Casual References to Violence Bring Serious Consequences for College Instructors

Casual References to Violence Bring Serious Consequences for College Instructors 1

Lawrence Connell, a tenured associate professor at the Widener U. School of Law, was placed on administrative leave after two students complained that he used a hypothetical scenario in the classroom that included trying to shoot the law school's dean.

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Lawrence Connell, a tenured associate professor at the Widener U. School of Law, was placed on administrative leave after two students complained that he used a hypothetical scenario in the classroom that included trying to shoot the law school's dean.

Like airports, college campuses have become places where one can get a lot of negative attention by making any reference—no matter how offhand or joking—to having or intending to use a weapon.

Such is the lesson learned the hard way by a Widener University law professor who was banned from campus in December after he hypothetically discussed shooting his dean in a criminal-law class. Similarly, a University of Oregon instructor lost his job for a May incident in which,