Kansas Journalism Professor on Leave After Tweet About Navy Yard Shooting
Professor David Guth of the University of Kansas was placed on administrative leave Friday after posting an offensive Tweet about Monday’s Washington Navy Yard shooting.
Guth, an associate professor of journalism, posted the following comment on Twitter:
(For those unable to load the image, the message reads: "#NavyYardShooting 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.")
Guth refuses to apologize for the Tweet, saying he doesn’t want to see anyone harmed but was looking to start a debate. The Kansas State Rifle Association would like to see Guth dismissed immediately, but university chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little says Guth will remain on indefinite administrative leave pending a review of the situation.
Gray-Little says the school placed him on leave in order to “prevent disruptions to the learning environment.” Guth has not protested this action, and told the Associated Press in a phone interview Thursday that the university’s action was appropriate in light of email threats he and other university staff have received.
While the First Amendment allows anyone to express an opinion, that privilege is not absolute and must be balanced with the rights of others. That’s vital to civil discourse. Professor Guth’s views do not represent our school and we do not advocate violence against any group or individuals.
Republican lawmakers in the state share the opinion of the Kansas State Rifle Association and want to see Guth dismissed.