A minimum of three years, evidently.
Florida Atlantic University‘s Sandy Hook denier James Tracy just received notice that his school wants to fire him. Here’s a statement from the school:
“Today, James Tracy, an associate professor in the School of Communication and Multimedia Studies, was served a Notice of Proposed Discipline – Termination by the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at Florida Atlantic University.
“In accordance with the University’s Collective Bargaining Agreement with the United Faculty of Florida union, by which the University and James Tracy are bound, faculty who receive such notice are afforded a grievance process. James Tracy has 10 days to respond to the notice after which final action may be taken.”
About damn time.
Tracy is the lead dog in the vicious pack that seeks to disprove that 26 people were killed at Sandy Hook in Connecticut in 2012. Though their own theories as to why this would be so vary, most of them are worried that the incident was created to advance gun legislation.
Even typing that pisses me off.
You have to understand that this hits home for those of us who live in Connecticut. These children and their teachers and administrators became our children, our teachers, our administrators, and that someone like Tracy would seek to promote such a horrendous lie is evil and worse.
This year, the parents of one of the children killed, Noah Pozner, wrote a letter to the Florida Sun-Sentinel newspaper marking the third anniversary of the massacre, and the letter included this:
Tracy is among those who have personally sought to cause our family pain and anguish by publicly demonizing our attempts to keep cherished photos of our slain son from falling into the hands of conspiracy theorists.
Tracy even sent us a certified letter demanding proof that Noah once lived, that we were his parents, and that we were the rightful owner of his photographic image. We found this so outrageous and unsettling that we filed a police report for harassment. Once Tracy realized we would not respond, he subjected us to ridicule and contempt on his blog, boasting to his readers that the “unfulfilled request” was “noteworthy” because we had used copyright claims to “thwart continued research of the Sandy Hook massacre event.”
Evidently, the Pozner’s letter moved people to contact the university and call for Jones’ dismissal. So it’s been three years of cruel hounding — both personal and public and now the university has moved to act.
Oh, and this: Trump is his friend.
And thanks, Leftover, for the link.
The man is shit-stain. He and his employer are lucky it wasn’t me that suffered the harassment, slander and general indignities perpetrated by Tracy and aided and abetted by credibility afforded him by his employer’s inaction. We’d still be in court.
I understand the Posner’s reluctance. But that wouldn’t stop me.
The Posner family has been unfailingly gracious in their time of horrible grief. I do not understand why this shit stain would hound them but I hope life deals as harshly with him as he has dealt with the memory of those whom we lost. Fuck. Him.
He is a disgusting, scumbag, as is anyone else who supports his crap. Lowest of the lows to harass parents who have lost their child so tragically. Trump’s connection is no surprise. He wants all scumbag votes and will say anything to get them.
Sounds like this guy has some kind of psychotic disorder that detaches him from reality, with paranoia thrown in. No normal, sane person would seriously consider that the Sandy Hook shootings were fictitious, so this person’s irrational fear of the government or of having guns outlawed has overridden his ability to differentiate between fantasy and reality, and he should be placed in a professional career facility before he causes further psychological or physical harm to others.
Unfortunately, Tracy is protected by the same academic freedom and tenure that protects faculty who do good work that may be unpopular with the administration or legislature. The 157 comments (thus far) at InsideHigherEd circle around this issue (https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/12/17/florida-atlantic-moves-fire-sandy-hook-denier).
It’s rarely an easy for a public institution to fire a tenured professor, no matter how crazy someone thinks the person might be. And this is probably as it should be.
The comments at RateMyProfessor (http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=643615) don’t always point to crazy, they seem vanilla….which might the scariest bit.
There is a professor at the college where I taught for two years who got tenure while in jail. I know it’s tough but this isn’t what tenure is supposed to be for, is it? To protect people who break the law, give them job security where in any other field, they stand the chance of losing their jobs?
Wasn’t the college claiming that well, he didn’t do anything to the COLLEGE, so they couldn’t fire him?
That’s my understanding, too. But yeesh!
Tenure is not the same all over. There may be legal differences within a state for both public and private institutions. Certainly there may be legal differences across states.
Is this behavior what tenure is supposed to protect?
In essence is it really different than demanding evidence from a police department or a government agency about a criminal investigation or decision on climate change? The only real difference is that he is attacking private citizens. But the Koch brothers are private citizens and would you feel differently about an investigation into their claims?
And what law did he actually break? As far as I am aware, he has not been charged or convicted, so that is particular challenge.
I don’t want to defend the guy in any manner. But the nature of free speech, tenure, and academic freedom all allow some pretty stupid and hurtful speech. Neither of which are generally illegal. So firing someone with tenure should be a long, hard road.
I know I’m over in dangerous territory on this. I am probably coming somewhat from an emotional reaction. I’m still not sorry. And I believe he’s wandered into harassment, though I suppose that’s for his victims to decide.
You don’t need to be sorry. I understand your reaction, I want to feel the same way, and there are at least 100 elected officials in my state that would want me to feel the way they do, but there are other things to consider, such as nuance…and the loss of nuance in public discourse is why these people exist.
An old-fashioned ass-whuppin’ is what’s needed.
Just be grateful that feds are rounding up a bunch of conspiracy theorists to give them Legionaire’s Disease – http://www.divinetravels.com/ConspiraSea2016Speakers.html
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