Civil Liberties

Fine Teaching Gig You Got Here. Be a Shame If Anything Were To Happen to You.


From Mercer Community College in New Jersey, a political science science lecture turns into a lesson on free speech and abuse of power.

The incident occurred on February 1, as Michael Glass, an assistant professor of political science, was lecturing students in a course on state and local politics about New Jersey's budget gap, according to an account offered by the institution's student newspaper, The College Voice, and described by Ms. Donohue's office as confirmed by the college's own investigation.

Sheriff Larkin came up in the class as an example of public employees who engaged in "double dipping," by collecting a pension at the same time he received a salary. When a student remarked that he would not know how to spend the more than $200,000 Mr. Larkin was earning annually through salary and pension payments, Mr. Glass allegedly said Mr. Larkin needed much of the money to cover alimony and child support.

A student who is employed at the county clerk's office promptly sent the sheriff a text message about the comment, and Mr. Larkin soon came to the classroom himself and summoned Mr. Glass out into the hallway for a few minutes. Mr. Glass then returned to the room, introduced the sheriff, and apologized for making disparaging remarks about him.