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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Professor suspended over a t-shirt potentially being a threat

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Professor Suspended Over "Threatening" Game of Thrones T-Shirt

Professor Suspended Over "Threatening" Game of Thrones T-Shirt

A popular community college professor was suspended after posting a photo of his daughter wearing an oversized T-shirt bearing a tagline from this season of Game of Thrones—Daenerys Targaryen's "I will take what is mine with fire and blood."

Francis Schmidt, who teaches art and animation at Bergen Community College in New Jersey, shared the photo on Google+, where it was seen by several of his work contacts. One of them, a dean, decided the shirt was a veiled threat of some kind.

The faculty union is currently in conflict with the school administration over promotions and tenure, and recently registered a vote of no-confidence against the school's president. Schmidt himself had just filed a grievance after being denied a sabbatical. That may explain some of what happened next.

According to Inside Higher Ed, Schmidt got an email over the weekend from Jim Miller, Bergen's HR director, calling him into an immediate meeting with administrators about the alleged "threatening email."

At the meeting, Schmidt explained the shirt in the context of Game of Thrones and showed Miller that the "fire and blood" tagline has 4 million results on Google. The professor asked why his photo had caused such a reaction, and was told that "fire" could be a metaphor for "AK-47s."

Schmidt was placed on administrative leave without pay later that week, and told he would have to pass a psychiatric evaluation before he could return. He says he passed that same evaluation in 2007 after being diagnosed with depression.

In the face of public criticism and rationality, Bergen stuck to its imaginary guns in a statement today:

"The referenced incident refers to a private personnel matter at Bergen Community College. Since January 1, 2014, 34 incidents of school shootings have occurred in the United States. In following its safety and security procedures, the college investigates all situations where a member of its community – students, faculty, staff or local residents – expresses a safety or security concern."

Research has yet to establish a link between support for the Mother of Dragons and likelihood of shooting up a school.

by on Apr. 17, 2014 at 3:41 PM
Replies (21-30):
Mommabearbergh
by on Apr. 18, 2014 at 2:46 AM
They just wanted a reason to push him out.
jllcali
by Jane on Apr. 18, 2014 at 3:32 AM
1 mom liked this
I wouldn't have known the reference. But I would have googled it.

Quoting Luvnlogic: Stupid beyond words...there's obviously something else going on here. People can't be this clueless to current pop culture.
Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Apr. 18, 2014 at 3:44 AM

Academics > Academic Divisions & Departments > Visual Arts > Our Faculty > Francis Schmidt

Francis Schmidt

Associate Professor, M.F.A., School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Office Location:
 W-317 A
Phone:
 ex 3570
Email: fschmidt@bergen.edu
Website: BCC Course Guides

Francis Schmidt, Associate Professor, M.F.A., School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Francis Schmidt has taught animation and graphic design courses at BCC since 2000. A former digital effects supervisor, he has worked on many motion pictures and television shows. He is in charge of the multi-media lab, and has kept it the most consistently advanced facility of its type in the NJ/NY area. He has been using computers to help make art for 25 years, and is fluent in at least 10 different programming languages. His photography is the current Finnish and Korean Wikipedia standard for colored sprinkles. He is a certified Softimage instructor. When writing in the third person, he often repeats himself.  When writing in the third person, he often repeats himself. He is not a licensed therapist. He is not a licensed therapist.

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Apr. 18, 2014 at 3:51 AM

Check out the actual post he made:

https://plus.google.com/+FrancisSchmidt/posts


It is actually titled:

Trailer for the new season coming out "


He often posts pictures of his daughter.   Here's another one he took:

Woodbabe
by Woodie on Apr. 18, 2014 at 8:20 AM

Yeah for excessive victimhood mentality and for living in fear of a tshirt! MSM for the WIN!

dawnie1
by #1 Raider fan on Apr. 18, 2014 at 9:33 AM

We have gone so past ridiculousness.

LoveMyBoyK
by Ruby Member on Apr. 18, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Could someone please put out a BOLO on common sense in this country?  We are at a point where finding it is becoming more like a Where's Waldo book!!!

almburr
by on Apr. 18, 2014 at 1:11 PM
Where is our society headed? This is so ridiculous!
TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Apr. 18, 2014 at 1:47 PM

 Sure, they can.  Do you think everyone watches every TV show?  I'm sure there are a number of quotes we could come up with that would be very threatening, out of context. 

Quoting Luvnlogic: Stupid beyond words...there's obviously something else going on here. People can't be this clueless to current pop culture.

 

Kaya529
by Silver Member on Apr. 18, 2014 at 1:53 PM
So the president is making ridiculous allegations in retaliation for the grievance that the professor filed. That is disgusting. The professor needs to be reinstated, granted his sabbatical, and the president should be asked to step down due to his unprofessional and childish behavior.
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