A phrase from the HBO television series ‘Game of Thrones’ is in the middle of a controversy at Bergen Community College that saw a professor suspended for eight days earlier this semester, NorthJersey.com reported.
According to the report, art professor Francis Schmidt posted a photo of his 7-year-old daughter wearing a t-shirt with the quote “I will take what is mine with fire & blood,” on it on his Google+ account. The quote is from the popular HBO show.
The Jan. 12 posting got Schmidt called to the dean’s office, where he says school officials questioned him about whether or not the post was meant as a threat to the dean of the college, one of his connections on the social network, the report said.
Schmidt was suspended for eight days without pay, and had to visit a psychiatrist’s office for an evaluation before he could return to school, he told NorthJersey.com. He was eventually reinstated with backpay, it said.
Bergen Community College Spokesman Larry Hlavenka did not release many details in a statement about the incident to the paper, but did say that the college takes all potential threats seriously.
“The referenced incident refers to a private personnel matter at Bergen Community College,” Hlavenka told NorthJersey.com.
“Since Jan. 1, 2014, 34 incidents of school shootings have occurred in the United States. In following its safety and security procedures, the college investigates all situations where a member of its community – students, faculty, staff or local residents – expresses a safety or security concern.”
Schmidt said he believes the suspension was retaliation for a grievance he filed with the university after not being granted sabbatical last year, the report said.
The incident has sparked discontent within the college community. Faculty members have suggested that the suspension was a result of ongoing contract negotiations, the report said. The faculty has been working without a contract since last July, it said.