He’s Got Fucking Fired For This!


A story from Hawaii:

Shit happens.

That’s reality, according to Daniel Petersen, who has taught philosophy for 21 years at Hawaii Community College and the University of Hawaii at Hilo. And it’s a reality he shared — in those words — with his students. Now he says he is sharing that reality in the collapse of his teaching career, which he attributes to the aftermath of a complaint from the father of a student over a few instances of profanity in his class at the community college.

5 thoughts on “He’s Got Fucking Fired For This!

  1. I had a student complain once to the Chair because I dropped an “f-bomb” once or twice in a lecture. But, if you are talking about something that is fucking insane, what better terms are there than “fucking insane” to describe it?

    • These complaining students are the worst. I bet you this one never said anything to you personally. I try to say something like “Hey, if you find my language offensive (sometimes), let me know, I’ll be happy to class it up just for you…”

      • One student did once, by email. She also wore a Salvation Army uniform to class every week. I suspect, but I don’t know, that her religious beliefs had something to do with it. I get the impression that the one who complained about my swearing to the chair was actually looking for something else: a reason to get our of my class and into the full class that they really wanted to be in. The chair should have told that person to “man up” and deal with it–or drop the class and not do a full course load–but we’re here to serve their whims and desires, regardless of how silly and ill-founded.

  2. This is patently false:

    “profanity in the classroom,” he wrote. “It demonstrates a paucity of verbal ability and total lack of respect for the students he instructs”

    I have no paucity of verbal ability, and yet no means to quit cussing has yet presented itself as a viable tool-being.

    I gave you a five-star rating on this one, as it’s a good story and I wouldn’t have seen it otherwise.

    • I can see how it could be a problem if your speech is full of profanity, but then again what counts as appropriate and inappropriate, especially since it’s a philosophy class? It’s the proverbial slippery slope.

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