New statement about professor's controversial Tweet issued by U. of Rhode Island president

Dive Summary:

  • University of Rhode Island President David M. Dooley issued a new statement regarding a Tweet about the National Rifle Association sent by Professor Erik Loomis after the Sandy Hook tragedy, this time specifically stating that the First Amendment gives Loomis the right to share his views.
  • Dooley had received a great deal of criticism in the academic community following his first statement about Loomis' tweet (which read, "I was heartbroken in the first 20 mass murders. Now I want Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick.")  because they felt the school's president had sided with Loomis' critics in accusing him of advocating violence against the NRA's CEO and not defending Loomis' right to criticize a public figure.
  • Responding to Dooley's new statement, chemistry professor Louis J. Kirschenbaum, president of the school's chapter of the American Association of University Professors, said in an e-mail that the school's faculty members are happy that Dooley "understands the reaction to his earlier statement and has acknowledged Professor Loomis' First Amendment rights."

From the article:

David M. Dooley, president of the University of Rhode Island, has issued a second statement about Erik Loomis, a faculty member at the institution whose comments about the National Rifle Association have angered many of the group's supporters. Many academics criticized Dooley's first statement as siding with Loomis's critics, failing to see that Loomis was engaged in rhetoric, and failing to assert a professor's right to make controversial remarks. ...

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