A professor in New Jersey got the surprise of his life when he was hauled into the administrator’s office and suspended because he posted a picture of his daughter wearing a “Game of Thrones” t-shirt. They called the shirt “threatening” and even suspected him of planning a school shooting because of it.
Francis Schmidt is a professor of art and animation at New Jersey’s Bergen Community College, and is also a big fan of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” along with millions of other people across the nation.
His young daughter is a fan of yoga, and he had captured a picture of her practicing while wearing one of his Game of Thrones t-shirts that said “I will take what’s mine in fire and blood” and decided to post it to social media back in January. He said the post was intended to coincide with the release of this season’s trailer for the show.
One of the deans from Schmidt’s college saw the photo and immediately took issue with it so he notified officials.
Shortly after Schmidt was brought into the administrative office to talk to the director of human services regarding the photograph, which they called “threatening.” He was repeatedly questioned about the shirt and the meaning of the picture along with the popularity of the show it’s from, the security guard who was present for the meeting also said that the term “fire” could be proxy for “AK-47.”
[Schmidt’s daughter in the Game of Thrones t-shirt]
Schmidt explained everything to the administrators, who didn’t buy his story, suspended him without pay effective immediately, and ordered him to undergo a psychological evaluation prior to being able to return to the school to teach classes.
He was easily cleared and returned back to teach again, but he says that the suspension set him back in his classes and with his students.
The president of the college Kaye Walter, who has come under fire in the past for allowing an environment of “fear and intimidation” to persist between faculty and administration, has said that she stands by her administrator’s decision to suspend Schmidt because there were three school shootings earlier in the month.
How’s that for insanity?