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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 (31-40):
Cutenessmom
by Bronze Member on Apr. 18, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Well I got stopped at the border for a  bumper sticker that siad   you've been Naughty go to my Room athte border lol untill the Canadian Police laughed atthe USA one for not noing what it meant LOL!

PinkButterfly66
by Silver Member on Apr. 18, 2014 at 3:55 PM

He needs to get a lawyer and the dumb f*cks that fired him need to get their heads out of their asses.

lizzielouaf
by Gold Member on Apr. 18, 2014 at 3:55 PM


Quoting Cutenessmom:

Well I got stopped at the border for a  bumper sticker that siad   you've been Naughty go to my Room athte border lol untill the Canadian Police laughed atthe USA one for not noing what it meant LOL!

What?

Luvnlogic
by Silver Member on Apr. 18, 2014 at 8:21 PM

Of course I think everyone watches every tv show, cuz that totally makes sense.

There's a very quick and easy way to check these things out....you used it to communicate this message to me. All you have to do is type the phrase in the little search bar and voila. These are college administrators in the 21st century who should certainly be able to better discern a threat from a slogan on a t-shirt worn by a child. 

Quoting TranquilMind:

 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.

 


Fun_NCmom06
by on Apr. 19, 2014 at 9:53 PM

 I can see where that could be offensive. A teacher shouldn't wear things like that in the first place at school. There are so many shootings, bullying, kids bringing guns to school  these days I can see why they would think that t-shirt is offensive.  A teacher should dress professionally at school. I don't think he should have gotten suspended but a warning to not wear that to school.

tanyainmizzou
by on Apr. 19, 2014 at 9:57 PM

He didn't wear it to school.   He posted a picture of his daughter wearing that shirt.

Quoting Fun_NCmom06:

 I can see where that could be offensive. A teacher shouldn't wear things like that in the first place at school. There are so many shootings, bullying going on at schools these days I can see why they would think this t-shirt is offensive.


FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Apr. 19, 2014 at 10:00 PM

I will be shaking my head over this one for a while.

What the hell?

Fun_NCmom06
by on Apr. 19, 2014 at 10:00 PM

Well  they are probally thinking he is supporting something that is bad. He shouldn't have posted anything that may have gotten  him into trouble. Teachers also have to becareful what they post on facebook etc.

Quoting tanyainmizzou:

He didn't wear it to school.   He posted a picture of his daughter wearing that shirt.

Quoting Fun_NCmom06:

 I can see where that could be offensive. A teacher shouldn't wear things like that in the first place at school. There are so many shootings, bullying going on at schools these days I can see why they would think this t-shirt is offensive.

 

 

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Apr. 19, 2014 at 10:00 PM


Quoting Fun_NCmom06:

 I can see where that could be offensive. A teacher shouldn't wear things like that in the first place at school. There are so many shootings, bullying, kids bringing guns to school  these days I can see why they would think that t-shirt is offensive.  A teacher should dress professionally at school. I don't think he should have gotten suspended but a warning to not wear that to school.

You might want to try to pay more attention.

The Professor did not wear the t-shirt, to school or otherwise.

Fun_NCmom06
by on Apr. 19, 2014 at 10:02 PM

 It doesn't matter. He still represents his school. He shouldn't allow his kids wearing inappropriate things that may be offensive. Obviously they though it was offensive.

Quoting FromAtoZ:

Quoting Fun_NCmom06:

 I can see where that could be offensive. A teacher shouldn't wear things like that in the first place at school. There are so many shootings, bullying, kids bringing guns to school  these days I can see why they would think that t-shirt is offensive.  A teacher should dress professionally at school. I don't think he should have gotten suspended but a warning to not wear that to school.

You might want to try to pay more attention.

The Professor did not wear the t-shirt, to school or otherwise.

 

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