KU professor returning after ‘leave’ over controversal tweet

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KSNT) – A Kansas University professor will be returning to the classroom after nearly seven months of paid leave.

David Guth sent out a controversial tweet following the Navy Yard Shooting in September of 2013.

Kansas First News Reporter Don Bolerjack gives us details of his return and new guidelines the Kansas Board of Regents are putting in place concerning social media.

Students are well aware of Professor David Guth’s controversial tweet following the September Navy Yard Shooting. It reads “Blood is on the hands of the NRA. Next time, let it be your sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you.”

KU declined an on camera interview request but provided this statement.

“He is scheduled to teach two classes. One is the History of Journalism and Mass Communication, which is an elective. The other is Message Development, which is offered each semester and is taught by various instructors. ”

Guth also confirmed his plans in an email.

“I will be returning to the classroom this fall at the conclusion of a sabbatical – one that has been in the works since 2012.”

The university was targeted by those offended by the tweet, with many calling for Guth’s firing or resignation. The Kansas Board of Regents intervened.

The incident highlighted the fact that the Board had no policy addressing social media use specifically. The policy does not mandate any specific action to be taken but to show university administration when they can and can’t regulate speech. The board asked a work group made up of faculty and staff from the six state universities to study the matter and propose revisions. The work group expects to make its recommendations in April.

CLICK HERE: to find the new social media policy the task force is working on for universities.

Wednesday night the Kansas Rifle Association’s president Patricia Stoneking issued this statement to Kansas First News. We have listed it in part:

“We support the board of regents plan for a social media policy. They have a right to establish personnel policies which lay out conduct expected of employees of all colleges and universities.

As for David Guth returning to classes, we strongly oppose that decision and think it is an extremely poor choice. His Twitter remarks about wishing death on the children of NRA members was not the first questionable behavior…Would you want him teaching your children? I surely would not. I believe he is a volatile individual who cannot be trusted and should not be allowed to serve as an influence on our youth in the classroom.” -Patricia Stoneking, Kansas Rifle Association President

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