The University of Kansas journalism professor who sent a tweet wishing violence on children of National Rifle Association members has been put on administrative leave.
By BRIAN BURNES and MARÁ ROSE WILLIAMS
The Kansas City Star
David Guths remarks, which had led NRA leaders to calls for his firing, were in response to Mondays shootings at the Washington Navy Yard that left 13 people dead.
University officials called his words repugnant, and on Friday Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said Guth would be put on leave.
In order to prevent disruptions to the learning environment for students, the School of Journalism and the university, I have directed Provost Jeffrey Vitter to place Associate Professor Guth on indefinite administrative leave pending a review of the entire situation, Gray-Little said in a statement.
Guths classes will be taught by other faculty members.
The professor tweeted Monday that blood is on the hands of the National Rifle Association.
Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters, the tweet read. Shame on you. May God damn you.
On Thursday, Ann Brill, dean of the universitys journalism school, said Guths views do not represent our school, and we do not advocate violence directed against any group or individuals.
While the First Amendment allows anyone to express an opinion, Brill said, that privilege is not absolute and must be balanced with the rights of others.
Timothy C. Caboni, university vice chancellor for public affairs, called Guths tweet repugnant, adding that it was truly disgraceful that these views were expressed in such a callous and uncaring way.
We expect all members of the university community to engage in civil discourse and not make inflammatory and offensive comments, he said.
In an email Thursday, Guth said the university had asked him not to do any more interviews and referred The Star to his personal blog. He wrote on the blog Monday that I am angry, frustrated, sad and determined. The news of the senseless slaughter today at Washingtons Navy Yard has me again questioning how we can let this madness continue.
Frankly, I dont care if I am criticized for being too quick to judge, too harsh in my criticism or too strident in my tone.
Various online sites picked up Guths remarks, and the president of the Kansas State Rifle Association said Guth should be fired.
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