University professor posted ‘Blow up Republicans’ on Facebook, will keep his job

News & Politics

A professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington openly called for violence against members of the Republican Party on social media last month. But amazingly, he does not appear to be in danger of losing his job.

What are the details?

Dan Johnson, an associate professor in the university’s School of Health and Applied Human Sciences, wrote “Blow up Republicans” in a Facebook status update on May 17, according to Campus Reform.

The post has since been deleted, but not before several students reportedly saw it and complained — and not before the conservative news outlet captured a screenshot.

Two days after writing the post, Johnson reportedly updated his Facebook status again, this time saying, “Time for my summer break from Facebook.”

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Evidently, Johnson’s original post was seen not only by students but by officials at the university. Andrea Monroe Weaver, the university’s communications officer, confirmed to Campus Reform that “the university was made aware of the post and has appropriately addressed it.”

Weaver did not go into further detail about what actions the university took to address the incident; however, the university later confirmed to the news outlet that Johnson is slated to continue teaching in the fall.

TheBlaze reached out to the University of North Carolina Wilmington for further explanation on the matter. Weaver provided the following statement in response:

UNCW was made aware of a now-deleted social media post made by a UNCW faculty member on a personal platform. The university acted on the information in a timely and appropriate manner. The faculty member expressed deep remorse and deleted the post.

Any hateful language by faculty, staff or students aimed at others is contrary to our university values and our commitment to an environment of respect and dignity. It is absolutely reprehensible. However, no matter how upsetting and distasteful such comments may be, they are expressions of free speech and protected by the First Amendment unless they represent a true threat. UNCW reviews any perceived threats that are brought to our attention. We have determined that the conduct and now-deleted post at issue do not contain any evidence of a true threat toward any members of our community.

What else?

At least one student at the school, Haylie Davis, feels that the university is not handling the incident with the proper level of seriousness.

“Putting away any personal political preference aside, I think this matter should be addressed and dealt [with] in the same manner that it would be if the word ‘Republican’ was replaced with any other word. If the post stated ‘Blow up women,’ ‘Blow up homosexuals,’ ‘Blow up Catholics,’ etc.,” Davis told Campus Reform.

“He not only represents a major university in the state of North Carolina, but he also represents a program of the university that prides itself in inclusivity,” she added. “That statement is not something that represents an inclusive and accepting environment. In his position, political preference should not be expressed in such an aggressive manner that lacks the ’empathy’ that is expected and valued in today’s society and on college campuses.”

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