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The Kansas University professor who called for the deaths of the children of National Rifle Association members has been taken off administrative leave and assigned to paperwork.
Associate journalism professor Peter Guth blasted the NRA after a crazed man shot and killed people at the Washington Navy Yard, declaring on his Twitter account: “#NavyYardShooting The blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God d— you.”
The university initially defended Guth’s statement but then removed him from his classroom assignments and handed him administrative leave.
Now, according to a report by Campus Reform, Guth will be returned to work, not in the classroom but on a paperwork assignment.
“We do have a lot of work to do on assessment as we prepare for various levels of accreditation, and that’s some of the work he will be doing,” said School of Journalism Dean Ann Brill.
Guth was uspended Sept. 20 over a tweet he posted Sept. 16.
The University Daily Kansan reported Guth’s statement.
“My September 16 tweet following the Navy Yard shootings has caused a great deal of pain for many people, and for that I apologize,” he said. “Some interpreted my tweet differently than it was intended: I don’t want anyone’s children hurt.”
School Provost Jeffrey Vitter said the decision to put Guth, an associate journalism professor, back to work was made on the recommendation of a seven-member committee of faculty and staff.
“The committee conducted a full review, and their input was instrumental in arriving at this decision,” Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little told the campus newspaper. “Our decisions throughout this situation have been guided by the facts and the law, respecting the interests of our students and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.”
Guth said the “fact that my words were misconstrued is my fault – I am the professional communicator and I didn’t do a very good job.”
“For that, I apologize. I also regret that my statements have had a negative impact on the university community.”
In an interview with Campus Reform, Guth had defended the tweet.
Guth’s jab came after a gunman shot and killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard.
Initially, the university said the contents of the professor’s tweet “were repugnant and in no way represent the views or opinions of the University of Kansas.”
“It is truly disgraceful that these views were expressed in such a callous and uncaring way. We expect all members of the university community to engage in civil discourse and not make inflammatory and offensive comment.”
Campus Reform writer Katherine Timpf said that when Guth was contacted, he not only confirmed he sent the tweet, he doubled down.
“Hell no, hell no, I do not regret that tweet,” he told Campus Reform. “I don’t take it back one bit.”
Guth previously was a public information officer for the North Carolina prison, probation and parole system, a broadcast journalist and a public relations consultant.
“I don’t wish what happened today on anyone,” he said on the site. “But if it does happen again – and it likely will – may it happen to those misguided miscreants who suggest that today’s death toll at the Navy Yard would have been lower if the employees there were allowed to pack heat.”
In his interview with Campus Reform, he wished “a pox on our Congress and a pox on the NRA” for failing to pass more gun control.
“It absolutely appalls me that after Newtown, we could not have come to some kind of sane agreement on something as simple as the number of bullets in a magazine or the availability of assault weapons,” he said at the time.