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News Professor claims Newton Ct massacre a hoax

  1. Jan 9, 2013 #1

    Evo

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    This one is a DOOZY!!

    A professor at Florida Atlantic University claims that no one was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary school, "that trained “crisis actors” may have been employed by the Obama administration to shape public opinion on gun control."

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout...wn-newtown-massacre-conspiracy-183530799.html

    I'm posting this because it's news about someone claiming a hoax concerning a current news topic.

    I'm wondering if the professor can't be terminated dispite the absurdity of the claims?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 9, 2013 #2
    I don't think he can or should be terminated as he did that on a blog. If he is teaching it, then there is a basis, but what he says in a blog should not be grounds for his dismissal from the school so as long as he is teaching in the correct manner.

    Many people think crazy stuff any way, and this sort of cockamamie belief is just another 1 of many, many beliefs about things that are obviously wrong. We cannot start firing people because of thoughts they flesh out or beliefs held so as long as it does not affect how they conduct their job.
     
  4. Jan 9, 2013 #3

    phinds

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    Jeez this is disgusting. I don't see how the university president can just "distance the university" from his statements by SAYING that she disagrees with him. The jerk ought to be fired immediately.

    I mean, can you imagine how the parents of those dead kids must feel if they read this?
     
  5. Jan 9, 2013 #4

    turbo

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    The "professor" is an idiot and a troublemaker, and should be terminated (IMO), tenure or no. I wonder what college granted him a PhD?
     
  6. Jan 9, 2013 #5

    phinds

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    Did you read the article? It said in there.

    EDIT: University of Iowa
     
  7. Jan 9, 2013 #6

    turbo

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    OK, got it. I guess I skipped over it in my disbelief over his horrible statements.
     
  8. Jan 9, 2013 #7
    He said something stupid and believes something stupid, however, that doesn't mean his academic work was/is as idiotic as his thoughts.

    A visceral reaction is never the right action to have. Look to see if he is performing his job up to the standards of the university.
     
  9. Jan 9, 2013 #8
    Getting fired for having marginal and/or unpopular beliefs negates the very purpose of tenure.
     
  10. Jan 9, 2013 #9

    Evo

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    What about a psychiatric evaluation? Are these the thoughts of a rational mind? Can they start monitoring his classes to see if he touting his "theories" in class?

    Where I worked, your behavior after work could be cause for dismissal, including personal blogs, and they could send you to the company psychiatrist if they felt that you might have "issues". I know Academia is different, so I was wondering if we have professors here that would know how these types of things are handled.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  11. Jan 9, 2013 #10

    Evo

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  12. Jan 9, 2013 #11

    Evo

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    BTW, he's an Associate professor, didn't mention tenure.
     
  13. Jan 9, 2013 #12
    This guy is in the retail trade. Here is a wholesaler:
    Arthur Butz
     
  14. Jan 9, 2013 #13
    I'm not seeing the problem, it makes no sense to fire him unless you believe in firing people for believing stupid things outside of work. For private businesses I would say firing someone for what ever reason should be acceptable. FAL is a public university and given that, the personal political views of the staff are not grounds for termination so long as they are kept separate from work.

    Sadly I have met many professors who often inject their personal opinions into their teaching and those opinions often have support of the administration.
     
  15. Jan 9, 2013 #14

    Evo

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    According to this article
    Does it seem he can't teach objectively?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/08/fau-professor-newtown-massacre-james-tracy_n_2428898.html

    From a local newspaper.

    http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/pulp/2013/01/faus_james_tracy_more_media_co.php
     
  16. Jan 9, 2013 #15
    I would say it reflects badly on the school and its curriculum if students are expressing that he teaches in a similar manner of his comments made.
    Reflecting poorly on the school with biased teaching is, in my opinion, grounds for removal/dismissal.

    If someone was teaching creationism as a suitable "theory" and a contrary view to evolution to a course dedicated to evolution in college, that professor would not be teaching there for long.

    If a course permits him to speak his mind as a professor, then he has grounds, however, if his teaching style contradicts the syllabus and intention of the course, there are grounds for his removal from the institution in my opinion.

    If a person doesn't like the science route, then in a philosophical course where you are supposed to be taught the history of Asian philosophy and the professor arrives to class one day and spouts rhetoric on Asian's stealing the philosophy of Europe to make themselves feel better and that European philosophy originated from reptilian Gods, you'd think he should continue teaching?
     
  17. Jan 9, 2013 #16
    A lot of academics make controversial statements. The best we can do is ignore them, otherwise we fuel what they say, up.
     
  18. Jan 9, 2013 #17
    If he/she can back such statements up, then its fine. And allow educational argument over it. Otherwise it is simply throwing stuff at students without them thinking for themselves.
     
  19. Jan 9, 2013 #18
    His profession is mass communication if I read correctly. If he is spreading conspiracies, isn't he misconducting?

    But, where will you find any standards or conduct rules in the communication fields :tongue2:. Professionals would throw any garbage to the public without being held accountable for the consequences. All thanks to freedom of speech.

    I was also going to bring this up. You would often comes across people who aren't rational (socially intelligent) in academia.
     
  20. Jan 9, 2013 #19
    Its very hard to definitely prove/disprove 'conspiracies'. To be fair, we weren't in Connecticut - but as far remote as it may seem - we're simply believing what is being reported.
     
  21. Jan 9, 2013 #20

    turbo

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    Well, the "professor" is calling law-enforcement, EMTs, and the media all liars trying to enable Obama's anti-gun leanings. That's a pretty big conspiracy to hold together, not to mention the funerals.
     
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