gained considerable attention, but reiterated that Klinzman's resignation did not stem from his views. 

"This action does not in any way prevent [Klinzman] from continuing to engage in the expression of free speech," Sundberg said. "However, when the expression of views by him or any member of our community is perceived as placing public safety in jeopardy, or hampers our ability to deliver on our mission, we will always do what is necessary in service to our students’ pursuit of a higher education."

She added that security would have a "visible presence" at classes on Monday. 

The anti-fascist movement has gained increasing attention during President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio Democrats debate in Ohio: Who came out on top? MORE's time in the White House. The group antifa has engaged in several confrontations with conservative activists in cities such as Portland, Ore. Thirteen people were arrested earlier this month after far-right demonstrators and anti-fascist counterprotesters clashed with each other in the city. 

Trump said in July that his administration was considering designating antifa as a terrorist organization. His announcement came after GOP Sens. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyUN Security Council to meet after Turkey launches Syria offensive Trump faces growing GOP revolt on Syria To win the federal paid family leave debate, allow states to lead the way MORE (La.) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump grapples with Turkey controversy This week: Congress returns to chaotic Washington The Hill's Morning Report - Lawmakers return to work as Dem candidates set to debate MORE (Texas) introduced a nonbinding resolution to label antifa activists as “domestic terrorists.”