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In-Depth Interview: Tenured Prof. James Tracy was Terminated in Breach of Academic Freedom, First Amendment

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James Tracy,  a tenured professor of communications at Florida Atlantic University, was fired after controversy over posts on a personal blog that challenged official narratives of Sandy Hook, the Boston bombing and other events.Tracy held a tenured post, and one of his courses was about “conspiracy theories”.  He also has a blog that is separate from the university, where he has written skeptical commentary about media coverage of incidents like the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that left many unanswered questions and unresolved conflicts in accounts.

Tracy says that University officials were not aware of the blog until a local newspaper, the South Florida Sun-Sentinal, reported on self-generated controversy which it attributed to Tracy, and ran an apparent crusade to get him fired.  In January, 2016, the university terminated Tracy for contrived paperwork issues, seeking to avoid a direct confrontation on academic freedom, the meaning of tenure, and the First Amendment.

Tracy recounts a critical backstory about his contacts with the parents of one of the children reported killed at Sandy Hook.  Tracy was slammed for sending a certified letter to the parents that was characterized as insensitive “trolling” of grieving victims.  In fact, says Tracy, the Pozners initiated the exchange with a demand letter that Tracy take down their child’s photo from his blog, claiming copyright infringement.  Tracy’s response was motivated, in part, by the highly unusual actions of the Connecticut legislature and law enforcement to restrict investigations into the events by people like Prof. Tracy.

Even if you don’t agree with Tracy’s work, we should all be protesting these attacks on freedom of expression.  You can visit the website of Tracy’s defense fund here, or send a contribution to:

Tracy Legal Defense

300 NW 36th Court

Boca Raton, FL  33431