Temple College: Censorship of Cartoon and Nietzsche Quotation on Professor's Office Door


Temple College

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Case Overview

FIRE Victory closed

On October 23, 2008, Temple College professor Kerry Laird was ordered to remove a satirical cartoon from his office door by Interim Vice President of Educational Services and Chief Academic Officer Mark Smith. Later that day, Laird placed a sign on his office door that said, "Gott ist tot," a Freidrich Nietzsche quote that translates to "God is dead." Smith demanded that Professor Laird remove the quote immediately, stating that the quote "can be considered very controversial and offensive." Smith refused to reverse the censorship even after a faculty member and a student pointed out the double standard being used against Laird's expression. On November 5, however, less than an hour after receiving a letter from FIRE, Temple College President Glenda Barron reversed its censorship.