You Will Not Believe The T-Shirt That Got This Professor Kicked Off Campus!

Some of you will recognize the T-shirt verbiage to the right as coming from the hugely popular HBO series Game of Thrones.

Nobody at Bergen Community College did, alas, which led to the suspension of Francis Schmidt, an art and animation professor at Bergen Community College. The picture is of his daughter, who is doing some kind of yoga stance.

Here is an account of what happened next, courtesy of Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE):

Displaying a lack of both pop culture and First Amendment awareness, administrators at Bergen Community College in New Jersey placed Professor Francis Schmidt on leave this past January, requiring him to meet with a psychiatrist before returning to campus—just for posting a picture of his daughter in a T-shirt quoting the popular HBO television show Game of Thrones.

Schmidt, an art and animation professor, was required to meet with Jim Miller, an executive director at the college, as well as two other administrators prior to being put on leave because Miller believed he received a “threatening email” from Schmidt.

There are many problems with this accusation. First, the email was not sent from Schmidt. Jim Miller is a contact of Schmidt’s on Google+, so Miller automatically received an email from Google when Schmidt posted on Google+. Second, the “threatening” material was a picture of Schmidt’s young daughter doing yoga in a Game of Thrones T-shirt with the quote, “I will take what is mine with fire & blood.” For those who are unfamiliar with Game of Thrones, this is a quote from the character Daenerys, who is pledging to retake the throne in Westeros, a war-torn continent and the primary setting of the series.

Read more here.

FIRE reports that Schmidt is back teaching but notes, "it’s worrying that Schmidt was forced to go through this ordeal in the first place." Worrying isn't the first word I would use to describe the situation. If you want to bring your views on the situation to the attention of Bergen Community College's president, here's her page.

Hat tip: Peter Bonilla's Twitter feed.

Speaking of Game of Thrones, here's Reason TV's recent Tax Day video, which features GOT scenes and characters. Just so there is no misunderstanding, this is meant as a fun way of discussing the violence that men, women, and dwarves do - not through weapons but through the tax code.

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  • ||

    Miller believed he received a “threatening email” from Schmidt

    These are the kind of braindead, humorless petty fucks who go into government and education administration. And we wonder why both government and education are so fucked.

  • mb||

    http://www.bergen.edu/about-us.....s-r-miller

    He is HR, it is what they do.

  • fish_remote||

    These are the kind of braindead, humorless petty fucks who go into government and education administration. And we wonder why both government and education are so fucked.

    Tony is in "education" isn't she?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    "All men must die."

    Would the school administration have taken that quote as a threat of violence? Or perhaps and brave statement of female empowerment of the SCUM Manifesto-variety?

  • ||

    Has this already been discussed? Shit is getting real.

  • Andrew S.||

    Somewhat overblown by USA Today (shocking, I know), Per the Jewish community there, it didn't come from the authorities.

  • Sudden||

    And my understanding is that the big anti-semitism is on the part of Kiev nationalists. It pisses me off that I'm so cynical that I now think this is all one big act put on by the West to give a raison d'etre into full blown war with the Ruskies.

  • sarcasmic||

    If you ever get a chance, check this movie out.

    It was very entertaining, and right on topic.

  • ||

    Yeah, that's a pretty good movie. A little weird (which I like), but good.

  • sarcasmic||

    And it's right on topic being about Jews and set in Ukraine.

  • ||

    What authorities? From what I understand, there isn't much authority in eastern Ukraine right now. It's alarming as hell.

  • Brett L||

    Isn't this part of Israel's mission statement? If its a real thing, won't they be flying in badasses to evacuate those who want to leave and protect those who want to stay?

  • Brett L||

    I feel like this is just the latest attempt to generate enough outrage for intervention. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but after their little "plane harasses navy ship" got no play, they went to the next most outrageous thing.

  • Sudden||

    I think I need to watch "Wag the Dog" tonight so I can mentally prepare myself for the next shovel/tractor/airlift/asteroid of bullshit that hits the newswire this weekend.

    Slaughter of thousands of cute puppies?

  • Brett L||

    I mean, not that anti-Semitism in a part of Eastern Europe in turmoil is unbelievable, but given how hard the usual suspects have tried to gin up nationalist, Cold-War era anti-Russkie furor, I am skeptical.

  • ||

    If we look back we are lost.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    Hodor.

  • Paul.||

    There are many problems with this accusation. First, the email was not sent from Schmidt. Jim Miller is a contact of Schmidt’s on Google+, so Miller automatically received an email from Google when Schmidt posted on Google+. Second, the “threatening” material was a picture of Schmidt’s young daughter doing yoga in a Game of Thrones T-shirt with the quote, “I will take what is mine with fire & blood.”

    The core of the problem here is Miller. Miller is functionally retarded. The next step up was the college, who should have told Miller to go pound sand and shut the fuck up, but they have to "take these allegations seriously" and act, lest they get sued or avoid some other chimeric consequence.

    I once had one of my comments removed from the Seattle Times website as 'inappropriate' because I was engaging a cop-fellator, and I simply asked the question: "How would you feel if the police busted into your house and shot your dog, but didn't find any drugs" (something along those lines) and the idjut came back and said, "Are you threatening me? Are you threatening me? I'm reporting your post!"

    The Seattle Times Hall monitor was stupid enough to also see it as a threat.

    Heckler's veto reigns supreme.

  • sarcasmic||

    Know why cops often beat the shit out of people who refuse to obey? Because slaves who do not obey their masters are a threat.

  • Zeb||

    Maybe he thought you were a cop. Then it wouldn't be so unreasonable to take that as a threat.

  • Sudden||

    I didn't see any grammatical errors or misappropriations of the English language in Paul's text, ergo, it was not reasonable to assume Paul was a cop.

  • Paul.||

    Well, given the fact that he was the one fellating the cops, and I was the one questioning their authority, that would have been pretty dumb.

  • Aloysious||

    How many of those academic sissies would be able to watch GoT without getting the vapors and wetting their beds? .00001%?

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    They'd complain about the lack of trigger warnings.

  • Brett L||

    I assume they're all stroking themselves raw imagining themselves to be heirs to the Lannisters.

  • Andrew S.||

    Unfortunately most of them think it's smart to mold themselves after Joffrey.

  • Brett L||

    Smart? No, they just mostly come from a soft life where they were told every day how special and smart they were. Even if their families didn't have much.

  • Sudden||

    Freedom of Expression is Dead.

    What is dead can never die!

  • Andrew S.||

    That is not dead which can eternal lie
    And with strange aeons even death may die

  • SlV||

    Or you can read about it over at Popehat

  • GILMORE||

    "Some of you will recognize the T-shirt verbiage to the right as coming from the hugely popular HBO series Game of Thrones.

    Nobody at Bergen Community College did

    Maybe they don't have cable.

    Just sayin'.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Come on, what kind of moron doesn't have cable in this day and age?

  • GILMORE||

    I've heard tales of freakish luddites that live in the hills and deny understanding any GoT references.

    I think they be liars, and have Satellite TV.

  • Zeb||

    How is this not all settled like this?

    "It's just a quote from a popular TV show/book series."
    "Oh. OK, never mind."

  • sarcasmic||

    Because cowards like Miller don't ask questions like a civilized person. No, they go straight to someone with authority and then go on the offensive.

  • Zeb||

    It's like the assholes who call the cops because their neighbor is having a party instead of just asking them to turn the music down a bit.

  • sarcasmic||

    Exactly. The worst my neighbors might do is come over with guns*.

    *To see if I want to do some shooting with them.

  • Raven Nation||

    Stereotyping I know, but what are the chances that an Art & Animation prof supports these kinds of policies in a general sense.

  • JohnZeus||

    Too many colleges are bastions of idiotic bureaucracies and devoid of common sense. I find that irony quite juicy.

  • Game of Thrones fan||

    I remember wearing a shirt that said "Stick them with the pointy end" and the hilarious misunderstandings that ensued.

  • Rich||

    requiring him to meet with a psychiatrist before returning to campus

    Oh, FFS! I trust he took it upon himself to also meet with an attorney.

  • sarcasmic||

    One time I wore a White Zombie concert shirt with 666 MUTHAFUCKA on the back to work at a restaurant, and the boss had me turn it inside out because a couple of the waitresses were freaking out. Still got the thing. Didn't realize it was worth some money.

  • ||

    I will take what is mine with MUSTARD & PICKLES!

  • Bean Counter||

    easy on the mayo

  • Bean Counter||

    Next, he should try a t-shirt with THIS on it:
    "On a mountain of skulls, in the castle of pain, I sat on a throne of blood!"
    Notice, there's no threatening language, just a statement of history.

  • Bean Counter||

    OH, FFS, it even has the show's logo on it!! These guys have got to TRY to be this unaware!! I don't have any premium channels and I usually watch network TV and even I have heard of Game of Thrones!! Not to mention, I'm an old fart. Admittedly, I first thought it was a WOW spin-off, but, still...GEEEZ!

  • Sevo||

    Bean Counter|4.17.14 @ 3:46PM|#
    "OH, FFS, it even has the show's logo on it!!"
    Not defending the idjits in question, but if you've never wasted time watching the show, how would you know about the logo?

  • Bean Counter||

    They run ads on other channels, which is where I heard about it.

  • Sevo||

    Haven't seen one, or maybe one passed by and I missed it.
    Still have no idea what it looks like; the photo is no help.

  • ||

    Even if I had no idea that the shirt was a GoT reference I would still not feel threatened.

    Even if it had been sent directly to me and not because I am on a mailing list, I would have blown it off.

    Even if it were sent directly to me and meant as a threat I would have simply written back with " You know where I am. Knock yourself out."

    Jeebus this Miller guy is a petty little pussy.

  • Ornithorhynchus||

    What would happen if a professor had a Game Of Thrones shirt AND a Firefly poster? Would they call in a SWAT team?

  • Number 2||

    Good thing it wasn't a Ramones or Sex Pistols T-shirt.

  • Matthew Cline||

    I really like the title that was chosen for this post.

    "Learn this one weird trick discovered by a professor for getting kicked off campus!"

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