“At Babson College, the climate of freedom of expression feels like 2003 all over again.”
This administrator was initially placed on leave but has now been fired. FIRE sees this as a free speech issue and has released a statement.
From the FIRE blog:
Babson College abandons freedom of expression, fires professor over Facebook post criticizing Trump threat to bomb Iran cultural sites
At Babson College, the climate of freedom of expression feels like 2003 all over again. Today, the college announced its completion of a “thorough investigation” — which started yesterday — into an adjunct professor’s Facebook post. As a result of its investigation, the college has terminated the professor.
The professor’s post was a response to President Trump’s tweeted threat to target 52 Iranian sites, including cultural sites — a threat that drew criticism and eventual disavowal following commentary that the threat, if carried out, would constitute a war crime. Asheen Phansey, an adjunct professor and staff member at Babson College, posted on his personal Facebook page…
That drew the attention of a local gossip blog, which published screenshots of Phansey’s post, leading to critics on Twitter to call on the college to take action…
It strains credulity to read Phansey’s post as sincerely advocating violence. In political rhetoric, figurative and hyperbolic language have been familiar tools for centuries, and Phansey’s post is quite obviously a criticism — not endorsement — of threats of violence, mixed with snark about American culture…
And while Babson College is a private institution, and thus not bound by the First Amendment, it does promise its faculty and students that Babson College will respect their freedom of expression.
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