UW-Stout professor denies promoting violence as posters near office taken down by policeWestern Wisconsin News
-- A UW-Stout professor denies promoting violence by putting up two posters outside his office that were taken down by university police.
MENOMONIE - A UW-Stout professor denies promoting violence by putting up two posters outside his office that were taken down by university police.
Jim Miller hung a poster September 12th portraying the captain of a space-craft in the former Fox TV series “Firefly.” It had a caption which said “You don’t know me, son, so let me explain this to you once – If I ever kill you, you’ll be awake. You’ll be facing me. And you’ll be armed.” Miller said it was a humorous comment during the show, but campus Police Chief Lisa Walter took it down and told Miller it’s unacceptable to have posters that refer to killing.
Miller said the action violated his free speech rights – so he put up another poster with a beating victim on the ground and the words “Warning – Fascism.” And that, too, was ordered removed. Miller told the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram he thought his 27-year career was in jeopardy – so he contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which asked that the school apologize and not say anything bad about the posters in Miller’s personnel file. Miller said the requests were not met, so the Foundation put out a news release this week.
UW-Stout officials said it generated hundreds of e-mails, but not many from students. Spokesman Doug Mell said the reactions came from groups and others, mostly from outside Wisconsin. And after news outlets started calling, the school put out a statement to faculty and students denying censorship. It said the school had to take the death comments seriously after violence at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois the past four years. Meanwhile, a planned meeting between Miller and his bosses to discuss the matter is off for now.