UPDATE: Board Of Regents Responds To KU Professor's Twitter Comment

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

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UPDATE: Friday, September 20, 2013

A University of Kansas professor has been placed on administrative leave following a Twitter post that blamed the National Rifle Association for the Washington Navy Yard Killings.

Journalism associate professor David W. Guth has been facing criticism for the tweet, in which he says "blood is on the hands of the NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters."

He tweeted the comment in the aftermath of the Navy Yard shootings Monday that left several people dead, including the assailant.

Following a meeting of the Kansas Board of Regents on Friday, President and CEO Andy Tompkins issued the following statement on behalf of the Board:

“The Board of Regents expresses its disgust and offense at the statement made by David Guth. The Board also notes that these views in no way represent the views of the university or the Board of Regents. The Board wishes to reiterate the statement made by Dean Ann Brill when she said that ‘while the First Amendment allows anyone to express an opinion, that privilege is not absolute and must be balanced with the rights of others.’ The Board realizes that this matter is a legal and personnel issue for the University of Kansas and is being kept informed of the actions taken by the university. The Board expresses its appreciation for the immediate response by the Chancellor to the situation and expresses its confidence in her leadership.”

Timothy Caboni, vice chancellor for public affairs at KU, called the comment "repugnant." Ann Brill, dean of journalism school, says Guth's views don't represent the university, which doesn't advocate violence.

Guth says he wasn't advocating violence, but was trying to make gun advocates see shootings from the point of view of the victims and their families.

Friday morning, KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little took action, placing Guth on administrative leave and issuing the following statement:

"In order to prevent disruptions to the learning environment for students, the School of Journalism and the university, I have directed Provost Jeffrey Vitter to place Associate Professor Guth on indefinite administrative leave pending a review of the entire situation. Professor Guth's classes will be taught by other faculty members."

Earlier, State Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce of Hutchinson said Guth should be fired. A statement from Bruce says the tweet shows "a lack of compassion for human suffering... Wishing death and damnation upon parents and their children is reprehensible."

The Twitter post is below:

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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