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Judge Upholds UO Firing Of Instructor Over Threat

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against the University of Oregon by an instructor who lost his job after he asked disruptive students if they wanted him to shoot them.

Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin said Wednesday that Peter Quint “simply crossed the line” with the comment, which was not protected by the constitutional guarantee of free speech.

The Register-Guard reports that Quint was an American Sign Language instructor who had a policy against using voices in class. After one disruption last May he said, “Do you want me to take out a gun and shoot you in the head?”

Several students complained, and his contract was not renewed.

The judge says the decision was within the university’s rights as an employer.

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