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Should university professors be able to say anything they want on social media?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on September 21, 2013

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“They have the same constitutional rights of free speech as we do. ”

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Bob Harvey 4 years, 9 months ago

I do believe employers should have the right to discipline an employee that uses any social media that defames or puts the employer in a negative light. The individual has the right to say whatever they want but the employer also has rights to protect itself.

snitty 4 years, 9 months ago

I applaud professor Guth for his forthright opinion and feel the university was craven to censure him by placing him on leave.

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

Would you applaud a pro-gun advocate that say's the blood of unarmed people killed by strongarm robbers are on the hands of people that want more gun control? How about if a gun-nut had a forthright opinion that goes like "Next time, let it be YOUR daughter that is raped because she couldn't protect herself"? That's pretty ugly, is it not?

While I understand that you may agree with his stance on gun control, I don't see how you can have anything but utter scorn for the words he used to voice his forthright opinion.

snitty 4 years, 9 months ago

Protecting the academic right of free speech should have been more important to KU than appeasing the legislature. Freedom of speech is at stake here, ugly or not. But I agree with the professor that the NRA has bloody hands. While I understand that you may disagree with his stance on gun control, I don't see how you can have anything but utter scorn for those policies that literally enable these mass killings.

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

I think anyone should be able to say anything on social media - minus whatever the supreme court has ruled is not protected speech.


Armstrong 4 years, 9 months ago

Yes, in many cases comments such as Guth's send up red flags that would make one question do I really want to send my money and kid to that school ?

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

Nobody cares what he thinks about gun control. He was gratuitously hateful. That's what is bothering people.

dlkrm 4 years, 9 months ago

Anyone can say what they want on social media. And their employer should have the right to fire them.

As for the notion that the NRA supports policies that allow the killings like what happened in Washington to happen - an opinion couldn't be more backwards from the truth. The killings happened because THE GOOD GUYS AREN'T ALLOWED TO HAVE WEAPONS. How preposterous that our soldiers cannot carry loaded weapons on base. What happened at the Washington Naval Yard and Ft. Hood are mini-versions of what will happen to the entire country when the good guys have been disarmed. Look at Chicago. A killing field unparalleled in American history. Thirteen people shot in a park. I could be silly and say the media ignored that incident because they're racist and don't care about blacks killing blacks. But we know that the fact is it doesn't fit the template. When you take guns from the good guys we'll have peace, right? Right? Right? Oh wait, no, then only the bad guys have guns.

Tom McCune 4 years, 9 months ago

Guth's tweet was ignorant and inflammatory. But it wasn't illegal and he didn't claim to speak for KU. Therefore, I think he should have the first amendment right to make himself look as stupid as he wants to.

ikuyasu 4 years, 9 months ago

He kind of did in the comment to the Campus Reform: “Hell no, hell no, I do not regret that Tweet,” he said. “I don't take it back one bit.” He obviously didn't claim to speak for KU because nobody can speak for KU anyway unless you are university executives, but he spoke AS a KU faculty here. At any rate, the freedom of speech should be applied.

In_God_we_trust 4 years, 9 months ago

What was said and the way it was said was not in good taste and was boarder line violent, liberal, and based in violence. I support the Bill of Rights and freedom of speech with reasonable responsibility and good common sense.

But does the public really think that this sort of attitude that the professor spoke of, is not going on inside of KU with a number of liberal minded professors and teachers towards your kids? Your children have been being indoctrinated by this unprofessional, liberal attitude and are most likely being taught this in their classes by many teachers. We need teachers that have as a priority to give good knowledge to kids, not based on democrat or republican policies and without liberal bias. Liberal politics should not be the favored politics at KU, (which it obviously is currently) and shouldn't be allowed to come through the teachers to the kids that are being taught to maintain professionalism and excellence. Schools used to teach kids without bringing strong political biased views in. They just kept teaching at a professional level by not espousing harmful liberal or conservative views (such as gun control). Good morals help keep a professional environment in school and should be maintained. Hiring at KU needs to not be biased with liberal/progressive minded attitudes to create an environment of professional excellence, free of political indoctrination.

DillonBarnes 4 years, 9 months ago

The right to free speech does not mean that speech is free of consequences.

SeaBee 4 years, 9 months ago

After senator Wagle's witch hunt at KU a few years ago I'm surprised that ANY professor at a state university would dare to step a toe outside of the very conservative milieu surrounding public education.

It ain't right, mind you, but it just seems prudent in todays political climate.

But WAIT, aren't college professors supposed to provide an intellectually challenging environment for their students?

Just glad I got my degree here 30 some years ago when this social straightjacket wasn't in place.

Eugehne Normandin 4 years, 9 months ago

They should follow the rules of anyone using social media

bearded_gnome 4 years, 9 months ago

imagine if any of his students are "children" of NRA members, or NRA members themselves. not so far fetched.

of course he has the freedom of speech, to raise that in this context is simply silly. the 1st amendment says congress shall pass no law abridging speech, or forcing speech, among other freedoms.

it is irrelevant to the judgment of whether this hateful menacer (see he was censured for threatening a fellow faculty member) continues to be employed by KU, and the taxpayers of kansas. firing him does not stop his speech.

fire him. he was calling down blood on the children of NRA members, and that could've included some of his students.

given what he teaches, he certainly knows better. I think this is just another example of the uncivil left at work. indeed if the shoe were on the other foot, he and some posters above would be calling for the firing of a prof who called down blood on the children of gun grabbers.

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