KU professors: Guth's leave violates his freedom of speech
- The chair of Kansas University's anthropology department, along with 14 of its professors, issued a statement Friday, saying that the decision of administrators to place journalism professor David W. Guth on leave.
- Guth was placed on leave just over a week ago for tweeting the following after the mass shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.: "The blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you.”
- The anthropology professors say that regardless of the message's content, the decision to place Guth on leave has a chilling effect on academic freedom and violated the professor's rights as a private person protected by both the First Amendment and the Faculty Code of Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct.
Guth's message may have been inappropriate, but this is the latest volley in the legal argument resurrected by its fallout. Even if his post was protected speech, some may argue that anything he posts in a public forum like Twitter can also be construed as representative of his institution. Some legislators have gone so far as to call for Guth, who has since received threats via e-mail, to be fired over the anti-NRA tweet lest they should deny funding for the school—a move that likely raises legal questions of its own.
- Lawrence Journal-World Read More
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