Seriously?

Did anyone else see this article about an adjunct professor being fired over his Virginia Tech discussion? Please take a moment to scan the article; it’s very short.

I guess I can see that the timing of this discussion (two days after the shooting) was a little off, but I don’t think the actions taken by the college are justifiable.

It seems to me that the people in this country have an odd relationship with tragedies. Something terrible happens, we are all in shock and grief, the media has a field day with the subject, the subject becomes extremely taboo for everyone else (unless they’re expressing shock or grief, of course), and then we move on.

This professor had a discussion with his students at the request of the administrators (“He said administrators had asked the faculty to engage students on the issue.”) and was then fired for it. Did the administrators only want him to console the students? Reiterate that this was an awful tragedy? Come on, the students could have gotten that anywhere. They didn’t need to hear it in the classroom.

If the college took issue with the professor pointing a marker at students and saying “pow,” I’d think they’d have to take issue with the student pretended to shoot the professor (i.e. was taking part in the discussion) and suspend or even expel him/her. Why not? They did the same thing the professor did.

Can anyone tell me where our right to free speech went?

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4 Responses

  1. In my opinion, people are terrified of being sued because lawsuits have gotten so out of hand and are so common. Now, we all have to walk on eggshells or fear the courts. It’s easier to fire someone than have to deal with the consequences of allowing people to exercise their rights. It’s easier to ban guns, burn books, and remove religious icons also. I have to admit that as much as this guy getting fired pisses me off, I’m not at all surprised that it happened. But I think that them firing him shows an insensitivity to the victims of the shooting as well. Obviously, there is a problem or the shooting wouldn’t have happened. I think it shows great respect for the dead if we try to come up with ways to prevent it from happening again…ways which do not violate any one’s rights. Bastards.

  2. becks – I agree that it’s a much greater sign of respect to talk about the tragedy and seek ways to prevent it from happening again. The fact that our society is built around lawsuits and political correctness is terrifying and sad.

  3. I saw a televised big debate about whether or not the video should have been shown. Families of victims saying NBC played into shooter’s hand by showing his manifesto, that the news should have been sensitive to the community and not shown it (even though all other news outlets didn’t waste time showing it). The president of NBC assured them that they did not share the 23 page manifesto, only a sliver; that people were asking why and the news tried to help answer that. What I was wishing he’d said was, “You ask why, but then call foul when someone answers.” It’s always been a debate when the news gets personal; one thinks all the news should be freely available until it’s about them.

  4. JSS – Yeah, it’s either “no news ever” or “all news all the time.” Which kinda stinks, but is also just the way the media works nowadays.

    Personally, I’m not sure how I feel about the killer’s manifesto being publicized. On one hand I was curious as to what was going through his mind, but on the other hand I just felt like I didn’t want to give him any more of my time. But that’s when I turned the news off. 🙂

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