U. of Kansas Professor Is Placed on Leave After Tweet Denouncing NRA

The University of Kansas has placed a journalism professor on indefinite administrative leave after he posted a tweet denouncing the National Rifle Association in the wake of the recent mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, The Kansas City Star reported.

The September 16 shootings at the Navy Yard left 13 people, including the gunman, dead. That day, David W. Guth, an associate professor of journalism at the university, posted a tweet saying, “The blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you.”

The tweet set off a backlash on social media, and on Thursday the university released written statements condemning the professor’s message. Ann M. Brill, dean of the journalism school, said Mr. Guth’s views “do not represent our school and we do not advocate violence directed against any group or individuals.”

The university on Friday released another statement, from its chancellor, Bernadette Gray-Little, who said the professor would be placed on leave.

“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,” she said. “Professor Guth’s classes will be taught by other faculty members.”

Mr. Guth wrote in an e-mail to the Associated Press on Friday that he agreed with the university’s action in light of threats he and others had received.

“It is in the best interests and peace of mind of our students that I remove myself from the situation and let cooler heads prevail,” he wrote. “I know what I meant. Unfortunately, this is a topic that generates more heat than light.”

Return to Top