To the editor:
The headline of “Professor put on leave; lawmakers call for firing” on Sept. 21 did not reflect the most important part of this story. I am not supporting what Guth said, but I do support free speech. I don’t always like what some people say, but that is the price we pay for this most important freedom.
The real story is the comment made by State Sen. Greg Smith. He stated that unless Guth leaves Kansas University, he will not recommend KU to future students or support any budget proposals regarding KU. So here we have an elected official willing to weaken the educational future of our children and intimidate KU because one of its employees exercised his right of free speech. Smith is trying to use the power of his elected position to influence KU because he doesn’t like what someone said!
Smith is certainly entitled to the same freedoms as Guth, but if a private citizen tried to intimidate an elected official it could be considered illegal. I find Smith’s comments reprehensible and a sad reflection on much of what is currently going on in our political landscape. Many of those in the U.S. Senate and House are doing the same thing by threatening our country with insolvency unless the Affordable Health Care act is repealed. This type of behavior hurts our country more than any of the issues used to falsely justify it. By the way, shame on KU for taking any action against Guth at all.