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Controversial Texas A&M prof fired for ‘demeaning, inappropriate, unprofessional’ conduct

Would ‘hang Trump by Biden’s entrails’

An outspoken Texas A&M archaeology professor was served notice that his tenure will be revoked and he’ll be dismissed due to “failing to meet his responsibilities to the institution and students.”

According to The Eagle, Filipe Castro was informed of his firing on January 7 following a review of “five years of department evaluations, known departmental complaints and anonymous student course evaluations.”

Castro generated controversy last year for his outspokenness regarding the campus Lawrence Sullivan Ross statue, as well as hateful comments about Republican politicians.

“Why do we want to keep a statue that stands for racism and exclusion and hatred?” Castro told a crowd of A&M protesters last June. Ross was president of A&M in the late 19th century, but also served as a Confederate general during the Civil War.

A few weeks later, Castro wrote in a since-deleted Facebook post that “COVID kills the poor. It also kills some stupid, like Herman Cain.” He lauded Texas U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert’s COVID diagnosis, adding that he hoped “Trump and Pence get it too.”

“In the last 59 years I thought that desiring other people’s death was a horrible thing, but president trump [sic] showed me how wrong I was. :),” Castro said. He referred to Trump as a “fat Klansman” and said First Lady Melania was “bought from a catalog.”

In addition, Castro allegedly had stated in class that he “would cut off [former U.S. Attorney General] Jeff Sessions’ head and play soccer with it,” and “would “hang Trump by Biden’s entrails.”

(Check out some screen captures of Castro’s comments at Campus Reform.)

From the story:

According to a Jan. 7 memorandum from interim provost Mark H. Weichold to Castro, a university investigation stemmed from “numerous” complaints from students regarding his classroom conduct. The investigation alleges Castro “[was] demeaning to students who did not agree with your stances on religious matters; made unprofessional comments about current politicians that had no relation to the subject of the class; and made inappropriate, unprofessional and disrespectful comments in the classroom about male and female genitalia.” …

In response to detailed questions about the disciplinary actions, Texas A&M Chief Risk, Ethics and Compliance Officer Kevin P. McGinnis provided The Eagle with an emailed statement.

“These were not typical cases. They were prompted by more than one hundred complaints against these professors, some involving misconduct in the classroom,” the statement from McGinnis reads. “The complaints involving protected First Amendment activities were set aside, and the Office of Risk, Ethics and Compliance was charged with reviewing the classroom misconduct allegations because it has the investigators needed to follow up on those complaints. The investigations confirmed significant misconduct and sanctions have been issued.”

Last year, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) expressed First Amendment concerns over investigations into Castro’s personal social media posts: “While Castro’s expression may be shocking or offensive to many, it does not fall into a category of speech unprotected by the First Amendment, which bars Texas A&M from punishing him.”

Former A&M President Michael Young had responded “Rest assured Texas A&M has no intention of investigating or sanctioning Dr. Castro for protected speech.”

Read the Eagle article.

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