Bergen Community College: Professor Sanctioned for Photo of Daughter in ‘Game of Thrones’ Shirt

Category: Uncategorized
Schools: Bergen Community College

  • ‘Game of Thrones’ Punishment Stopped But Not Done

    October 31, 2014

    By Bob Holt at New Jersey Newsroom A Bergen Community College professor who was suspended for 8 days earlier this year over posting of an online photo has seen his record cleared. Bergen Community College suspended 47-year old professor Francis Schmidt for posting a photo of his 7-year old daughter Sophia wearing a “Game of Thrones’ tee-shirt. The shirt read: “I will take what is mine with fire and blood.” Schmidt said school officials took the word “fire” as a perceived threat of shooting at the school, according to the New York Daily News. A school official said to Schmidt, […]

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  • College Retracts Punishment Of Prof Who Dressed Daughter In Game of Thrones Apparel

    October 31, 2014

    By Samantha Reinis at Campus Reform A College in New Jersey retracted its punishment of a professor who shared a picture of his child in a Game of Thrones shirt. An art professor at Bergen Community College (BCC) in New Jersey was forced to take leave without pay until he went through a psychiatric evaluation after posting a picture of his daughter in a Game of Thrones t-shirt in April. Francis Schmidt uploaded a picture of his child on his Google+ account wearing a shirt that read, “I will take what is mine with fire & blood,” a popular quote […]

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  • College Admits It ‘May’ Have Violated Art Professor’s Civil Rights Over Game of Thrones T-shirt

    October 30, 2014

    By James Kleinmann at NJ.com PARAMUS — Bergen Community College says it “may have” violated a professor’s civil rights when it placed him on unpaid leave in January for posting a “threatening” photo of his daughter… wearing a Game of Thrones T-shirt that displayed the show’s tag line, “I will take what is mine with fire and blood.” In a letter addressed to art and animation professor Francis Schmidt on Sept. 29, BCC Human Resources Director Patti Bonomolo acknowledged the college’s error, which drew a firestorm of criticism when news of his sanction surfaced in April. “By sanctioning you as it did, BCC may have unintentionally erred […]

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  • Professor Suspended Over ‘Game of Thrones’ T-shirt Vindicated

    October 30, 2014

    By Matthew T. Hall at U-T San Diego You may remember Bergen (New Jesey) Community College professor Francis Schmidt, who was placed on unpaid leave for eight days in January for posting a photo on Google+ of his daughter in a “Game of Thrones” T-shirt that said, “I will take what is mine with fire & blood.” You may also remember that one school administrator dubbed the phrase “threatening” and another said “fire” might refer to “AK-47s.” Most everyone else (and we mean most everyone else; the story slayed the Internet) thought Schmidt had just shared a cute picture of his daughter […]

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  • ‘Game of Thrones’ T-Shirt Case Might Have Violated Prof’s Rights, Bergen Community College Says

    October 30, 2014

    By Stefanie Dazio at NorthJersey.com Bergen Community College may have violated a professor’s constitutional rights in January when it sanctioned him for posting a photo online of his daughter wearing a “Game of Thrones” T-shirt that read, “I will take what is mine with fire & blood,” the college said in a letter to him. The Sept. 29 letter to Francis Schmidt, an art and 3-D animation professor, was posted online Tuesday by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. The foundation helped Schmidt secure a lawyer. Schmidt posted the picture of his daughter on Jan. 12 on Google+, sharing […]

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  • Professor’s ‘Game of Thrones’ Punishment Rescinded

    October 30, 2014

    By The Associated Press at The Associated Press PARAMUS, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey professor suspended after he posted an online photo containing a quote from “Game of Thrones” has had his punishment rescinded by the college. Francis Schmidt, who teaches art and animation at Bergen County Community College, said he was suspended for 11 days after posting a photo in January of his 7-year-old daughter wearing a T-shirt with a quote from the graphic HBO show that read: “I will take what is mine with fire and blood.” Patti Bonomolo, the school’s director of human resources, said in […]

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  • Posting Photo of Your Young Daughter Wearing Game of Thrones T-Shirt — Not A Threat Of Violence

    October 29, 2014

    By Eugene Volokh at The Washington Post From the college’s letter to Prof. Francis Schmidt: This letter acknowledges that Bergen Community College (“BCC”) may have lacked basis to sanction you for your January 12, 2014 Google+ post of your daughter wearing a Game of Thrones t-shirt (the “Incident”). By sanctioning you as it did, BCC may have unintentionally erred and potentially violated your constitutional rights, including under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Upon further reflection on this matter and in order to bring this issue to closure, BCC will strike and remove from your employment file any adverse record […]

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  • ‘Game of Thrones’ T-Shirt Professor Fights Back With Fire and Blood

    October 29, 2014

    By Danny Gallagher at CoEd.com Colleges may call themselves institutions of higher learning but they are still just as capable of doing some really dumb things. Take, for instance, the saga of Bergen Community College professor Francis Schmidt who actually received a suspension for posting a picture of his kid wearing a Game of Thrones T-shirt on his Google+ page. Well, he’s not sitting and stewing about in exile. He’s picked up a ridiculously long and sharp broadsword and swinging back at the people who put him there (minus the sword, of course, since that would at least lead to an assault charge). According […]

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  • Professor Suspended for Game of Throne T-Shirt Fights Back and Wins

    October 28, 2014

    By Greg Lukianoff at The Huffington Post Last April, I wrote about the absurd treatment of Professor Francis Schmidt by Bergen Community College (BCC) officials who seem better suited for Westeros than New Jersey. Schmidt, an art and animation professor, posted a picture of his young daughter wearing a T-shirt with the Game of Thrones quote, “I will take what is mine with fire & blood” to Google+, which automatically sent an email of the picture to his Google+ contacts, including a BCC dean. The dean found this picture of a child doing yoga so terror-inducing that she reported him to other BCC administrators. […]

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  • Professor Who Was Suspended For ‘Game Of Thrones’ Shirt Lays The Smack Down On School, Wins

    October 28, 2014

    By Cass Anderson at BroBible Back in April the story broke that an animation professor at Bergen Community College was suspended after administrators deemed him a threat. Why did they deem him a threat? Because of a photo circulating of his daughter wearing a ‘Game of Thrones’ t-shirt emblazoned with famous Targaryen words. It was a clear cut example of the furuther pussification of America. Alas, we’ve come to some resolution on this case and the professor has the last laugh, and it’s nice to know that sometimes logic prevails. via the Huffington Post‘s Greg Lukianoff: Schmidt, an art and animation […]

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  • 2015 ‘Jefferson Muzzle’ Awards Feature FIRE Cases

    April 21, 2015

    Last night, the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression announced the recipients of the 2015 “Jefferson Muzzle” awards, bestowed upon the worst government censors and punishers of protected speech in the past year. The TJ Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization in Charlottesville, Virginia, dedicated to protecting free speech. I worked for the TJ Center before coming to FIRE, and I saw firsthand how tough the competition for the Muzzle awards is each year—there are a depressingly large number of qualified nominees. Just like last year, a few of the 2015 “winners” will sound familiar to Torch […]

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  • Victory: College Backtracks After Punishing Professor for ‘Game of Thrones’ Picture

    October 28, 2014

    NEW YORK, Oct. 28, 2014—In a victory for free speech, New Jersey’s Bergen Community College (BCC) has rescinded its punishment of an art professor it placed on leave and forced to undergo a psychiatric evaluation for posting a picture of his daughter wearing a Game of Thrones T-shirt. After learning of BCC’s outrageous actions, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) connected Professor Francis Schmidt with FIRE Legal Network member Derek Shaffer, a partner at the law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, and Gabriel Soledad, an associate at the firm. In a recent letter to Schmidt, BCC Director […]

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  • Best of the Blog: Bergen Administrators Fear ‘Game of Thrones’ Quote, Censor Professor

    August 4, 2014

    This week, FIRE has a special treat for you. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite posts from over the past year: pieces we think are particularly well written or cases we are particularly passionate about. Today, we have Sarah McLaughlin’s post about Bergen Community College’s overreaction to a Game of Thrones quote, originally published on April 16, 2014. Please enjoy! Bergen Administrators Fear ‘Game of Thrones’ Quote, Censor Professor Brace yourselves; censorship is coming! 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 […]

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  • Facing Mounting Criticism, Bergen Community College Mans The Wall

    April 17, 2014

    Yesterday, my colleague Sarah McLaughlin reported on Bergen Community College’s asinine decision to place Professor Francis Schmidt on unpaid leave pending psychiatric evaluation for posting a picture on Google+ of his young daughter wearing a shirt containing a quote from the popular Game of Thrones series.

    This morning, facing mounting criticism and bewilderment, BCC doubled down on its claim that administrators were dutifully investigating a possible threat to campus.

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  • Bergen Administrators Fear ‘Game of Thrones’ Quote, Censor Professor

    April 16, 2014

    Brace yourselves; censorship is coming!

    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.

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