College Professor Terminated After Facebook Post Advising Iran To Target 52 American Sites
A staff member of Babson College was terminated after posting on social media that Iran should list 52 cultural sites of America it would attack.
“In retaliation, Ayatollah Khomenei should tweet a list of 52 sites of beloved American cultural heritage that he would bomb,” Asheen Phansey wrote on Facebook. “Um… Mall of America? Kardashian residence?”
After being suspended with pay, Phansey gave a statement on Wednesday, apologizing for his “bad attempt at humor” stating he “completely opposed to violence and would never advocate it by anyone.” But the apology did not change things and on Thursday, Phansey was “no longer a Babson employee.”
Phansey, former Babson College Director of Sustainability, was surprised by the decision to terminate him from Babson. “I am disappointed and saddened that Babson has decided to abruptly terminate my 15-year relationship with the college just because people willfully misinterpreted a joke I made to my friends on Facebook,” he said via a spokeswoman on Thursday.
“Babson College conducted a prompt and thorough investigation related to a post shared on a staff member’s personal Facebook page that does not represent the values and culture of the College,” the school said. “Based on the results of the investigation, the staff member is no longer a Babson College employee.” Babson College added that it “condems any type of threatening words and/or actions condoning violence and/or hate.”
Phansey, who received his MBA from Babson in 2008, said he would have hoped Babson College would protect his right to free speech.
“I would have hoped that Babson, an institution of higher education that I love and to which I have given a great deal, would have defended and supported my right to free speech,” said Phansey. “Beyond my own situation, I am really concerned about what this portends for our ability as Americans to engage in political discourse without presuming the worst about each other.”