Archive for Thursday, October 24, 2013

Guth will not return to KU classroom this year

October 24, 2013, 4:41 p.m.

Updated: October 24, 2013, 4:41 p.m.

Kansas University journalism Professor David Guth will not return to the classroom this year, the university announced today.

Guth was placed on leave after he posted a controversial tweet following the Navy Yard shooting in Washington, D.C., in September that left 13 dead.

Guth posted a message on the social media site Twitter after the shooting saying that "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.”

Instead of teaching, Guth has been assigned additional non-classroom responsibilities, including service and administrative assignments, in the journalism school for the rest of the semester, the university said in a news release. The work will be done away from campus as much as possible.

The decision was based on the recommendation of a seven-member committee of faculty and staff and was made by Provost Jeffrey Vitter and approved by Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, the university said.

“The committee conducted a full review, and their input was instrumental in arriving at this decision,” Gray-Little said. “Our decisions throughout this situation have been guided by the facts and the law, respecting the interests of our students and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.”

Many criticized Guth, saying he was wishing death on the children of NRA members. Guth said he wasn't advocating violence, but trying to make gun-rights advocates see mass shootings from the point of view of the victims' families.

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little had said that Guth was placed on indefinite in September to avoid disruption of his classes "and not because of the nature of the professor's comments, regardless of how controversial they may be."

At that time, Guth said he agreed to take administrative leave "in light of the abusive email threats I and others have received."

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