TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – More than 100 current and former University of Kansas faculty and staff are publicly affirming the free-speech rights of a professor whose Twitter post against the National Rifle Association sparked a political firestorm.
The statement issued Wednesday described the tweet by associate professor of journalism David Guth as “intemperate” but said the signers support his right to express his ideas.
Here is the text of the statement they signed: “As members of the faculty and staff of the University of Kansas, the undersigned individuals strongly support the freedoms of expression specified in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Whatever one may think of Professor David Guth’s recent comments, we support his right to express his ideas, just as we support the rights of others to express their own opinions about his comments. Promoting freedom of expression should be a core value of any university.”
Retired American Studies Professor Bill Tuttle said the statement is a response to comments from conservative Republican Kansas legislators that Guth should be fired.
Guth is on indefinite paid leave and declined to comment.
In his tweet after the September shootings that killed 13 people at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., Guth blasted the NRA and said, “Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters.”